1924 View of Hong Kong from the harbour

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 20:48
Date picture taken
1 Apr 1924


Part of the Central Fire Station can be seen at the extreme right of this photo. It's under construction and appears to consist of a metal frame only at this stage. The 1923 and 4 PWD Reports contain information on the progress of the build that help to date the photo.

Para.102 of the 1923 PWD Report says that, "...by the end of the year the steel framework was completed up to and including the fourth floor".

Although it's difficult to see in the old photo exactly how many floors of framework have been completed, compared to the neighbouring buildings, I'd say it was more than four.

Para.99 of the 1924 PWD Report continues; "The contract for the erection of the steel framework to the building proceeded satisfactorily and was completed in May".

As the photo shows the top of the building consists of vertical girders, but no horizontal cross-beams, I don't think the steel framework had been completed at the time the photo was taken.

The date of the photo should therefore be sometime in early 1924, up to May.

Another building nearing completion around that time was the P&O Building, the tallest building on the seafront in the old pic. According to the 1924 PWD Report it was completed in 1924. Although its upper floors look finished in the old photo, under full magnification a thin lattice can be seen across its ground and first floors, which I think is scaffolding and indicates the building was not yet complete. A notice on Page 4 of the Hong Kong Telegraph on 6th December 1924 announced that the offices of the P&O Agents would be relocated to the new building with effect from 8th December 1924. Progress on the P&O Building doesn't contradict a date of early 1924 for the taking of the photo.