20 Severn Road [1922- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

20 Severn Road [1922- ]

Current condition: 
In use
Date Place completed: 

20-22 Severn Road
Proposed Grading: II

Established between 1922 and 1923, the mansion at No. 20 Severn Road was first owned by Mr. F.R.J. Adams. Being an architect in Little, Adams & Wood, he might have also designed it by himself. With lavish and elegant designs of Italianate Renaissance architecture, the mansion was purchased by the family of Ma Ka Chan in 1989 and was later transferred to the Hong Kong Government in 1997.



Photos that show this place



The official residence at 19 Severn Rd is a 1950's era box with no personality. 

If the owner of 20 Severn Rd is going to demolish it - we should make a trade with him, and let him knock down the ugly #19, and save the nice E20 for the people of Hong Kong.

All in favour - say Aye

There are some 1950s era, box-style houses on Peak Road still standing.  I don't think they look that bad.  16 or 18 Peak Road is similar.

It would be an expensive trade!  No. 19 looks like a much smaller plot of land.  No. 20 and 22 are a combined 40,000 sq. ft. (land).  The owner can probably build 20,000 sq. ft. of floor area, maybe five houses of 4,000 sq. ft. each that sell for $250 million or more.

One of the most iconic houses on Victoria Peak has been demolished, namely 20 Severn Road. Why? Since it was built around 1923 it was an unmistakable white, majestic mansion that was visible as far away in downtown Kowloon. It was the second highest house on Victoria peak - she was a paragon of her time, off-white; clear, symmetric lines and beautiful proportions. Inside her rooms were enourmous yet simple and pleasant, parquet floors and a sweeping stairway to the upper story.

For me it was my daily beacon when at school at King George Vth School around 1962.  I made the trek from the White Lady down to the Star ferry, to school every school day and back for three years. We lived there and enjoyed the best view in the world for that unique time. I was planning to return to see her and Hong Kong in 2020, now she's gone I won't. Someone simply decided to erase her to the ground, along with her neighbour, number 21, another house that proudly represented an age that has gone by.

Number 20 Severn Road however suffered a terrible old age - looking at pictures of her around 2010 - she was painted yellow, had exterior additions added, ruining her simple lines and had pompous balustrades placed on top along the roof and on the additions. The house was 'tarted' up to look like a hybrid of italianate renaissance and baroque, both badly interpreted. How deeply sad to see.

I would love to hear from anyone there who knows more of her history and what happened to her after 1965. I have pictures from this lovely lady from around 1962 to share if people are interested. 

Yes, please post the photos