Former Kowloon Terminus Fire Station | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Former Kowloon Terminus Fire Station

Former Kowloon Terminus Fire Station
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Saturday, January 1, 1955


I'm so depressed. I walked past here today braving the torrential T3 rain only to discover it has been taken over by "Shanghai Tang". There is an old fire truck parked next to it mind you.

I share the same sentiment!

Re: Former Kowloon Terminus Fire Station








Former Kowloon Terminus Fire Station

Hi there,

When I first saw the site when it become unboarded a few months ago, I couldn't resist cursing the developers.  We just don't need a Rodeo Drive/Beverly Hills KopyKat in town.  Let's hope this is the last of these projects around.

Pity for the remaining trees too.  I don't know how long would the gigantic concrete pots hold them up.

Best Regards,


I don't feel so bad about it. Maybe I have such low expectations that I'm just glad to see it wasn't knocked down!

To me, the fire station with Shanghai Tang inside looks more attractive as a building now than it did for the previous 10+ years that I saw it. I think it housed a welfare handicrafts centre during that time. It certainly didn't ever seem very busy.

And I don't remember seeing the Marine Police HQ building this clearly before. It always seemed hidden away on top of its hill.

Both buildings are now out in clear view, and should be seen and visited by lots of people who aren't visiting them for any historical reason. I'm hoping that means more people seeing and valuing these old buildings.

As a contrast I think of the old barracks buildings in Kowloon Park that used to hold the HK History Museum, and are now the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre. Lovely buildings, nicely preserved, but hardly used. I often go there to use their library, but it's never a busy place, and I guess most of the visitors are either regulars, already interested in heritage, or just there to use the clean loos! I've certainly never seen the hordes of visitors their web page is prepared for: "The Centre may adopt suitable crowd control measures to ensure orderly admission whenever necessary."

But you obviously disagree - what do you think they've done wrong, or could have done better?

Hi there,

Maybe it's just me or I'm getting old.  I just miss the trees there.

Best Regards,


Don't get me wrong, I quite like the renovation and the idea of using the place as a hotel, but they've filled the grounds with the sort of high end shopping that HK already has more than enough of. I would loved to have seen some landscaped gardens and it would have been nice to have saved the fire station for a historical display about the whole compound.

My 'at least it wasn't knocked down' isn't a very high standard to beat, so I hope the later projects will be better.

The redevelopment of the old magazine above Victoria Barracks is well underway. Originally I had high hopes that the renovated old building would be clearly visible from further down the hill. But when I walked past a couple of weeks ago, it looks as though a new building is going up in front of it, so I'm not sure how visible / hidden it will be.

Then comes the revitalisation scheme, where batch I buildings have already been assigned to their redevelopers, and batch II has been identified. The theory behind this scheme seems sound, but we'll have to wait til the first batch are open for business to see if it really is better.

I must say that I was shocked and disappointed when I saw the hill being flattened and trees on top of huge columns while 1881 "Heritage" (certainly a misnomer) was under construction some time ago.  This project not only destroyed a rather unusual locality of tranquility in urban Hong Kong, but also razed a place of historical significance.  A fort existed on the hill during the First Opium War and I believe it was the scene of the first battle of the war.  I wonder why the government allowed the environs of a declared monument to be modified in such a drastic way.

See Section 8 of this newsletter:

This scene of TST from the 1930s. It shows the Marine Police HQ and its environs as it once was. A quaint and peaceful setting has been destoyed and disfigured by strong commercial aspirations.

1930s TST and Hung Hom

I am actually glad to know I am not the only one disappointed with the redevelopment of the old Marine Police HQ. Three things bothered me about what changed when I saw the covers removed -  half the hill it was built on is gone, the retaining wall and driveway on Canton Road has also been demolished and I don't think the new colour scheme reflects the building at any point in its history.

From what I understand, the driveway was removed to allow for the widening of Canton Road and pavement space to front an arcade of ornate arches built into what's left of the hill. The new cream-beige with red roof colour scheme is a big change from the white and (what I call) 'water department' blue frame windows, hence my disappointment. The chinese black tiled roof it had previously was similar to that on the Legislative Council building and Murray House - a feature I find is quite peculiar to Hong Kong.

That being said, what we have now isn't all that bad. It reminds me of colonial Singapore and the old Bela Vista Hotel in Macau. I do agree with what has been said in the comment above that it has become alot more visible and accessible when on street level. Time will tell if this is a success.