Chik Lo, 70 Tai Hang Road [c.1938-c.1961] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Chik Lo, 70 Tai Hang Road [c.1938-c.1961]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1938-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1961-12-31 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

[Update March 2019: Serene has identified the building in the comments below.]

The building is near the  centre of this 1947 photo:

File2303.jpg
File2303.jpg, by Jim Watkins

It's a big building, with what looks like a semi-circular wall around the downhill edge.

Does anyone know what it was? 

The current building on the site is Trafalgar Court. If you zoom in on the satellite view below, it looks to cover the same area as the old building and also has a curve to its downhill side:

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Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi there, That would seem to be the predecessor of the present day Trafalgar Court. From Google Map it also seem they have kept the roundish perimeter wall or terrace. T https://goo.gl/maps/KBMTW

I think, the mystery building can be seen here on the upper right hand side. Probably it's not the rounded house with the balonies (this should be Grandview Mansions  - first occupied January 1955) but the smaller one on a round platform.

View towards Tiger Balm Gardens
View towards Tiger Balm Gardens, by Stephen Chadwick

On another photo, shot in the opposite direction, the mystery house should be right of the pagoda (at the bend of Tai Hang Road).

 

Tiger Balm Gardens pagoda-1949
Tiger Balm Gardens pagoda-1949, by IDJ

The photo below shows the platform being demolished c1980 at top centre right. Fits with the completion of Trafalgar Court in 1984

1980 - view from Lai Tak Tsuen
1980 - view from Lai Tak Tsuen, by Cliff Atkins

Probably the round structure was built as a support for bigger houses to be erected there. On the 1947 photo, there is a house near Tai Hang Road, the the area on top of the structure is almost empty (or only small houses are there - hard to see).

File2303.jpg
File2303.jpg, by Jim Watkins

Seen from a different angle, it should be visible here (right hand of the pagoda):

Tiger Balm Gardens pagoda-1949
Tiger Balm Gardens pagoda-1949, by IDJ

In the early 1960's, it was demolished and a new building was erected (around 1962)(right hand on the hill) :

1962 Typhoon Shelter
1962 Typhoon Shelter, by Eternal1966

It can be seen in this 1964 one (in the center on the hill):

1964 Victoria Park1
1964 Victoria Park1, by Eternal1966

Although not 100% sure, I think we had three houses on this lot. One existed till about early 1960's, then one from about 1963 to about 1982, and then Trafalgar Court was built and occupied in 06/1984. I believe the round structure on the 1947 photo is not a house but a support/platform for buildings.

(Updated after David's comment).

 

On June 17th, 1935, a land sale auction was announced for IL4223 (32.700 sq.ft.). This is the lot where Trafalgar Court currently stands. (source: Hong Kong Government Reports Online). I couldn't find any information on the sale or any building activities. 

Possibly, after the sale during 1935, works started to build the round structure (platform) and a first building was erected 1937-39 (a guess only). Any further plans to build more houses were probably stopped due the war and Japanese occupation.

See this photo from 1945:

Tai hang 1945
Tai hang 1945, by Blue-yonder

As posted earlier, after demolition of the building mentioned, two more houses were built on this lot in the next years. I will create place for them.

Peter's aerial photo gives a good view of this area as it looked in 1939. The building below Tai Hang Road is behind the cross-hairs mark on the photo:

Tai Hang Road
Tai Hang Road, by Admin

Hi David, well spotted at the very edge of Peter's aerial photo. From this angle it looks as if a house is standing near the road, and below it there is an round open space. Either a garden or the platform for another building. Probably this structure (with the round retaining wall) is the mystery building and not the house standing above it.

Regards, Klaus

Hello, my name is Serene Ford (Wan). The house was not a mystery to me at all. I was born and lived in the house from 1955 to 1961. The house was owned by my grandfather Dr. Wan Chi Hang. He build the house in the 1930s. The round structure was the retaining wall. On top of the wall was a tennis court and gardens. It was a western style interior with green Chinese tiled roof. It was a huge house for me and huge gardens. It was big to me because I was only a small child. I can provide more informations to solve this mystery.

Hi Serene,

thank you for your post. We were quite sure already that the round structure was a retaining wall, but - of course - we don't know anything about the building so far. So we would be happy if you would tell us more about the building and its history.

Regards, Klaus

Hi Klaus I am so excited that you are interested in the house. Currently I am living in Victoria BC Canada. My Mother and my siblings are living in Vancouver BC Canada. I will ask my mom for more informations. I will look for old photos about the house. It was my favorite house, lots of good memories. My parents were married in the house in 1949. Too bad my grandfather decided to build an apartment block on the site. Thanks Serene

Hi Serene, it's great to hear from someone with firsthand knowledge of the building, and I'm looking forward to seeing the photos.

Please could you also ask your mother what name the building was known by? Then I can update the title for this page.

Regards, David

Hi David, the name of the house is Chik Lo. It means Wan Chik Hing's residence. Attach is the link of my grandfather's biography, he was on the board of director of Hong Kong Sanatorium Hospital (Yeung Wo) from 1933 to 1971. http://hkmd1841-1941.blogspot.com/2013/09/wan-chik-hing-1922-1948.html. I will look for photos during Easter weekend in Vancouver. When I looked in your website, I found 10 Garden Terrace. My grandparents, my father and his siblings resided at 4 Garden Terrace before they moved into 70 Tai Hang Road. My grand uncle and grand auntie lived there until the passing of my grand uncle in 1970s. David Lam See-Chai Lam and his father Chi Fung Lam resided on Garden Terrace as well. I don't know what no.they resided. My father grew up with the children together from 1925. David Lam became 25th Lieutenant Governor of British columbia from 1988 to 1995. www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/david-see-chai-lam. Thanks Serene

Thanks Serene, I've updated the name.

There are some more Garden Terrace photos at https://gwulo.com/node/5964/photos

Regards, David