Armand / Armend Building, Kowloon [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Armand / Armend Building, Kowloon [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished

Hello everyone, I am trying to find the exact location of the building in which my grandfather lived in 1933. It was 2A Armend Building, Kowloon. The building is mentioned as the address of a variety of others on gwulo.com, but I can’t pinpoint where it was. Could you possibly help?

Many thanks in advance! 

Photos that show this place

1926
1926
1953

Comments

The first mention of it on Gwulo is in the 1922 Jurors List, so I guess the building was completed shortly before that. And it was still listed in the 1948 Telephone directory, so it survived WW2. Another note says it was owned by Mr. Arratoon Vertannes Apcar, but no clues as to the building's location yet.

Buried way down the list of a Google search for 'Armend Kowloon' is an entry from a Chinese book published by the Commercial Press, for the first time in the early 1940s.  The link below lists a reprint of it that is on sale at the Commercial Press:

http://www.cp1897.com.hk/product_info.php?BookId=9789620756375&cl=english

On page 207, which looks like some sort of index, Armend Buildings is listed as being '(on Kimberly Road)'.  The whole book is written in Chinese, so I guess Armend Buildings did not have a Chinese name, necessitating the author to write in the English name instead.  See screen capture from Google books.  The other pages of this list is a kind of Chinese-English translation of all the street names, with some old names of the streets also.  There have been many occasions when we asked ourselves about old street names in Hong Kong.  This book seems to provide some sort of useful, vintage resource.

breskvar

Book page with Armend.jpg
Book page with Armend.jpg, by breskvar

 

 

 

Kimberley Road is a good step forward. I can't find any mentions of its street number online, so one option would be to visit the PRO and look at the Rate Books for Kimberley Road around the 1930s to see if it is listed.

Yes, nothing much is available online. If one looks at this map of Kimberley Road from 1924, it may be the building on the junction with Carnarvon Road  i.e. on the eastern side. Given that the road was not fully developed with buildings, it was not necessary to have a street number attached to Armend Buildings.

That's a good point - there aren't any other large buildings along Kimberley Road at the time, so that should be it. I've put a marker there, but if anyone can add further proof of its location it will be good to see.

I compared two maps, one from 1949 (http://www.hkmaps.hk/map_1949.html) and another from 1952 (http://www.hkmaps.hk/map_1952.1.html). 

The one from 1949 shows the layout of Kimberley Road similar to pre-war photos, with the oblong Armend Buildings standing on its own in the street corner.  There is a building opposite it.

1949.jpg
1949.jpg, by breskvar

The one in 1952 shows two small thin buildings standing in its place, one at the street  corner and another down the road.  I surmise Armend Buildings were demolished between these two dates.  

breskvar

1952.jpg
1952.jpg, by breskvar

If one zooms in, this aerial view shows the development and buildings on Kimberley Road.

On reflection of life in Tsim Sha Tsui from a Macanese/Portuguese resident as noted here, "Kimberley Road was somewhat different from other avenues in Tsim Sha Tsui. There were more high-rise apartments here - Luna Building, Armand (sic) Building, and even a small high-rise hotel. Not too many Macanese lived on Kimberley Road then. On Kimberley Road, there was a row of red brick terrace-like houses, beginning at the corner of Carnarvon Road and Kimberley Road." 

From the desrciption above, it would appear that Armend Building would have been a "high-rise" building - perhaps on the north side of Kimberley Road. I guess Luna Building would be today's Luna Court.

1931 Aerial view of TST
1931 Aerial view of TST, by eternal1966c1

1926 Kimberley Road
1926 Kimberley Road, by Eternal1966

Both spellings were in use for several years. In the 1923 Jurors List that we've recently finished typing, five jurors give "Armand Building(s)" as their address, while two go for the "Armend" spelling.

The building in the 1926 photo matches the building on the left below.

1953 Junction of Kimberley and Carnarvon Roads
1953 Junction of Kimberley and Carnarvon Roads, by Eternal1966

Good detective work, I've linked the two photos of the old buildings to this page.

Hello - I've just seen these comments. Thank you very much for your help. I didn't quite follow. Did you think that the building in the two photographs left and centre, above, are the Armend Building? 

It is known that the Armend Building was on Kimberley Road. After investigation through maps etc , it is probable that the Building as shown below occupied a large lot commencing from the junction of Kimberley and Carnarvon Roads. If you can provide further information, that will be appreciated.

1926 Kimberley Road
1926 Kimberley Road, by Eternal1966

How about also finding information about ‘Armand’?

It’s a French name. The building must have been named after someone. Was the individual a missionary, a philanthropist, a politician, a merchant etc from the 19th century with connections to the Far East?

Armand Joseph Braga (1900-1968), the first minister of health in Singapore, though born in Singapore, had part of his education in Queen’s College, Hong Kong. He is too young to have the building named after him, but is there a link with the nascent Portuguese community in Tsim Sha Tsui, the well-known Portuguese Braga (or other Portuguese or Macanese) family and an Armand individual, which gave rise to the buildings name? For example, José Braga (1871-1944) was a pupil at St Xavier’s College, a leading Jesuit school in Calcutta (after his initial formative education in Hong Kong at St Joseph’s) and its then Rector was Fr Armand Neut.

Rugosa, its worth running through that article linked by moddsey as it listed a lot of Portuguese family names living in the vicinity. See if there is any familiar familial or friendly links to your family.

“On Kimberly Road there was a row of red brick terrace like houses beginning at the corner of Carnarvon Road and Kimberly Road.  Few will remember that it was here that the Maryknoll nuns had their first school – (in the early 1930s?) -whilst the nuns stayed on premises on Austin Road-near Nathan Road -  This became the Tak Sun School much later.”

Thank you very much again! I'll follow up the Armend Building.