1950s YMCA & The Peninsula Hotel | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1950s YMCA & The Peninsula Hotel

1950s YMCA & Peninsula Hotel

Where: This is the view across Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, looking at the YMCA [1] and the Peninsula Hotel [2]. They've been neighbours for ninety years.

When: The photo comes from a small set that was sold to tourists. Looking at some of the other photos in the set, they were taken in the early- to mid-1950s.

What: The YMCA is the older of the two buildings:


It opened in November 1925, with the Peninsula Hotel opening three years later in November 1928. The Hotel would have opened earlier, but it was delayed when the British Military Authorities used the new building as accommodation for soldiers in 1927.

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Here's a photo of the YMCA and Peninsula in 1930:

Peninsula Hotel 1930.JPG

The YMCA was extended in 1932, adding a west wing that included a swimming pool. The new wing is clear to see on this photo from the mid-1930s:

1930s TST and Hung Hom

At the opening ceremony for that new wing, Mr Shenton, President of the YMCA, mentioned the need for a second, east wing:

Having completed our scheme in connexion with the west wing, and having already found a real demand for all the facilities at our disposal, our thoughts naturally turn to an east wing. Our policy must always be one of conservative progress, for nothing is static—if we don’t go on we shall go back, and surely an Association such as ours should have a couple of wings.

Progress was indeed conservative. In the 1950s when the main photo was taken, the YMCA was still the same L-shaped, single-winged building it was in 1932.

Who: I noticed the people we can't see - there aren't any drivers in these cars:

Cars parked on Salisbury Road

In the 1950s the roads were still quiet enough to allow roadside parking along Salisbury Road. Not any more!

Gwulo photo ID: A293F - prints are available to order in the shop.


  1. YMCA, TST (First generation)
  2. The Peninsula Hotel

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These were the days when you could enjoy afternoon tea on the terrace and uninterrupted views of the harbour.