Victoria View Terrace [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Victoria View Terrace [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

http://www.grs.gov.hk/PRO/imgroot/8-18/8-18-7.jpg

Victoria View was on Hankow Road - originally on the beach.  In the photo above of the Kowloon Hotel from 1924 (after a reclamation) - the Victoria View can be seen in the far left.   Trace the line of the old road in front of Signal Hill, and you will see that it runs through the front of the 7 story Kowloon Hotel.

Photo Caption: Kowloon Hotel on the corner of Hankow Road and Middle Road Salisbury Road and Blackhead Point (now Signal Hill Garden) in the background, 1924.

PRO - File  HKRS58-1-98-23         
Kowloon Inland Lot 1461, "Peninsular Hotel"
- proposed erection by Hong Kong Hotel company of an hotel on the area in front of Victoria View, Kowloon.

04.02.1921 - 21.05.1928

Photos that show this place

Comments

The above caption is not clear. Surely the large building dominating the photograph is the Kowloon Hotel. Was it previously called the Victoria View or is the tiny portion of building on the extreme right (where the Peninsula now stands), the Victoria View?


I think the small building on the extreme left is the Victoria View.  It looks like a terrace of the right era.  I've added the caption date of 1924 for the photo of the Kowloon Hotel. 

Victoria View is on an 1891 Jury List.  If you look at the road that runs in front of Signal Hill (now Middle Road) and extrapole it, the line goes right through the front of the Kowloon Hotel.  That's why I think that it ran in front of the Victoria View originally.

We shall have to go through the CSO file (which started in 1921) to see what really happened with the "Peninsular" and "Kowloon" hotels.

 

Maps of Kowloon dated 1902-3 and 1924 (Mapping Hong Kong plates 4-3 & 4-4)show a terraced building on the south side of Peking Road (previously named Chater Road) that matches the old building on the left of the photo.

They also show that Middle Road had a significant kink in it where it crossed Nathan Road, rather than extending in a straight line. So that also matches the photo.

The 1924 map shows the terrace clearly, just south of Peking Road.

At first it looks as though it's been built the wrong way around. The flat front of the building usually faces to the road, and the indented side (indentations caused by the small yard between the kitchens, etc) faces onto a lane at the back. But here the flat front faces into the block (the other half of which will soon be filled with the Kowloon Hotel), while the back faces onto Peking Road.

So it's satisfying to know the history that when it was built it had a clear view south across the beach to Victoria, and you'd obviously want to build it facing that way.

 

1901 Map of TST
1901 Map of TST, by Herostratus

Emporis reports the date for end of construction of Alpha House as 1962. Probably around 1960, Victoria View Terrace was demolished as the northern part of I.L. 413 was rebuilt. One old house was replaced by five new ones (Kai Seng Commercial Centre, Universal Commercial Building, May Building, Alpha House, and Prestige Tower). On the southern part, Kowloon Hotel (3rd gen) opened in 1923.

Actually, I'm not 100% sure that 1960 is the demolition year. On the 1945 map on Gwulo, the layout of the houses matches pretty good todays buildings. On hkmaps.hk, the last clear view of Victoria View Terrace is on the 1935 map. Possibly Victoria View Terrace was already demolished by the end of the 1930's and replaced by new houses. But these would have had a lifespan of less than 20 years.

There was another set of buildings built here which were completed in 1930. I have created a place for them here.  From the PWD Reports:

 

1928 PWD Report

(in course of erection)

5 European houses (5 shops and 15 flats) on K.I.L. 413, Nathan Road.

 

1929 PWD Report

5 European houses (5 shops and 15 flats), on K.I.L. 413, Nathan Road, were in progress.

 

1930 PWD Report

(Completed)

5 European houses (5 shops and 15 flats) on K.I.L. 413, R.P.  Nathan Road.

 

Looking at photos from the site in the late 1940s, 5 shops and 15 flats does not seem enough for the density of the buildings on the site so the above may refer to different sections of building over a couple of years or perhaps additional flats were built at another time. However the buildings do look identical to each other so it is likely they were built by the same person

View North over TST from Peninsula Hotel 1946-47
View North over TST from Peninsula Hotel 1946-47 by Hedda Morrison, by Hedda Morrison

 

Aerial View of TST c1960
Aerial View of TST c1960, by Herostratus

 

The buildings were demolished in the early 1960s for various replacements mentioned by Klaus above

Herostratus, that sounds very convincing. The 1935 map on hkmaps.hk probably isn't up to date and reflects an older state. To be in line, I've changed the predecessor to Alpha House. Regards, Klaus