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Fenwick Pier destined to fall
28 June 2008
South China Morning Post

Fenwick Pier, historic point of arrival for generations of sailors visiting the city, is to be demolished under the plan for the Central waterfront and be replaced by public landing steps and a park.

But an Antiquities Advisory Board member has questioned whether such a development can adequately take the place of the pier.

Under the plan, the pier and Fleet Arcade will be replaced by a public park after reclamation for the Central-Wan Chai bypass is completed.

But the reclamation is on hold because of a judicial review challenging whether a 10.7-hectare temporary reclamation is necessary to build the bypass, originally scheduled for completion in 2016.

At a board meeting on Thursday, Planning Department director Ava Ng Tse Suk-ying said the pier would be demolished and not rebuilt.

A department source said the pier had no architectural merit and had just a few landing steps.

The source said the area was intended for open-space development, so the Fleet Arcade would need to move to make way for a public park.

A department spokeswoman said public landing steps and waterfront commercial and leisure facilities would be provided along the new harbourfront to serve the public. An amendment to the outline zoning plan had undergone extensive public consultation, she said.

Honorary adviser to the Museum of History Cheng Po-hung said Fenwick Pier had a long history. He said the first Fenwick Pier, located in Johnston Road, was a private pier for a steel factory and a dockyard owned by the Fenwick Company. The pier was moved to Gloucester Road in the 1940s and Lung Wui Road, Admiralty, in the 1960s during reclamation.

Board member Ng Cho-nam said preservation of the pier was omitted from the public consultation.

Karl Milner, of the Quarterdeck Restaurant at Fleet Arcade, said it was not worried as the demolition could take years and the arcade might move to the new waterfront.
 

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Fenwick Pier has reached its use-by date
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Feb 2, 2020

Fenwick Pier Wanchai (4) by Jamie Lloyd, on Flickr

There has been a Fenwick Pier in Wan Chai since the 1870s, its site on the harbourfront shifting with each reclamation. From Johnston Road it went to Gloucester Road in 1929 and finally to Lung King Road in the 1960s, where it has been disused since 2013, being cut off from water by reclaimed land. In two years it will have disappeared, redevelopment plans calling for a fire station to be moved there from elsewhere in the district. An era will have ended, hopefully to be marked by a plaque or a similar reminder of a place many Hongkongers have heard of, although may never have visited.

The name is familiar because of the pier's association for many decades with foreign navy vessels. Sailors from 14 nations got on and off boats that took them to and from bigger ships moored in the harbour or if an aircraft carrier, deeper water beyond. A reception centre at the pier provided a place to eat, shop, relax and get information about exploring the city. Civilians could visit, but the remote location made it a destination only for the more adventurous or those with a specific purpose for being there, such as for a restaurant gathering or, if invited, to tour a warship.

Efforts by the Servicemen's Guides Association that ran the three-storey Fleet Arcade failed to win its preservation. Sailors now disembark at another pier in Kennedy Town. The days when up to 50,000 overseas naval personnel made Wan Chai their first stop of a rest and relaxation visit have passed into collective memory. Unlike the Star Ferry and Queen's piers in Central, which brought hundreds of people out to protest against their demolition in 2006, there is no public movement for grading Fenwick Pier as a historic monument; circumstances are markedly different.

Nor should the site be looked upon to help ease the dire shortage of public housing. Wan Chai's north shore is designated by planners for convention, exhibition and arts venues, offices and hotels and that is what will arise with the removal of the present fire station and three government towers on Harbour Road. Wan Chai is evolving and changing as should be expected with so vibrant and dynamic a part of the city. The pier was out of place in such an environment. Some will lament its passing, but that is the way of progress.

Source : https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3048624/fenwick-pier-has-reached-its-use-date
 

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NGO bids to save Hong Kong landmark Fenwick Pier, a Wan Chai icon to overseas sailors
South China Morning Post Excerpt
May 24, 2020

DSC_0126 by ar patt, on Flickr

The non-profit organisation which has run Fenwick Pier in Wan Chai for nearly seven decades is making a last-ditch attempt to save the waterfront landmark from the Hong Kong government’s demolition plans.

Instead of replacing the three-storey building with a fire station, the Servicemen’s Guides Association (SGA) has proposed allowing a mix of uses including shops and restaurants that will be open to the public.

Fenwick Pier has served foreign navy ships, especially from the United States, and hundreds of thousands of sailors have passed through it on their Hong Kong stopovers over the years.

The building currently has a fleet arcade with a tailor, barber and souvenir shops, as well as restaurants and an information booth for sailors, other visitors and members of the public.

The government announced earlier this year that it intends to take back the 30,000 sq ft site by the end of next year. The building will be torn down and redeveloped for the Kwong Wan Fire Station to move into from its nearby Harbour Road location.

More : NGO in last-ditch bid to save Hong Kong landmark Fenwick Pier
 
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