AN official photographic album of historic buildings is being developed so Hong Kong is left with more than just memories of structures demolished by progress. The Government says wanton destruction of heritage for the sake of development is a thing of the past and it will make greater efforts to record and protect significant buildings. 'There is a greater level of awareness, I think things have turned,' Recreation and Culture Branch Acting Deputy Secretary Ian Petersen said. 'I believe that as Hong Kong becomes more sophisticated and more modern in its business and in everything else, its tastes have become more sophisticated.' This increased appreciation of heritage had led the branch to secure more money for its efforts, he said. But an appreciation remains of the need to balance heritage concerns with the pressure for development. In setting out its policy priorities, the Government last week acknowledged the growing interest in heritage by announcing its most comprehensive package of heritage measures. It included the photographic archive, a survey of historical buildings and structures funded with a $4 million grant from the Jockey Club Charities Trust, and more resources for archaeology. These would provide better 'tools' for declaring and restoring buildings, Mr Petersen said. There are 58 buildings declared as monuments, which prevents their alteration or demolition without government approval. Eight to 10 are added to the list every year. While the centrepiece of the policy initiatives is a commitment to protect more buildings, officials concede not all can be saved and photographs will at least capture for posterity those at risk. About 460 buildings have been photographed for the record. In what the Government says is an encouraging sign, more than 90 per cent are still standing. Archaeological Society chairman William Meacham said it was about time there was a change in attitudes following a litany of heritage disasters. These included the demolition of the Hong Kong Club for a high-rise; destruction of the Kowloon-Canton Railway terminus at Tsim Sha Tsui; and the dismantling of Murray House to make way for the Bank of China tower in Central. A synagogue in Mid-Levels, the Ohel Leah, is again under threat. Buildings which the Antiquities and Monuments Office hopes soon to have protected include Hung Lau, a farm used as a base by revolutionaries training to overthrow China's last dynasty, the Qing. Part of the site, in Tuen Mun, has already been lost to a public housing development.