Swire House (originally named "Union House") [1962-1998] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Swire House (originally named "Union House") [1962-1998]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

Photos that show this place


Hi there,

I remember back in the late 1960's and early 1970's or even the early 1980's the then Swire House used to be called the Union House (於仁行).  I could not recall exactly when did it got changed to Swire House,  but definitely NOT in the 1960's.  Better consult Old Timer or Raymond on this.

Best Regards,


Just before they tore down the old building and built the new Chater House, Hong Kong Land has a very nice and complete description of all the buildings on this site through time - with photos and some descriptions.

Thanks for the extra info. Annelise, I couldn't find that info on the HK Land site - if you know where it is, please could you leave a link? Also I remember some time back you gave a link to a government book online that lists all major buildings and their completion dates. I can't find that either - please could you let us know again?

I've put in estimates for the dates from these sources:

  • Completion: "Demolition work started last Friday on the remaining portion of the old Union Building. On the site the second phase of the new Union House will be built and this is expected to be completed two years from now." Page 10, China Mail, 6 July 1960.
  • Demolition: "[HK Land] is to proceed with the redevelopment of Swire House, its 35-year old commercial property in Hong Kong's Central business district. The redevelopment will commence in October 1998, with completion expected in 2003". HK Land Press Release.


If you forget again, Google "Haystack  Hilden site:gov.hk"


A standard useful link for all buildings would be to the Centadata website, where the occupancy permit date is listed. 

I sent an email via the HKLand website this morning, and got this nice reply this evening. 

"Thank you for your interest in Hongkong Land. Regret that we did not keep the physical display of previous buildings at Chater House but if you have time, please click onto the following link for the development of Central, Hongkong Land and our buildings in Central.


Re Chater House, buildings that have been on that site were:

1905 - 1958 : Three buildings on site, they were Mansions Building (Hotel Mansions, later renamed Union Building), King's Building and York Building

1958 : Work began in February on Phase One of the redevelopment of the site, involving the replacement of King's and York's Buildings to the east of the former Union House

1962 : Phase Two of the redevelopment of the site, involving demolition of Union Building, allowed the whole site to be redeveloped as one structure of 23 levels called Union House

1976 : The name Union House was changed to Swire House
2002 :  The name Swire House was changed to Chater House

Yours sincerely,
Shirley Woo
Senior Manager

gosh that dates me then - would walk from the star ferry to the nearby 'connaught centre' and across the walkway to 'union house' to the jockey pub first right and do it all in about 5 mins!

Reading the China Mail 6 July 1960, a workman fell 19 stories from Union House on to Connaught Road that week, So when did they start building?

See comment above:

1958 : Work began in February on Phase One of the redevelopment of the site, involving the replacement of King's and York's Buildings to the east of the former Union House

Regards, David