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WORK UNDER THE BUILDING ORDINANCE
12. The principal building completed in the City was the very handsome block of Offices, now known as Queen's Buildings, on the Reclamation near Pedder's Wharf consisting of four floors and containing sixteen suites of Offices.
The handsome Offices of the United Telegraph Companies next the Hongkong Club were completed and occupied during the year, also a large block of buildings adjoining it on the East, next to Messrs. Butterfield & Swire's Offices.
13. Building of godowns and of Chinese houses on the new reclamation has proceeded rapidly.
14. A large number of handsome European houses were completed, or nearly so, in the new district lying between Kennedy Road and Bowen Road, where land was eagerly sought for this purpose. In spite of this the supply is not equal to the demand, and rents continue to rise.
One fine European residence was completed and occupied in Barker Road, and four more are in process of erection.
The ceilings throughout the building were of the extremely unsuitable Chinese pattern used in Hongkong, an imitation of English lath and plaster work, but being badly executed and with inferior material, constantly giving trouble, and at times positively dangerous, when large masses give way owing to sudden changes in the state of the atmosphere or concussion. The Dining-room, Drawing-room and North Hall ceilings were removed and replaced by ceilings of teak wood of a handsome design, the former stained and varnished and the two latter painted white. All the ceilings in the house should be so altered as funds admit of the work being undertaken. Many minor repairs were effected throughout the building, the total expenditure on it amounting to $9,799.
17. The next work of importance was the re-roofing of No. 8 Police Station, and the reconstruction of the block of cookhouses on the East side of it at an expenditure of $3,933.
18. The Central Market was painted and colour-washed throughout at a cost of $2,209.
19. The whole of the public latrines and most of the markets were white washed and repaired.
20. The canvas ceiling of the main hall of Queen’s College, which was constantly requiring repairs, was removed and replaced by a wooden ceiling.
21. The smaller schools were whitewashed and minor repairs attended to.
22. Extensive repairs were also effected to the Gunpowder Depot at Stone Cutters’ Island, the Infectious Hospital and Lunatic Asylum.
23. The Government Villas at the Peak were thoroughly overhauled and put in order.
24. —Maintenance of Telegraphs:—Telephone lines were maintained in good order during the year, and call for no special remark.
25. —Maintenance of Public Cemetery.—The Cemetery and buildings connected with it were maintained in good order during the year.
26. —Maintenance of Praya Wall and Piers.—The chief item of expenditure under this heading was in connection with the landing pier on Stone Cutters’ Island.
27. —Maintenance of Light-houses.-—The Light-houses in charge of the Department and quarters attached to them were lime-washed and minor repairs attended to.
28. —Dredging Foreshores.- The Dredger was largely employed during the year in removing accumulations of City refuse dropped into the harbour at the Dust Boat Stations. The Sanitary Board have been addressed on this matter, and in future it is hoped the scavenging contractor will be held responsible for this and compelled to pay the cost of dredging. When not so employed, the Dredger works in connection with the Praya Reclamation, or is occasionally lent on hire for private work, when it can be spared.
29. The following are the principal works sanctioned against this vote and carried out in 1899 : —
- A public latrine of brick and stone masonry containing 20 seats near Ship Street, in lieu of an old and dilapidated private latrine in the same locality now being removed.
- An iron latrine containing 6 seats erected at Leighton Hill.
- Alterations and improved fittings in the Post Office.
- A new drying room added to the out buildings at the Lower Hospital.
- A hot water installation at the Gaol for the use of the prisoners.
A sum of $1,300 from this vote was expended in forming a very useful ten-foot wide road connecting the road through the Fo-pang Valley, generally known as the Yaumati Wells Road, with the New Kowloon City Road. This road has immensely improved the communication between the East and West sides of British Kowloon Peninsula, has opened up and given access to the large village of Matau-wei. and has proved a great boon to the numerous cyclists of the Colony.
The footpath leading from Victoria Gap to High West, and thence down by an easy gradient to the Pokfulam conduit and to Upper Richmond Road, was constructed. When this is opened into a road, it will certainly lead to the sale of many most desirable building sites in the neighbourhood of the High West Saddle, and afford an easy means of access to the Peak from the West side of the town. It may be considered as the upper portion of the road now being constructed from Glenealy, joining the Robinson Road with the conduit. There can be little doubt but that the sale of building sites that would shortly follow, would amply pay for the construction of the whole of this road, which would be about 3 miles in length.
The reconstruction of the timber portion of the Kowloon City Pier, which had become dangerous from the decay of the piles and timbers between high and low tide levels, was undertaken under this vote.