Historic Preservation | South China Morning Post
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  • Apr 18, 2015
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Historic Preservation

Hong Kong tycoon's firm razes Guangzhou home of opera legend

The compound where Sit Kok-sin's mansion used to be.

Hong Kong tycoon Peter Lam Kin-ngok has been pulled into a controversy over the alleged unauthorised demolition of two historic buildings in Guangzhou, one of which was the home of Sit Kok-sin, the late "King of Cantonese Opera".

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 5:51am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, June 16, 2013

Stanley's eclectic charm is threatened. Photo: Dickson Lee

Liu Simin, a researcher with the Tourism Research Centre at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted as saying "Many Chinese tourists are just going abroad, and are often inexperienced and unfamiliar with overseas rules and norms". I disagree with such a statement. You do not have to be familiar with another culture in the civilised world to behave correctly.

16 Jun 2013 - 2:25am 2 comments

Hong Kong's heritage policy needs muscle

Historical buildings No 10 and 11 in Wong Chuk Hang San Wai. Photo: Warton Li

The government likes to portray Hong Kong as a city with a clear strategy on heritage conservation. Thanks to growing public awareness and conservation efforts, more than 1,000 buildings and monuments are graded as worthy of protection. The result may sound reassuring in a place known for its strong appetite for tearing down old blocks for redevelopment. But a closer examination by the government auditor shows the situation still leaves a lot to be desired.

21 Apr 2013 - 4:56am

Jackie Chan gives last of his historic sandalwood houses to Singapore

Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan will give the last six of his collection of 10 historic Chinese sandalwood houses to a Singaporean university, after a decade of failed preservation talks with Hong Kong bureaucrats.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:21am 5 comments

HK$700m conservation project lost in time

Movie director Fruit Chan Kuo is one of the city's creatives - including actor Chow Yun-fat - with offices in the shophouses. Photo: Thomas Yau

A plan to conserve a row of historic shophouses in Mong Kok's flower market has been delayed indefinitely, with the Urban Renewal Authority acquiring only half of the properties there.

8 Apr 2013 - 5:21am

Hong Kong needs review of historic building heritage policy

The city's lack of space and strong appetite for development means old buildings are constantly under the threat of demolition. Photo: David Wong

What is more sad than for a great city to lose its heritage bit by bit? Historic buildings and monuments, once demolished, are gone forever. That is why world cities steeped in history and culture have long embraced heritage conservation. A city that turns its back on its past loses its soul and character.

1 Apr 2013 - 3:00am 3 comments

Don't let Hong Kong's young lose sight of their past

1881 Heritage

Many young people in Hong Kong don't have a sense of their past, perhaps due in part to the rapid technological changes. Under the mountain of Facebook and weibo updates, history can easily be overlooked or, even worse in the case of some mainland cities, swiftly demolished.

27 Mar 2013 - 7:35am 1 comment

Preservation policy needs review

Jessville in Pok Fu Lam

A building that few of us were aware of until its owner wanted to demolish it would not seem worthy of preservation, let alone giving public access to. But the Pok Fu Lam mansion Jessville is no ordinary structure - it is a rare example of Italian renaissance architecture that offers a glimpse into how the well-heeled in our city lived eight decades ago.

23 Nov 2012 - 2:22am

Hong Kong's system for grading historic buildings is dated and inaccurate

As a solicitor, I feel that the issue concerning the redevelopment of the west wing of the former central government offices reveals the flaws of our grading system for heritage buildings.

19 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

West wing's demolition to proceed despite alert

The government will proceed with its plan to demolish the west wing of its former headquarters despite an alert from a world body that advises the United Nations on heritage sites.

14 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Out of date

I am in agony. So are the thousands of others who live or work in the vicinity of the old Victoria Prison/Central Police Station complex. What was once a serene oasis of historic low-rise buildings where birds nestled on tiled roofs is now an ugly construction site.

23 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Lessons on the past

Before the Hong Kong government introduced its Conservation Policy in 2007, employment prospects for architects who wanted to specialise in the field of conservation were few and far between.

13 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Let bygones not be gone

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is introducing a new master's of science in architectural conservation and design for the 2012-2013 academic year.

13 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Heritage caught up in club mentality

From today, a secluded heritage site in the heart of Hong Kong will be officially open to the public for the first time in more than 170 years. Formerly the explosives magazine site of the British garrison, the military compound in Admiralty has been turned into the headquarters of the Asia Society, a non-profit US organisation seeking to promote Americans' understanding of this region.

10 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Heritage policy something to build on

Hong Kong does have a 'new heritage conservation policy' for private sites that started in 2007.

Intended only as a beginning, the three-tier grading system has brought some success and has enabled officials to hand out HK$16 million to subsidise owners of 19 properties who were willing to repair their graded buildings.

22 Jan 2012 - 12:00am