“Car Park May Be Eliminated in Statue Square,” ran a South China Morning Post headline on July 9, 1964. “Plans by Government and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation jointly to redevelop Statue Square as a public garden are understood to include the present car park next to the Mandarin Hotel,” the story continued. “Evidently, Government must decide whether the need for public open space in the Central area is greater than that for the parking of cars,” said A de O Sales, chairman of the Urban Council’s Urban Amenities Select Committee. “The only objectors to the scheme, however, are likely to be those motorists who have been using the parking space now available there,” noted the Post . “Statue Square is, after all, Hongkong’s showpiece and with that existing shortage of open space in the Central area every blade of grass counts and every area free from traffic becomes a pedestrian haven.” Plans for a “modern park”, including gardens, lawns, fountains and rest facilities, were published on September 23, 1965. “When the Governor presses the button tomorrow to start the fountains in the new Statue Square piazza a return will have been made to the original purpose of the agreement between Government and the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank that the square should be maintained as a large open space,” ran a Post article on May 25, 1966. Speaking at the official opening, governor Sir David Trench said the new Statue Square was a departure from traditional lawns, railings and “Keep off the Grass” signs. “Much criticism had been aimed at Statue Square during its construction, with the people asking, through the newspapers for more grass [...] and less concrete,” with the shelters likened to “Thai bus shelters”, the Post reported. But, “After the ceremony [...] the public immediately surged into the piazza,” suggesting opinions were changed by the completed project.