The building was completed in 1898.
The name suggests there was another 'Oriental Building' in Central. Can anyone confirm?
Not sure but this building may have had something to do with the New Oriental Bank that folded in the 1890s. The Bank was the first note issuing institution in Hong Kong.
Note the Butterfield and Swire Building was built in 1897 aprroximately the same period as the other buidlings east of Statue Square.
King's Building and the the GPO were completed in 1905 and 1911 respectively.
The Telegraph Building was constructed in 1898 and housed two telegraph companies: Eastern Extension Telegraph Company and the Great Northern Telegraph Company.
St. George's Building was completed in 1904.
The 1899 PWD AR says:
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 [ie this building], next to Messrs. Butterfield & Swire's Offices.
We've got a couple of sources above giving the completion date as 1898, so I'll leave it at 1898 for now.
I tried a search for 'oriental' in the HK newspapers, 1897-1899. I didn't find any mention of this building, though of course it may not have had this name originally.
I've set the dates:
Looks like the demolition date should be earlier than my current guess of 1963. The building has already been demolished in this photo, estimated to be from 1954. I've set the demolition date to be 1953 - if anyone can confirm the date, please let me know. (I've tried searches for oriental building and new oriental in the newspapers for 1945-60, but no luck)
2 Connaught Road (Later New Oriental Building)
Marine Lot 278 Acquired 12th October 1896 for HKD67,441
Completed 1898, designed by Architects Palmer & Turner
Originally four stories, 5th Story added mid construction due to strong demand from tenants
Carlowitz & Co
Hamburg based China Export, Import and Bank Compagnie
German Club leased part of Top Floor as did Japanese Consulate
Sold 10th June 1939 to Toshihiko Eto
-possibly to spy on dockyards?
Mr Eto declared enemy alien after WW2, property passed to Hong Kong’s administrator of Japanese property
Became temporary headquarters of Hong Kong police until building in Arsenal Street was completed
Building sold in October 1954 to Kwong Hing Investment House
Demolished to become car parks until construction of Furama - I would change demolishment date to 1955-01-01
As mentioned above, Toshihiko Ito, a Japanese publisher purchased the New Oriental Building in June 1939. China Mail dated 26 June 1939 indicates the purchase of the building was connected, inter alia, with the establishment of an English language newspaper publication. On another photo from the same era the word "NIPPO.. " can be viewed in bold letters on the ground floor of the building. In the photo below, the Japanese flag flies from the top floor of the consulate.
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