Hi everybody -
Just discovered this site and have found it truly fascinating. A treasure trove of information for anyone interested or resident in Hong Kong - both past and present, and my thanks especially to David who seems to be doing a sterling job maintaining the site.
Now.... back in the 1960's to the mid 70's I lived in a charming 2-storey house - number 16 Bowen Road but had to move out because it was being sold for development . I think it was the last house on Bowen Road, a short walk from what we called Lovers' Rock. I have often wondered what happened to the site after I left so explored Google Earth and had a nostalgic 'walk' down Bowen Road, but my 'walk' ended abruptly at what was No.16 ! The block of 4 garages is still there, which I shared with No.14, and there seems to be a rest area where what was then the beginning of a concrete stairway leading up to the house. There's some construction work but Google doesn't seem to have any coverage of the construction site itself or anything further along Bowen Road. I think the part-pictured construction work must be fairly recent and not the original development for which I was 'evicted' in the 1970's.
Btw, snakes were quite common visitors to the house and garden. Bright green bamboo snakes often nestled in the hibiscus hedge, ground floor doors had to be kept closed because snakes had taken a liking for the kitchen smells (a golf club then came in handy) and a very large Burmese python regularly coiled itself around the base of big brown glazed ginger jar used as an umbrella stand just outside the front door. Snakes of various types and sizes got themselves stranded in a concrete nullah running down the hillside alongside the steps before wriggling their way out at the bottom. And there was a flock of about 6 white escaped cockatoos (or cockatiels ?) often perched in the jasmine tree at the top of the steps, probably with an eye on the feed my opposite neighbour put out for his chickens !
Some changes along the road, but still recognisable. Tried to identify the small clearing where I was introduced to early morning 'follow the leader' Tai Chi with the locals, who then were about the same age as I am now - is it still there, I wonder, and is there still an active Tai Chi gathering of seniors ?
Perhaps some fellow 'gwulo' can shed some light on the development at No.16 since the 1970's and any more news of Bowen Road - I would really appreciate it.
Regards to all.
re: Bowen Road
If you look at this map of the last few houses along Bowen Road, can you see where your no. 16 was?
Also were you north (downhill) or south (uphill) of the road, and how close to it?
Do you remember the house marked Caronia on the map? It is up the hill from the road - there's a path that leads up to it, though I've never been up there. It is no.17 Bowen Road, and according to "Names of buildings" it was built pre-1945.
Hello David - and thanks for that !
No.16 was on the south side. A flight of about 40 steps in a zigzag led up to the house from the road near the garages. From the gov map it looks like No.15 on the north side is on the site almost opposite me that kept those rather annoying chickens - cockadoodledoos at 5am !
No's 14 and 16 were identical 2-storey houses, but well apart - No.14, if I recall, being built slightly higher up the hillside and about 60/70 metres to the west with steps also leading up. It seems the numbering is in sequence irrespective of which side the houses are on - hence No.17 being also on the south side.
When I last looked at Google 'Earth' streetview there seemed to be definitely 'work in progress' on the site, but that was as far as it went.
Have just had another look at Google Earth Streetview - and have managed to read the contractors signboard - 'Residential Development, 16 Bowen Road/Architect Aedus/Structural Consultant Wong Cheng etc.etc. Can't make out the Chinese characters naming the building - but the rents will surely be astronomical to what I was paying back then !
The 4 garage doors are now blue - previously green.
Surprised they're still there and not demolished to shoehorn in yet another high-rise.
Now you've pinned down the location, I've changed this page to a Place to show where it was. If you can give any dates for when the building was built & demolished (even rough guesses are fine), I'll add them in. And any photos you have of the area in the 60s/70s are very welcome too!
Chickens and pythons on Bowen Road - hard to imagine now. I wonder if the two ever met?
A bit further west, and also on the south side, are 12B and 12C Bowen Road. I think they're the site where you describe 14 used to be. No doubt re-numbered to avoid an unlucky 4.
I think we'll have to start a guided tour of Hong kong's historic garages! A couple of other examples are at http://gwulo.com/node/8592 and http://gwulo.com/Gladdon.
16, Bowen Road
This is the GERROR: Image_assist macro refers to invalid node: 17041. oogle Streetview dated 01/09, looking west towards No.14.
I see that Bowen road is now designated as a Fitness Trail.
The 4 garages shared by No's. 14 & 16 are just beyond the lamp post.
The Residential Development then in progress shown on the left must now be completed.
Would love to know how it appears now !
A closer look at the 4 garages then shared between No.s 14 & 16.
The stairway with handrail just beyond the garages is where steps led up to No.14.
Walked up to Caronia today. It seems to be inhabited, even though it's a bear to get to it. There is some documentation where the owner of Caronia is requesting permission to intrude on Government land to build a road for cars up to Caronia.
16, Bowen Road
Many thanks for that, 'Uncle', and yes - I recall No.16 was the last on Bowen Road with vehicular access, and on Google Streetview (2009) I see a No Access Without Permit road sign at that point.
Btw, is the development at No.16 now complete ?
Application to the Town Planning Board
Online, it says the house is available to rent, although the access is by stairs,
the SCMP says it has been demolished?, and the site is for sale.
An application to build an "inclinater" up to the house, and 4 garages on Bowen road (on Government land) was refused in 1992. It required widening of Bowen road, and cutting down some trees in the green belt.
There is currently an application to the Town Planning Board to build a driveway up to the house so it can be redeveloped. Closing date for submissions in a couple of weeks, and a meeting in Town Planning Meeting in October.
16, Bowen Road
Hello, Marlowe - and thanks for that !
I can't help but hope Planning Permission is refused because that stretch of Bowen Road must be one of the few unspoiled paths left in mid-levels.
The article in the SCMP refers to Caronia, No.17 Bowen Road - but- wow- HK$380 million ..... wonder what my old place at No.16 went for !
14 Bowen Road
Hi I just pick up the link ... I used to live at 14 Bowen road .. the top flat .. and remember lovers rock and what I used to call the sandy patch where the pogoda was and the Ice cream guy used to be with his bike .. also the police shooting range below .. I will try and find some photos . ahhh the good old days
Think this is a pic of your Dad and Mum. Tony and Erika ?
No. 16 Bowen Road
For those who are no longer living in Hong Kong, No. 16 was the principle residence of a man called Chan Chun Chung. He was involved in the massive legal wrangling of the inheritence money (in the $$billions) of Nina Wang, the former head of Chinachem. He was later convicted on criminal fraud charges including forging a frudulant will and is now serving a jail sentence of 12 years. It was certainly a bit of "colouful" history of this house which had been demolished for a few years already (the site is still vacant). Recently another application was submitted to redevelop the site into a conjoined block of 2 houses. The site was reportedly sold for HK$380m at the end of last year to an unnamed buyer.
No.16 Bowen Road
Hi CHM - there seems to be some confusion here because the SCMP article reporting the sale of the property etc. (see the link in marlowe's previous post) refers to No.17 Bowen Road, not No.16.
Well I think SCMP got it wrong as it was No. 16 that was sold last year.
The owner of No. 17 put the 1945 mansion on the market in 2005 but failed to sell it. The asking price then was more than $100m. The main reason it wasn't sold... no vehicular access (I think). If you have been to that area, you know that your car would have to be parked in those garages before No. 16, and then walk up a flight of stairs... probably up 40+ steps to the landing of No. 17. That's why in the latest application to the Town Planning Board they are proposing to build a driveway to connect to Bowen Road.
You can find information about the proposed driveway at No. 17 and the redevelopment proposal at No. 16 here:
14 Bowen road
Wow that's right Tony and Erika both sadly gone now. I was back last year and saw where 14 was but now it's no 12 it looks hideous. I used to have lots of fun cycling along Bowen road after no 17 as no cars where permitted.
oh how I miss the good old days
15 Bowen Road
Wow, I just stumbled at this site and it sends a wave of nostagia. I remember I used to go to 15 Bowen Road every chinese new year to pay a visit to my great grand parents(1975-85). My grandpa used to live there too. The 4 garage are exactly opposite the mansion. I used to stay there when I was young, we raise chickens and we have a large garden beneath the house. Glad the mansion has not been demolished until today though it's very old and worn out.
How did you know my mum and dad ?
Thanks for your comments and I was just wondering how you knew my Mum and Dad ?
15 Bowen Road
I don't know your mom & dad but they must be neighbors with my great grand parents back in the 70s. According to your previous post your parents lived in 14 Bowen rd while my great grand parents lived in 15 Bowen rd. We might have bumped into each other back then cos I do cycle a lot around the area. I can still remember seeing snakes in the house.
Caronia Up for Sale
Only $600 million!
15 Bowen Road
I think 15 Bowen Road should worth more than 600 million now as it's between 8xxx-9000 sq ft. See pic attached!
PASTED IMAGE DELETED
#16 Bowen Road
Walked past it earlier today and it had already been demolished. All boarded up now but constrution appeared to be halted. #17 up the steps is still there but difficult to see. Just had a glimsp of light green wall through the vegetation. Here is a street view entry dated 2016. It was then partially demolished.
16 Bowen Road & !2B-12C Bowen Road
The 16 Bowen Road house (a 1980s vintage or so) impressive but also impressively ugly house was demolished years ago (2013, if I recall), after it was sold in the Nina Wang-Tony Chan tussle, already referenced in this thread. It has been a "construction site" since then, no idea when "construction" will resume or finish.
In happier circumstances, and also involving a Chan, there's Samuel Chan, who lives at 12B-12C Bowen Road and throws some amazing parties. Haven't been in years, but I assume he's still partying like it was 1999. I have pictures of parties I've been to there, but they are modern Hong Kong, so not sure it's "fair" to upload them to Gwulo.
But it's no secret, you can read about the parties here: https://www.scmp.com/article/562939/great-party-whose-pad
No 16 was replaced by a large
No 16 was replaced by a large 2-3 story house that started at road level .. when I visited in 2015 , the house had been partially demolished . Major works had been undertaken just to the right of the original stairs (behind the rest area ) to capture water run off and stop landslides . No 17 was recently sold for a huge amount of money .. they applied to have a drive way built ( just where the Lovers lane begins .. this originally was the viaduct that transported water from the filter beds at the top of Garden road .. and then onto Tai tam ( I think ) .. The request was refused as its all crown land in front of No 17 .. I lived at No 14 from 1955 -1960 .. The Webb's who moved in in 1958 , and were there well into the 1980's .. No 14 has been demolished and replaced by 2 modern homes ( Now 12a& 12 B ) .. one of which is the Seychelles Consulate .. this new building also starts at road level and coves the entire site including the 2 car spots .. directly infront of No 14 ( 12a &12b ) , you can still see the remains of the tiled floor of the original Pump house for the reservoirs below there ( betcha didn't know that under the Tennis courts were large filter beds.. ( there was also a reservoir under the park next to the 2nd Pagoda ( junction of Bowen Road and Wanchai gap ..,
No 17 Bowen Road
Hello David , I believe No 14 & No 16 were both built in the 1920's , as they both were very similar in appearance with arched coverings over the enclosed verandas .. No 17 was a similar looking structure .. No 15 was a newer home which I think was built in the 30's , and now has an enclosed terrace at the front of house , where they park their cars... they also had Chicken , Geese and Ducks in a concrete enclosure to the right of the house .. I used to love looking down and watching them from the road when I was 4 or 5years old ..
Bowen Road Viaduct
CHIZZIE54 wrote about the Bowen Road aqueduct and stated that "this originally was the viaduct that transported water from the filter beds at the top of Garden road .. and then onto Tai tam ( I think )". As far as I am aware, the flow of water was in the opposite direction. The Bowen Road Aqueduct was to deliver water from (I think) Wong Nai Chung reservoir to the filter beds on Garden Road. That was to ensure a good, clean water supply for the Central District, as far as I am aware. Does anyone know anything different? Sylvia Midgett stated elsewhere that Bowen Road was carefully designed so that the angle of decline was just right, in order to ensure the smooth flow of water from East to West.
The flow direction was from
The flow direction was from Tytam to the Albany Filter Beds (see here)
Many thanks for the correction on the direction of flow along Bowen road ..
For more information please read
Conduit from Tai Tam Reservoir to Albany [Filter Beds] [1887- ]
Tai Tam Conduit [1887- ]
Tai Tam Tunnel [1887- ]