Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road junction | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road junction

Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road junction
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Sunday, January 1, 1950


Barbara wrote:

This photo from the 1950s(?) was taken on Prince Edward Road, facing East. To the left is the spire of St. Teresa’s Church, the railway bridge, and the building on far left is most probably the Tong Lau which is still standing: #190 to approximately #212 Prince Edward Road. This block is referenced at Prince Edward Road W Shop Houses.

The Art Deco sweep of the verandah at top centre is probably the one still visible on Street View below, painted orange. If I am correct, the building in the foreground is no longer there, and neither is the junction. Fa Yuen Street no longer joins (and crosses) Prince Edward Road: instead the junction is now paved over and forms part of a sitting out area.

Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road junction

Corner of Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road, Kowloon, in the 1950s. © T.H. Hutchinson

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I think it might be a bit further east, at the junction with Sai Yee Street.

First the balcony painted orange is a different shape from the one in the 1950s photo. The orange balcony curves around, then steps out where it gets wider. The 1950s balcony is a smooth curve without the step.

If you look at this 1950s photo, http://www.flickr.com/photos/49694825@N08/5120947274, there's a building with a curved balcony just west of Queen Elizabeth School.

Here's the view from the junction with Sai Yee Street, with the bridge and shophouses in the background:

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Does anyone have any more photos of this area in the 1950s? That balcony is quite distinctive, so it should be possible to identify it.

Regards, David

To begin with I thought it was where you have suggested too, where the sub station is in the photo. Then I found the photo on http://gwulo.com/node/17233 which shows the hillside sloping down to Sai Yee St with nothing where the sub station is now. I'll admit that in 10 years between the 1940s and 1950s something could have been built there, but to me the buildings at the corner in the 1950s photo look quite old. Also, do you reckon there is enough room where the sub station is to have fitted in the two blocks in the 1950s photo and whatever is between them? Even today, the hillside starts immediately to the East of the substation. I can see the curved balcony on the Flickr photo, but not the block at the corner.

Regarding the curved balcony stepping out, the other difference is the lack of pillars in the 1950s photo. It is possible that the pillars and the step out were later additions when the balconies were enclosed.

Perhaps an old map might clarify matters.

Nice photo. Out of curiosity, is the photographer focusing on the four young ladies walking on the pavement?

I think the photo below shows the area that is being discussed. Date is an approximation.

1950s Prince Edward Road (Looking East towards the Railway Bridge)

The curvature of the pavement would tend to suggest that the photo was taken at the intersection of Nullah Road, Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward Road as shown below.

1950s North Kowloon Map

It does look like there isn't enough space on the corner of Sai Yee Street, and as Moddsey notes, the line of the pavement suggests the corner of Nullah Road / Fa Yuen Street / Prince Edward Rd.

You mentioned the lack of pillars, which I hadn't spotted. It's not 100% accurate, but I tend to think of pillars marking pre-war buildings, whereas on buildings built after WW2 we see the concrete balconies without pillars.

That made me wonder whether the orange building in streetview (177-179 Prince Edward Road West) might be the building with pillars in the foreground of the original photo. It was built in 1941, so it's possible.

Regards, David

I had been looking at the photo Moddsey referred to before seeing his post above. On that it looks like the buildings on upper left stop at Sai Yee St, and the buildings on upper right stop at Fa Yuen St. The wall at ground level seems to have a "building block" look to it similar to that on Tom's photo. The balcony has a step out, and it seems to be supported by a pillar on the Prince Edward Rd side. The current orange building on the Fa Yuen St junction has rendering on the second floor balcony wall which suggests filled in spaces in a similar pattern to that in the photo above.
The white shape between the pillar and the balcony could well be the white balcony of the next building which Tom has in his photo.

Sounds like we're in agreement. My cousin (aged 75+) also thinks it's Fa Yuen St/Nullah Rd.

Yes Moddsey, the photographer was focussing on the four young ladies.... he was into glamour shots.

Thanks for all your help!


I took a picture of the curvy building in question a couple of years ago.

Orange Curvy Building










The SCMP did an article on it a while back which you can read if you click through to my blog:


I should add that I also believe this one to be the closer building (with columns) in Barbara's photo (corner of nullah/fa yuen). I'm guessing that the white building in the background was probably on the west corner of Sai Yee Street i.e. currently #185 - at a time when the single storey block (now at 181-183) between the two buildings meant the white building had room to have a curved balcony all the way around to the west side of the building?

I really dont mind helping you out, if I do have have the tiime.

 I tend to agree with David that the buililding is still standing and is the orangey building at the corner of Fa Yuen Street and Prince Edward. Cheers!

Well....it turns out that my father had his first medical practice on the first floor of the building in the foreground at far right, or at least in the bit of it that was numbered 165. If there were several buildings where number 171 is now, he was in the one with a corner on Sai Yeung Choi Street and Prince Edward Road.


Here is one from HK Man's vast collection on FLICKR which you might find interesting.


Hi there,

HK Man's photo likely showed the predecessor of the power station right there.

Best Regards,


Hi there,

I also believe the building in Phil's photo is the same one (the one with the business sign of an art school on the column) in the foreground of Barbara's photo.  In Phil's photo it had been covered with latter paint, however I believe if we could peel off the top layer of it, traces of the old sign might still be seen.

The white/beige building with the curvey balcony, I think, was the predecessor of the present day power station.  The photo in Flickr seem to show it was on the Eastern corner of Sai Yee Street.

Best Regards,


I'm inclined to agree with you T.