French Bank Building [c.1926-1963] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

French Bank Building [c.1926-1963]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1926-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1963-06-30 (Month, Day are approximate)

5, Queen's Road Central. The southern end of Marine Lot 102.

 

Comments

In the Feb 1963 Lands Department aerial photos this building has been half demolished

Maps from the 1950s and early 60s show this named "French Bank Building", eg:

1950s Map of Central District
1950s Map of Central District, by Moddsey

I'm not sure yet if it was a different building from the Victoria Building, or the same building re-named. 

I'm trying to put together a complete history for this city block and what I have discovered for this lot so far is:

 

xxxx- 1924 Victoria buildings. On the HK land maps pre 1924 ML102 is shown as a single lot called the Victoria Buildings. I have assumed there were two possibly connected buildings one facing Queens Road the other the Praya. I have assumed 1924 as the demolish date as this is when HK land moved out and subsequent late 1920's/early 1930s photos show a new much taller office block on this site

 

c1925 - 1963 'French Bank Building'. The replacement for the victoria Buildings approximately 6 stories tall. The Bank of Canton was constructed on the Des Voeux Road north facing side at the same time. I have also seen this building referred to as the Hang Chong building in the late 1950s so I wonder if the name was changed before redevelopment of the site after the Hang Chong group purchased the property

 

Hang Chong Building 1965- 1994. HK land tried to buy this building in the 1980s so they could develop the whole block up to HSBC as a single building. I assumed 1994 as the demolish date as the Henley building started construction in 1995.

 

Henley House 1997 - Present: The current occupant of the site

 

The early history of the site is obscure. What happened a lot in the 1860's and 1870s is that extra stories and verandas were added to existing buildings rather than a complete demolish and rebuild. Is this then the same building?  A good photo of the original building in 1860 is here, labelled N.

 

 

I've found an article that gives some background on the Victoria Buildings, and made new Places for them then changed this page to be the Place for the French Bank Building.