Chitose Hotel / Tung Chi College, 15A Kennedy Road [1915-1993] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Chitose Hotel / Tung Chi College, 15A Kennedy Road [1915-1993]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
1915-01-01
Date Place demolished: 
1993-01-01

Dates are approximates based on available info. any more exact dates appreciated.

[30 May 2017 Update: adjusted location, and edited address from 15 to 15A.]

Photos that show this place

1956
1958
1993

Comments

Site still exists, soon most likely to be demolished for Hopewell Centre 2. Accessible via the stairs to the left of Hung Shing Temple on Queen's Road, or from Kennedy Road near the Canossan school. Anyone know more precise dates or who owned the original mansion before the private school took it over?

Here's some more information about this place in Chinese or translated into English by Google.

The page is part of the Wanchai Livelihood Museum website.

The mansion previously belonged to Ho Fook, Sir Robert Hotung's brother.

tngan writes:

The site used to be 同濟中學/Tung Chai Middle School.  The school used to look somethng like this.  Plese scroll down a bit for the photo of the school.  

They used to have an entrance on Kennedy Road too, which was approximately here.

pkaspac writes:

I always thought the site location of the Hopwell II development was No:15 Kennedy Road, whose owner built a huge mansion overlooking Hong Kong harbour in the 1920's. Apparently there is little trace of the original building  today. It would be nice to see what the original bulding looked like.

I have been trying to get a copy of the RAS publication Hong Kong:Going and Gone to see whether it would have a photograph of 15 Kennedy Road. Can anyone help me?

IDJ replies:

There is nothing listed for Kennedy Road in my 1980 edition of the RAS publication. All the residences listed are in the Mid-Levels & Western District,    ie Bonham Road, Robinson Road, Hollywood Road etc

C writes:

[15 Kennedy Road was] the residence of WOO Hay Tong (胡禧堂), the father of the late WOO Pak Chuen (胡百全, lawyer, ExCo and LegCo member). After the Woo family moved out, the house was the location of an art exhibition in 1987, and was the set of some films in the late 1980s. WOO Hay Tong was murdered by his nephew in 1932, and the content of his will is found in the Dec. 1, 1932 issue of the Hongkong Telegraph. It is interesting to note that he wanted his estate to be invested until 21 years after the death of his last surviving children and grandchildren who were born before his death.

The address of Tung Chi College is 15A Kennedy Road, not 15 Kennedy Road (which was WOO Hay Tong's house).  Please see Figures 5 and 6 (pages of the college magazine) on this Chinese web page:  http://cds.sev227.001at.com/WLM/tour/history_reference/ref_tungchicolleg...)

Thanks for clarifying this. Have you seen any maps or photos that show where the two buildings stood? I'd like to make separate Places for them and put their markers in the right location.

They might be visible in this photo. If you zoom in to the top-left corner, it shows 64 Kennedy Road with its distinctive round tower:

http://gwulo.com/node/1494

Regards, David

this photo from 1971 may shed some light on the area: http://goo.gl/XzHili This aerial shot from 1982 shows two mansions adjacent to Hopewell Centre http://goo.gl/14yw1I

Hi David and 80sKid,

Thank you for the photos.  I have only seen No. 15 when passing through that section of Kennedy Road in cars.  From 80sKid's photo, No. 15 is just to the left of the middle of Hopewell Centre, seemingly having two "square domes" (don't know the right terminology for that type of roof top).  The building complex might have extended around the curve, so the building on Kennedy Road at the edge of the photo was likely part of 15 Kennedy Road.  Just to the west, there were stairs that went down the hill, with the sign "Tung Chi College", so I never saw the Tung Chi College building from Kennedy Road.  I hope this description is not too confusing!

another shot here. Clearly shows two mansions off Kennedy Road between Hopewell Centre and St Francis Canossian College. One is Tung Chi College - what's the other one? http://goo.gl/1Kn9Xg

Thanks 80sKid!  I found a map and some photos from a Chinese forum (Uwants.com): http://trade.uwants.com/viewthread.php?tid=9783513&extra=&page=252

The building marked "15A" on the map is the one that I thought was part of the No. 15 Kennedy Road complex.  It seemed like a two-storey servants' quarters.  Tung Chi College was further west.

In the photograph with two red boxes, the red box on the left is 15 Kennedy Road, while the red box on the right is Tung Chi College.

Thank you C and 80sKid for helping to clear up this confusion.

Looking at the photographs you can now see the building structures which use to sit on 15 Kennedy Road as well as where Tung Chi College is sited. 

Sadly Hopewell II will totally erase the historical past of the area without conserving any architectural elements of buildings which use to sit there.

One wonders how long Nam Koo Terrace will be preserved before the temptation to to demolish it sets in.

Hi pkaspac,

You are welcome!  Old Wan Chai was mostly gone by the late 1990s.  Preserving a building or two does little to preserve the character of the area.  I just hope Nam Koo Terrace will not become another 1881.

Unfortnately I am still not able to find a clear photo of 15 Kennedy Road.  I believe the Royal Asiatic Society had commissioned a survey of old Wan Chai buildings in the early 1980s, after a similar survey of Sai Ying Pun was published in "Hong Kong Going and Gone, Volume 1".  At some point (ten years ago?), the photographs and information went missing, and I am not sure if they were eventually found.

I think this may be the building everyone is referring to?

I was doing some film location tracking for Emmanuelle 2 (filmed in 1975) and this building was used to portray a ballet school.

https://flic.kr/p/bpv1Bn

Hi philk,

Yes, this is 15 Kennedy Road.  Thank you for finding the photo, and thanks to Mr. Tse for taking the photo decades ago.

The next photo in the photostream is 15A Kennedy Road, but the wall had both "15A" and "15B" painted.  I always assumed that this building was part of the 15 Kennedy Road complex.

Interestingly, Tung Chi College is further to the west and down the hill, but its address is also 15A Kennedy Road.  I am not sure why.

Tung Chi College was first located in Hennessy Road and later Wanchai Road. It was reopened at No.6 Hau Fung Lane (that was later commonly known as No.15A Kennedy Road) after the end of WWII. A letter with letterhead No. 6 Hau Fung Lane written to Colonial Secretary by Headmaster in 1949 was kept in Public Records Office. Yet,  we (my friends and I) got no idea why the school address was intentionally changed afterwards.  Anyone can make a guess.

I've updated the location and address for this page, and made a separate page for number 15.

One of Fred Evans's photos shows this area. I've cropped and annotated a section:

1950s Kennedy Road
1950s Kennedy Road, by Fred Evans

Am I right to say that "c" is Number 15,  and "e" is the Tung Chi College at Number 15A?

Also, does anyone know which year the Tung Chi College moved into this building?

 Not exactly know which year and month moved in. Guess it was 1946 from a school handbook cover photo showing a student in her 2nd semester of 1946.  I believed she can wake up late for school as she lived at No.5 Hau Fung Lane.

Not sure if the info I typed not saved. Retyped again.

c: No.15 Kennedy Road (Woo Hay Tong's residence)

d. No.15A Kennedy Road (believed annex block of No.15)

I wish anyone (i.e.decendents of Woo Hay Tong) can tell me the purpose of 15A. 

e. Former Tung Chi College (No.6 Hau Fung Lane, later commonly known as 15A Kennedy Road)

Before WWII it was Chitose Hotel

 

This plot of land is Inland Lot 2070. The name Chitose suggests a Japanese connection, and that's confirmed by a couple of entries in the PWD Annual reports:

  • 1915: Item 46, under Works commenced lists "Forming sites for building operations : — I.L. 2070, Ship Street;"
  • 1916: Item 46, under Works completed lists "Japanese Hotel, I.L. 2070, Hau Fung Lane."

I think I've read that Japanese residents of Hong Kong were all moved to a hotel on Kennedy Road at some point, and wondered if it was this one. Does anyone else know the story?

U did a quick search. And I  guess u are talking about the time after Marco Polo bridge incident of 7th July 1937. Just know Japanese residents of Hong Kong side were moved to Japanese school at kennedy road. I still try to dig out if chitose hotel or chitose Kwan hotel were also the places the residents stayed during this time.

Thanks, the year is the clue I'd forgotten. The events are described on page 259 of the book China, Britain and Hong Kong, 1895-1945:

[...] The day following the murders arrangements were made to gather the Japanese from the outlying districts and place them in certain specified areas such as the Japanese Primary School, the Chitose Hotel in Hong Kong and a number of locations in Kowloon. These places were put under heavy military or police guard. [...]

In newspaper reports from the 1990s onwards, the Chitose Hotel and nearby Nam Koo Terrace are usually related to comfort women (forced into prostitution for the Japanese military) during the Japanese occupation. However, expert Tim Ko is of the opinion that Chitose Hotel is a geisha venue. The building labelled 'd' in the above photo is likely 62 Kennedy Road on the south side of the road, just to the west of 15 Kennedy Road. In the 1980s, 62 Kennedy Road was a 4-storey building with a rattan furniture store on the ground floor. I thought it was an odd location for such a store as there is very few pedestrians.

So apparently my immediate family member lived on this property in the house right next to 15 Kennedy road. His family owned the property (Woo).

According to him, who I just showed the picture to, this is NOT the properties. The names you all described are correct, but the location in the picture is not. 

Hi starlitmornings, thank you for your comment. Do you or your family member Mr. Woo have any photos to share? Also, by 'the house right next to 15 Kennedy Road', do you mean this one? https://www.flickr.com/photos/38679411@N07/6829507177/in/photostream

Hi C,

The link provided is not functioning. Please provide a new link. Thanks

Hi pkaspac,

Thank you for pointing it out.  This is the correct link.  The building in the photo seems to be an outbuilding (garage and/or servants' quarters) of 15 Kennedy Road.  "15A" and "15B" were painted on the wall.  It is confusing that at various times, this building and Tung Chi College further west had the address "15A Kennedy Road".

There were some discussions on Facebook in late 2020 about these buildings. Simply do a search using "堅尼地道15號" (15 Kennedy Road in Chinese)..

I think "C" should be Number 15 because a few years ago I watched a movie called "The 82 Tenants" (1982), it was something about a group of people living in a old building which located in Wan Chai, and the old building was really close to Hopewell Centre.

Below is the link of some screenshots of the building (included the house number plate - No.15). Please feel free to take a look :)
https://ibb.co/swDXv7t

 Thanks for introducing this movie.  See a lot of scenes of old 15 Kennedy Road mansion.