Mon, 09/22/2014 - 19:58
Date picture taken
30 Dec 2008


It is great to see these houses of the same design as my former residence.  Our Level 3 walkout was about 7 feet deep like this and enough to set up a tiny covered 2-tier sleeping place.  It can be scary because beyond the flimsy window is a vertical drop to the street below.  I noticed that most of these above-ground levels have had their exterior walls (some never had them in the first place) moved to the street limit.

The stairs are shared by two flats on either side.  I always wonder what became of them when old flats were demolished only on one side.  For some, it is not possible to view/locate them on Google.   They must have removed some walls to maintain access from the street.

The column of flats on the left edge appear to have the same design and from the same era, but now absent the front 7 feet above the sidewalk.  Is it permissible to tie the old flat to the new building for support?  Thanks for any advice.  Regards.

Hi Oldtimer

I think the enclosing of the upper balcony has been a common practice with these older buildings for quite some time. I suspect it's illegal but like many laws now in HK, the Govt aren't too bothered about enforcement. Access to the upper floors could be via the back of the shop, but I notice there is also an alleyway at the rear of the block so it's possible there is a staircase there.

These two blocks don't appear to have a build date which often means they were built pre-war, but the building on the far left was built in 1955 which means it was a replacement to the original columned block that was probably the same style as these two. Constructing right into the other building's wall is also a common occurance because often when an older block is demolished it will leave an "imprint" (for want of a better word) in a newer constructed neighbour where the two walls have been joined. Sometimes they don't even bother removing the joined wall and there are a few examples around town of single shophouse columns attached to a wall that seemed to be too much trouble to demolish.

Thanks Phil.  It explains why these 1955 flats did not have curb support.

The current building where my former home once located has a common staircase to the units above. Then, it seems to me we had more opportunity to see and mingle with shopkeepers and other children.  Now, many buildings old and new have iron gates at ground level for security reason, but not so common before.

Our Level 3 flat rental started before the war and the rent was amazingly low.  The owner lived in the TST district.  This is likely still the case today..... when we learned that the owner planned to rebuild, the tenants set up new raised sleeping quarters with the hope of getting more compensation.  While the negotiator sent by the owner did not act like a thug, his words and body language convinced my grandpa that his was his best and last offer.  I was present during their discussion.  My soft-spoken and gentle grandpa afterwards said to me "I think we did alright" with a sense relief but also a bit of regret - I could tell.