Marina House [1935-1980]
15-19, Queen's Road Central.
Some notes I've found about this building:
1935. The 3rd Dec edition of the HK Telegraph reports that Marina House is complete:
"With every modern convenience and imposing in design, the new building next to the Hongkong Hotel in Queen's Road Central, to be called "Marina House", is now completed and will be ready for tenants to move in on January 1, 1936.
Five storeys high, the building has accommodation for three banks on the ground floor with letting space of nearly 37,000 square feet on the four upper floors.
The ground floor covers the whole of the available are of the site, with the first to fourth floors "T"-shaped. This is undoubtedly a great improvement on the majority of offices in Hongkong where electric lighting is an absolute necessity during the day.
The office entrance is particularly well designed, being laid with marble, while the whole of the flooring is in parquet. [...] The exterior facing of the building has been accomplished with Cathay ceramics which gives a very pleasing effect.
The architects were Messrs. Palmer and Turner, and the contractors Messrs. Lai Kee Co.
An official of the owners, Hongkong Land Investment and Agency Co., Ltd., informed a representative of the Telegraph that they felt very satisfied with the building. "We would have liked," he said, "to install a cooling system, but luxury of this nature is somewhat beyond the powers of an investment company which has to consider the returns of its shareholders. No money, however, has been spared, and full advantage as been taken of the present low cost of construction.
The firms who have given notice of occupying the building include the Chinese Maritime Customs, for the entire fourth floor; Messrs. James H. Backhouse, Ltd., Messrs. Hastings and Co., Ilford, Ltd., Messrs. Ellis and Edgar, and Madame D'Obry.
The most easterly bank premisies in the ground floor will be occupied by the Chase Bank, which is having the interior fixed up as a most modern hall with ample room for the premises. The two westerly bank premises have not yet been booked, and in the meantime shop fronts have been erected pending an improvement in the business of the banking world.
The reason why the building is to be called "Marina House" was partly because the original structure on the site was known as such, and partly in honour of Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. The Chinese name is "Kung Siu Hong" - Princess House."
Interesting to hear their explanation why air-conditioning isn't included. I don't think they'd get many tenants today!
Late 1940's. This history of Hongkong Land says: "The company's first large [post-war] development project was the adding of three stories to Marina House, first completed in 1935."
1950. Michael Rogge says that "In 1950, [the bank I worked for] moved to Marina House, Queen’s Road Central [...]". There's a picture of the interior of the bank on his website, and also a short video clip of the office area (see link below).
I'm not sure exactly when it was demolished - can anyone help? And if you have any other information or stories about the place, please leave a comment below.