1890s Single-storey building, on the site of Prince's Building [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1890s Single-storey building, on the site of Prince's Building [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

I've noticed this in a couple of photos from the 1890s, showing the area where Prince's Building stands today.

I guess it was related to the reclamation project - maybe some sort of site office, but any more accurate information gratefully received.

It's shown on the right of this photo:

City Hall, Central, Hong Kong. (late 1890s / early 1900s)
City Hall, Central, Hong Kong. 1890, by HIstoryBuff6

And on the left of this photo:

Prince's Building under construction 1899
Prince's Building under construction 1899, by annelisec


Photos that show this place



Shouldn't it be visible here? I can only see huts. Possibly this one is pre 1895.

Praya Buildings - help identify ?
Praya Buildings - help identify ?, by annelisec


Hi Klaus, I think the last photo you posted is the earliest of the three, before this building was built.

Then the photo titled "City Hall, Central, Hong Kong. 1890" was taken later, so it probably dates to the late 1890s / early 1900s.

Regards, David

Found on wikipedia another image from the turn of the 19th to the 20th century.

City_of_Victoria,_Hong_Kong (1899-1904)
City_of_Victoria,_Hong_Kong, by By Not given [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Prince's Building is under construction (just half of it), and there is a row of low buildings in front of it. Possibly one of these is the unknown single storey building.

The construction of Prince's Building was constructed in stages, the northern half first followed by the southwest side. Then after the demolition of the single storey structure, the southeast side of Prince's Building was constructed. Source: HKGRO

To the right of Prince's Building, between it and the row of buildings across the road (I think), you can see the roof.

This map from around 1895 shows Statue Square, but unfortunately not the single-storey building.

1890s Map of Central District
1890s Map of Central District, by The British Library


I thought it might be helpful to copy these two comments (http://gwulo.com/atom/25321#comment-37125 and http://gwulo.com/atom/25321#comment-37127)

Submitted by Herostratus on Tue, 2016-07-26 05:23.

Hi Klaus

I can find no specific information on this building. However the terms of the Lot lease stated that a substantial building must be constructed within 36 months of the commencement of the lease. The reclamation in this area was finished around 1894, in the middle of a long global economic recession so I think the above building was a temporary measure to fulfill the terms of the lease until economics conditions improved enough to construct something more substantial.


Submitted by Klaus on Tue, 2016-07-26 09:48.

Hi Herostratus,

thank you for the search. David found another image of this building: (Prince's Building under construction 1899, by annelisec; not copied, see above)

It stands on the southern part of the site where Prince's Building would be later. It might be (as you assumed) that the company who built Prince's Building was short of money and built the single-storey building for not loosing the building permission.