Historic King's College and the Lo Pan shrine could be declared monuments The Antiquities Advisory Board will soon consider declaring a prestigious secondary school and a historical temple in Western as monuments later this year as the government steps up efforts to preserve the city's heritage. The school, King's College at 63A Bonham Road, opened in 1926 and is noted for its classical structure with facades of grey granite columns against a background of red bricks, arched corridors and sunken garden. The Lo Pan Temple, on Belcher's Street, was built with an unusual jagged roof by the Contractor's Guild in 1884. It is the only city temple dedicated to Lo Pan, the patron saint of builders. A government source said the authorities would declare a lot more sites as monuments or historical buildings this year, as well as announce a new heritage conservation policy. The only historical building declared last year was the Cape D'Aguilar lighthouse. He said the Home Affairs Bureau would launch the second phase of public consultation on heritage conservation policy later this year. It is also understood the Antiquities and Monuments Office is now studying the architecture and social status of about 500 undeclared heritage buildings across the city for future reference. King's College principal Ho Yue-shun welcomed the news, saying the school deserved better protection. He said various government departments were sorting out details on how to strike a balance between building conservation and school development. A number of political and business heavyweights, including Secretary for Education and Manpower Arthur Li Kwok-cheung and Executive Council convenor Leung Chun-ying, are graduates of the top school. Chan Wing-luk, a well-known investment expert who graduated from the school in 1970, said making it a historic building would prevent it from being demolished for land sales. 'We have some very good memories there and I hope such good memories can continue in the generations to come,' he said. When prompted, Lo Pan temple keeper Wu Fan, himself a retired builder, delights in showing the finer aspects of the temple's masonry. Much of the woodwork is assembled without nails and the inner walls are adorned with intricately carved murals, ancestral tablets and an ancient bell. Kenny Lo Kam, chairman of Kwong Yuet Tong, the company that manages the shrine, said the idea to declare the temple a monument arose three years ago in the hope that they would receive help in maintaining and restoring the building. 'We are only a small organisation and rely on donations for the upkeep of the temple, but we don't receive very much each year. 'If the temple is declared a monument then we can receive help with finances and skills to ensure the temple is properly preserved,' Mr Lo said. A festival celebrating Lo Pan falls on the 13th day of the sixth month of the lunar calendar, and Mr Wu said many builders take part in the pilgrimage up the 200 steps from Belcher Street to pay homage to Lo Pan. 'There are masters in every profession, in every walk of life. It is important that there is a place in Hong Kong to pay tribute to the 'great master'. It is the only Lo Pan temple in Hong Kong. There are a few temples on the mainland dedicated to Lo Pan, although usually in association with other gods. It is really one of a kind. 'There's a lot of history associated with the temple, especially the statues. It has been studied by researchers for the University of Hong Kong and City University,' Mr Lo said.