Club Germania (German Club) (Wyndham St - 2nd location) / French Hotel / Hotel America / Baltimore Hotel / Nippon Club / College Chambers [1872-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Club Germania (German Club) (Wyndham St - 2nd location) / French Hotel / Hotel America / Baltimore Hotel / Nippon Club / College Chambers [1872-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
1872-01-01

1872 - Wyndham St at Wellington Street

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Photos that show this place

Comments

Later the building was used for the Nippon Club and Baltimore Hotel

Hi Annelise, great shot. If we're showing any more photos from Wellcome (and I suspect we will), let's link back to the page the image appeared on, and not just the image. Here's the link for that page after I ran a search - let's see if the link works long-term, or if it expires like some other sites we've seen.

http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTI...

That'll make it easier for viewers to trace the source, and likely better meet Wellcome's attribution requirements.

Regards, David

The Phoenix Club had its origins in the Hongkong Bowling Club, which was founded in 1898... the bowling alleys were formerly situated in No. 1, Wyndhan Street, but (in 1902) they were able to lease the old premises of the German Club on the opposite side of the same street.

eBook - read the original - Twentieth Century Impressions of Hongkong, Shanghai, and other Treaty Ports of China - published 1908

Daniel found this photo:

Hotel America
Hotel America, by danielwettling

And Moddsey tracked down the dates:

From HKGRO and HKPL - Address; 2 Wyndham Street. Eastern corner of Wyndham St. and Queen's Road Central. Appears to have been a boarding house. Short-lived operation between 1904 and 1905 and went into bankruptcy. I think another boarding house of a different name existed on the site thereafter.

The German Club a building in the Gothic style stood behind the A, P. C. building facing Wyndham Street and was sold when the Club moved into the spacious building on Kennedy Road when completed. The latter is now St. Joseph's College.

 

Another club, the history of which should prove interesting, is the Club Germania. I have a note that this Club was first housed in Ice House Lane ( now the southern portion of Ice House Street ) and then it was known as the Club Concordia later going to Wyndham Street. A quarter of a century ago the Club Germania was still in the Wyndham Street ( Flower Street as it was then known ) on a site where On Lan Street is now. Afterwards they removed to a palatial building in this Kennedy Road. After the war this building was occupied by St. Joseph's College

 

Finally, it might be noted that the Club Germania was flourishing as a social institution of the Colony in the early Sixties. The premises in Wyndham Street, were opened on February 2, 1872, and the building is described in an old chronicle as a fine structure of Gothic design. Tenement property now stands on its site.The following from the Hongkong Times of November 4 1873, is interesting: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy may be called a trite saying but in this instance and for our purpose it is applicable to our German residents in the Colony, who essay in occasional dramatic representation for the gratification of their numerous admirers and friends galore, in their bijou Theatre at the German Club. Such occured last night when we need scarcely add, all the available seats were taken The piece put up was Good Morning Mr. Fishher.”

 

The following summary of the Club's history is from the SCMP of November 27, 1909 which notes the attainment of the golden jubilee:

 

This date fifty years ago, a small band of pioneers from the Fatherland, who at that period had to contend with many difficulties owing to the fact that the German Empire had not then been founded and the German states, were practically unrepresented in China, conceived the need of an institution which they could discuss business if they cared to and where social intercourse could be promoted and ties of close intimacy established. They put their heads together, and started the Club Germania.

 

It was a very modest building lying on the way to Wanchai, yet it served their purpose at that time, and great was the joy of our German cousins when they had a home of their own in this far distant part: of the world. German commerce developed, and in the natural course of events the German community and the membership of the new Club increased In a few years larger rooms were necessary, and choice fell upon what was at time called the French Hotel; now known as College Chambers (at the top of Wyndham Street opposite the Bishop's House, near St. Paul's College) Here the Club was admirably housed for a time, but about thirty-five years ago, (1874) the growth of membership loudly called for another change of venue. Accordingly those commodious premises now occupied by the Phoenix Club in Wyndham Street (almost opposite the present Morning Post Building) were adapted to the equivalents of the Club Germania, and most excellent and central they were. Many happy evenings were spent there. The older members love to recall the joys and sorrows which, were discussed in its comfortable rooms during the many years occupation of the old house in Wyndham Street.

 

There the club prospered, and membership increased so rapidly that it was reluctantly considered advisable to build a new club house, one which would combine, on a grander scale all the requirements for recreation, and social intercourse with apartments for resident members. This elaborate scheme was rendered practicable in 1901-1902 by the kindly aid of the German firms and great sacrifices by the members themselves. A large plot of land near to and above the lower Peak Tram station was purchased and there the new club stands - an ornament among the architectural features of Hongkong  (now occupied by St. Joseph's College) The building cost $15000 and a heavy financial burden was thrown upon the members This however, has been cheerfully borne, and by the sound principle of paying off debentures every year the club stands today in a financial condition which rebounds to the credit of its 150 members. The new Club in which today’s celebration takes place was opened at noon on the 31 December 1902, by Mr. G. Harling, the then president in the presence of a large and distinguished gathering.

 

The Club Germania became vacant during the late war, and was subsequently taken over by St. Joseph's College which still occupies the premises, having been in possession since 1918. Since the war, the German community have again formed a club in Hongkong having taken rooms, in the Telegraph Co’s. building ( next to the Hongkong,Club ) facing Connaught Road.

 

I give today an interesting extract from an old record which  describes the actual premises. It is dated February 1, 1872, and refers to the handsome building erected for the German Club, of which Messrs. Wilson and Salway are the Architects The account continues:

 

It is built of brick and is of Gothic design covering an area of 116 feet, 10 inches (Wyndham Street front) by 100 ft. It contains the following rooms on the ground floor; One billiard room 40 by 25 feet containing two tables, and one 30 by 26 feet 6 inches with one table , a reading room 40 by 25 feet; with a bar room, lavatories, etc. The height of the floor is 19 feet, and the entrance hall, which is paved with marble tiles in two colours measures 30 by 25 feet. Upstairs there are:- a drawing room 3O by 26 feet, a dining room 40 by 23 feet, a concert hall or theatre 75 by 35 feet, 30 feet in ehgith and giving ample accommodation for 275 persons with room for gangways, etc. The stage in this room (the acoustic properties of which are very superior) is 22 feet wide and 26 feet high. The scenery is from Germany, the stage being 27 in depth by 35 in width. The gas fittings of the building are from England.

 

The verandah on the North front is 12 feet wide paved with marble tiles. Attached to the club is a bowling saloon 30 feet wide by 113 long, giving room for 4 alleys; the pins and balls have been obtained from the United States.

 

The building rests on a stone foundation on piles and concrete with a dressed stone plinth. The superstructure is of brick and hardwood alone is used in the beams and fittings. The staircase is lighted with a sunlight and brackets the concert hall having one 40-light corona, two 27 point starlights and 12 brackets. The roof has iron ridging. The furniture in the reading room has been presented by Mr Melchers, The whole building has been completed in 16 months at a cost of about $20,000. We may heartily congratulate both the architects and the future occupants of the club on this very elegant addition to our public buildings.

 

It is further recorded that the new clubhouse was to be formally opened the following day, February 2, 1872.

 
 
Source: Old Hong Kong by Colonial Vol 1