Mong Kok Police Station / Former Police Training School [1925- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Mong Kok Police Station / Former Police Training School [1925- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 
c.1925-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

Notes from Moddsey:

As far as I know, the former Police Training School in Kowloon was at Mongkok Police Station.

Ref: http://www.flickr.com/photos/61422138@N04/7239604050/lightbox/

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=IVQNV7NFS5cC&pg=PA36&lpg=PA36&dq=hong+kong+police+training+school,+mongkok&source=bl&ots=IRWPLZkpui&sig=YHdsKIiE_XsjDb8x9G06KrNve0M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=lmwbUbThCdG5iAegvYDgCw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAjgK#v=onepage&q=hong%20kong%20police%20training%20school%2C%20mongkok&f=false

Notes from Ho Lim Peng:

I think the building is the old Police Training School at Mong Kok. This building later became Kowloon Police Headquarters, and I think it is still there, near the main Mong Kok Police Station building.

Photos that show this place

Comments

Notes from the AAB's Historic Building Appraisal:

Old Kowloon Police Headquarters, No. 142 Prince Edward Road West, Mongkok, Kowloon

Historical Interest

Although completed in 1925, the Old Kowloon Police Headquarters was not occupied by the Police until 1932. From 1926 to 1932 it was used as temporary premises by the Diocesan Boy’s School (拔萃男書院). It was then used as the Police Training School from 1932 to 1941. The story goes that the building was being used as a detention centre by the Japanese during the period of Japanese Occupation (1941-1945). From 1947 to 1975, it became the office of the Kowloon Police Headquarters. It is currently utilized by Kowloon West Police Tactical Unit Company (西九龍警察機動部隊) and Hong Kong Police Emergency Unit Kowloon West Base (香港警察西九龍衝鋒隊). Originally there were two blocks, but one was demolished in 1975 to make way for the construction of Prince Edward of Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Station.

Architectural Merit

The main part of the structure is rectangular divided into five sections by cross walls. There are three projecting annexes at the rear. The rear and side elevations are rendered and painted with regularly spaced windows and horizontal string courses at each storey level. The building is three storeys high with a pitched roof. Chimney stacks protrude above the roof. The front façade is in Neo-Classical colonial style featuring an arched colonnade in Roman style on the ground floor and open verandahs to the first and second floors. Both verandahs have ornamental balustrading but only the first floor is colonnaded. The second floor verandah has a temporary roof of steel framing and corrugated sheeting. Curved wing walls block off the ends of the second floor verandah. There are three Art Deco style pediments at parapet level, the central one bearing the date ‘1925’ with a flagpole mounted on top. Neo-Classical style features can be found in the entrance doorways, staircases and paired fluted columns internally.

Rarity, Built Heritage Value & Authenticity

This old building is one of the few remaining pre-war police stations in Hong Kong. It has some interesting architectural features such as the Mannerist style keystones to the ground floor arches which are similar to those found in the Peninsula Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. It should be considered as having built heritage value. It has undergone renovations and alterations over the years and the roof has been covered with modern profiled sheeting.

Social Value & Local Interest

The social value of the building lies in its function as a police station and its role in keeping law and order. As the sole remaining colonial style building in the police station compound it has local interest.

Group Value

Old Kowloon Police Headquarters is quite important as an integral component of a significant architectural or historical complex in the Yau Tsim Mong District (油尖旺區). It is physically close to a number of historic items such as the shophouses at No. 729 Nathan Road (not yet graded) and at Nos. 210 and 212 Prince Edward Road (not yet graded), and Lui Seng Chun (雷生春, Grade I).

Adaptive Re-use

As part of the police compound the building should continue to be used for police purposes. An adaptive re-use not compatible with police work would not be appropriate.

Grade III Historical Building

Remarks:

In view of its historical importance and architectural merit, Old Kowloon Police Headquarters was accorded a Grade III status by the Antiquities Advisory Board in 1988.

The AMO notes above say: "From 1926 to 1932 it was used as temporary premises by the Diocesan Boy’s School (拔萃男書院)."

Henry Ching notes that in fact DBS only used this building in 1927 & 1928, confirmed by this newspaper report:

Subsequent landmarks in the history of the school are [...] and the year 1926, when the Boys' School was transferred from its cramped quarters in Hong Kong islans to this fine site on the mainland. In May, 1926, the average attendance at the Diocesan Boys' School was 300. From March, 1927, to January, 1928, during the emergency which necessitated the despatch of the Shanghai Defence Force to China, these school buildings were let to the Military Authorities at very short notice for use as a hospital, in which eventually there were 450 beds, and the school itself was accomodated in temporary quarters in Nathan Road.

Page 5, Hong Kong Daily Press, 1929-11-04

Henry Ching asks if anyone knows:

a) Who owned the building, and for what use was it built?  It certainly looks as though it was intended to be residential flats.
 
b) Who occupied the building from the time it was completed in 1925 until DBS took it over in early 1927, and after DBS vacated it in early 1928? It was not until 1932 that the Police used it, for a training school, and there is no indication that it had anything to do with the Police until then.

I did a trawl through the Public Works Department's Annual Reports for 1925-32 yesterday, but didn't find any mentions of this site.

I didn't note the year it appeared, but in one of those reports there was a note like "several developments in Kowloon have halted due to the current conditions".

Another project that ran into trouble around that time was the Kai Tak development:

Kai-Tak Bund scheme commenced in 1916. It proceeded smoothly at first, but the wave of mass strikes in the 1920s and the Canton-Hong Kong Strike in 1925 ignited an economic recession so damaging that the scheme came to an abrupt halt.

http://hkmemory.org/kaitak/en/sub.html#&slider1=3

So I guess that whoever developed this building ran into similar financial problems, and the building ended up sitting empty or was forfeited to the government.

Can you add any more to its history?

Regards, David