American Club [1984- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

American Club [1984- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 
1984-01-01

This was the location, along with the neighbouring Pacific View apartment complex, used for the tournament scenes in "Enter The Dragon".

In 1973 it was the location of a mansion - Palm Villa - and its expansive private grounds owned by M.W Lo. A famous Eurasian HK lawyer, in-law to Ho Tung and family friend of Bruce Lee (Lo & Lo were the original executors of his estate follwoing his death).

Photos that show this place

Comments

Hi Phil, do you know any more about this gentleman? Coincidentally we've just added a place for 103 Robinson Road, another grand mansion of his. He must have been a wealthy man.

From the net.

Mr M W Lo was a well-known solicitor who joined the family law firm in 1916 that was founded by Sir Man Kam Lo.

http://www.loandlo.com/2_about%20us.htm

He was also a distinguished tennis player:

http://www.tennishk.org/AboutUs/HKTAHallofFame/tabid/132/language/en-US/Default.aspx

That would explain the tennis courts!

 

I think I read somehere that he was one of the internees during the Japanese occupation.

Anyway, the fabulous aetse photoset on FLICKR has a picture of the mansion in Tai Tam, but no pictures of the grounds.

http://gwulo.com/node/4167

I have no idea when the photo was taken but the place was knocked down in 1983.


Phil, would you mind if I took over admin for this "place" as I have a wealth of new - and corrected - information.

Hi Annelise - just email me or post the info here and I will change it.

Cheers, Phil

 

Palm Villa, not the American Club was the location of the scenes in Enter the Dragon.  So the information should really go there, with "later at this location" showing up for the American Club.

Pacific View was built on the other side of the stream from the tennis courts, and so was not related to Enter the Dragon.

We could create a sub-place for "tennis courts of Palm Villa" - showing that one is now on the American Club property, and the other two overgrown on Government property.

As to personalities, that is tricky.  Since these are "places", I'm thinking that if someone is associated with more than one "place" , there should be a better way to cross reference it. In this case, several members of a family are associated with several nearby houses.   I have the same situation with the Lo family compound in Mid-Levels, and Ho Kom Tong having two houses, Hom Tong Hall and Sai Uk. 

In short, I think that perhaps this location should be just be about the American Club, with history placed in previous buildings on the property.

 

 

Palm Villa, not the American Club was the location of the scenes in Enter the Dragon.  So the information should really go there, with "later at this location" showing up for the American Club.

Annelise - I have no problem with this if you want to do that.

 

Pacific View was built on the other side of the stream from the tennis courts, and so was not related to Enter the Dragon. We could create a sub-place for "tennis courts of Palm Villa" - showing that one is now on the American Club property, and the other two overgrown on Government property.

I don't believe this is correct. I have an overlay that clearly shows the PV apartments occupy (at least) most of the site taken by the lower courts. Look at the aerial view and you can see that on the other side of the courts is Tai Tam Road -  I don't see how PV could have been squeezed into such a small space.

The only space I can see that is now on American Club property is the garden that used to be adjacent to the villa - which has subsequently (and perhaps ironically) been turned into a tennis court.

Additionally other parts of the estate were used for filming, not just the tennis courts.

 

In short, I think that perhaps this location should be just be about the American Club, with history placed in previous buildings on the property.

No Problem. I think this would be keeping with what David initially intended.

I think we are both right.  The tennis courts may not fit entirely in the area reserved for the round-the-island road, but I'm sure that if we went bushwacking we can find the courts that were not entirely eaten up by Pacific View.  If you have a machete, I'm game.

RBL 1086

Annelise - I would love you to be right, it would be great to find some of the old courts (especially the coral topped outer walls). It would be a boon for Bruce Lee fans like me. I have a scythe that has been good to me in chopping down other locations.

There is a green gate at the side of the road that leads down to the beach, as far as I am aware public access is allowed - I just need to find some time (the one thing I lack). Let's chat more on Thursday.

Phil

I might be guessing a bit here. Between the American Club and Pacific View, opposite the Manhattan, there is a stretch of Tai Tam Rd that has no sidewalk. There is a low wall followed by an odd green gate next to the American Club main entrance. Could that wall be a part of the outer garden wall of the original Palm Villa and the Green gate is where the original villa entrance was? I was always puzzled why American Club would build a second entrance so close to its main entrance. You can see it in Google street view.

Actually perhaps I should update this thread. Since it was written I have visited the club (courtesy of an invite) and managed to see pretty much all that remains of what were the grounds of the villa.

The main curved wall that used to surround the garden next to the villa remains and the space that was the garden is now a basketball court. It has an arched doorway in it close to the road - now bricked up - which was the entrance to the tennis courts. Although now it does have a brass plaque attached to it that mentions Bruce Lee and the film. There are also some remnants along the road side (probably including the gate you mention) and there is an circular outdoor toilet building outside of the main grounds of the club which although in a derelict condition is quite recognisable from the older photos of the estate.

I believe that this was used as a dressing room during the film shoot. It can be reached from the public pathway that runs down to the bay between Pacific View and the club (but it's bushwhacking time if you want to).

There is absolutely no trace of the tennis courts left. The bit of land between the club and pacific view - where the first court started - has been excavated and various gulleys and catchwaters have been put in and of course it is now completely overgrown with jungle. Even with the growth you can still see that the flat ground of the courts is no more and now the whole area just slopes down towards the beach.

For film context you can read a bit more here:

http://orientalsweetlips.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/a-visit-to-the-america...

Thank you very much for your latest post and the interesting and informative link. I've been living at Pacific View for over 20 years and had no idea of its claim to fame. It's truly been a revelation. I'll be sure to check out the round bathroom/changing room on the slope.

Check out 1949 photo here: http://gwulo.com/node/9870