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Chp 25, Hong Kong Club and Supreme Court – Forty years champion for the environment

Hong Kong Club and Supreme Court

The Hong Kong Club, established in 1846, was the first social club in Hong Kong. Its club house, an imposing colonial-style building erected in 1897, had been the venue of, among other things, a few of the Annual General Meetings of the Conservancy Association in the 1970s. Adjacent to the Club was the charming old Supreme Court, opened in 1912. Both were major landmarks in Central.

But the Club fell for the development boom in the 1970s and proposed to replace the old club house building with a modern one. There were also suggestions to pull down the old Supreme Court to give way to office buildings. Against that, CA and the Heritage Society lobbied for both to be preserved. Within the Club there were also differing views on whether to re-develop, but in a general meeting in December 1979, the demolitionists prevailed.

Not wanting to give up, CA’s youth arm YEAG conducted a survey in June 1980 on the community’s attitude towards the fate of the two buildings. The results showed conclusively in favour of preservation – 82% of the 400 respondents wanted the Club preserved, and 84% the Supreme Court, citing a variety of reasons including historical and aesthetic value, character and urban design of Central, and the relationship of the buildings with Statue Square. The conclusion gave another boost to CA’s campaign, but the Hong Kong Club, being a private property, proved too difficult to save although the Supreme Court did survive and became the Legislative Council building in 1985.

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May 1, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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