1902: "The Queen Victoria Jubilee Monument and the Hongkong Club"
Where: It's the view across Statue Square , with Queen Victoria's statue  in the foreground, and the Hongkong Club  beyond.
Between the two we can see an untidy patch of land. It would get worse before it got better, as by 1909 the area had acquired a brick oven, two simmering cauldrons of coal tar, and ...
"an unsightly conglomeration of ramshackle and tattered matsheds, piles of rotting poles, odds and ends of old timbers, untidy heaps of granite chippings, weed-grown stacks of bricks; cook-houses— other outhouses —all the stagnant squalor which collects in a builder’s yard. "
By then the end was in sight, and once the nearby building projects were completed, the area was finally grassed over.
After the First World War, it was chosen as the ideal site for the new war memorial, and Hong Kong's Cenotaph  was erected there:
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When: The photo was taken in 1902 by R C Hurley  for his book, Views of Hong Kong.
What: The oldest of the temporary buildings  is over on the left, originally built as the office for the Praya Reclamation.
On the right of the building site there's a steam-powered crane on a short length of railway track.
Was the steam engine also connected to the wheels, or did it just power the lifting so that the crane had to be moved by muscle-power?
There's another short length of railway track over on the seafront. It would make sense for the two railway lines to be connected, so the crane could be used to unload building materials from boats at the harbour wall. Unfortunately the low building is in the way, so we can't see if that was the case.
There's another steam crane out in the harbour.
I believe that is working on the project to extend the Naval Dockyard, either dredging, or lowering stone blocks into position to build the new sea wall.
Beyond that, the white ship is HMS Tamar.
When the dockyard extension is finished, Tamar will move into its new home there. It will be moored along the west side of the dockyard's new tidal basin.
Who: A couple of rickshaw pullers are outside the entrance to the Club, waiting for customers.
What else can you see in this photo?
Gwulo image ID: NDA07
- Statue Square
- Queen Victoria's statue
- The Hongkong Club
- Minutes of the Legislative Council Meeting for 2nd December, 1909
- The Hong Kong Cenotaph
- R C Hurley
- Temporary buildings in Statue Square
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