Birthday Buildings in 2014
Looking through Gwulo's list of buildings, how many have a major birthday this year? Lets start with those that have made it to 50 ...
50 years old
Not very exciting, is it? The best-known building on the list is a carpark!
You can see it on the left edge of this 1979 photo of TST. It's about about half way down, next to the golden-coloured Sheraton Hotel:
If you have any sentimental attachment to this carpark (!), you'd better visit soon. The site goes up for auction at the end of this month.
75 years old
Just like last year , most of our 75-years-old buildings were built for military use. A map of the pillboxes shows what they were intended for - a defensive ring around the island to protect against enemy soldiers invading from the sea:
The list isn't quite right though. It is supposed to show buildings we can still see today, but all the pillboxes along the island's north shore are gone. They were either destroyed during the fighting, or when the land was redeveloped later.
To the south of the island though, many of the pillboxes can still be seen:
Pillbox 21 at Chung Hom Kok
Pillbox 29, Tai Tam Bay
Pillbox 30, Turtle Cove
Despite their important place in Hong Kong's history, none of the remaining pillboxes have "listed building" status.
100 years old
At the beginning of Bowen Road, this building celebrates its 100th birthday:
The toys in the bottom-left corner hint at the current residents, the Mother's Choice charity. Previously it was known as the Commodore's House, and was home to the senior officer of the British Navy in Hong Kong. Presumably he had a lot less toys.
Back when it was built in 1914, it belonged to the Hongkong Land Investment and Agency Company Limited. Their Company Secretary lived there, and would have had wonderful views out over the harbour.
125 years old
Just two buildings, and possibly only one as I'm not sure the "Peak Side / Bishop's Lodge" entry belongs on the list. It's true the original buildings date back to the 19th century, but are the original buildings still standing today? I guess the site has been re-developed since then, but can't find any proof of it. If you know, please can you leave a comment below?
The Battery on Stonecutters Island is another military defence. This type of battery housed much larger guns than the later pillboxes, and was built to fend off attacking ships from a foreign navy.
150 years old
Good to see that, as with last year, we can still find a building or two that have reached their 150th birthday. Both the buildings on this year's list are part of the Central Police Station site on Hollywood Road:
1900s view of the Barracks Block
1940 Group photo, Married Inspectors' Quarters in background
What have we missed?
So far at Gwulo.com we've documented over 2,700 places and buildings around Hong Kong. Each one has its own page, often with extra information and photos that show the building. The building names in the lists above are links, so you can click on any of them to see that building's page.
But there are plenty more we haven't got round to yet. If there's a building you know of that should be on these lists, please go ahead and make a 'Place' page for it. Click here for instructions on how to create a Place page.
All the lists of buildings on this page update automatically. eg Let's say you add a Place page for a building with a 1964 completion date. Then the next time you visit this page your building will automatically appear in the 50 years old list.
- Birthday buildings in 2013: http://gwulo.com/node/17626
Also on Gwulo.com this week:
More chapters from Betty Steel's memoir: