Community activists in Central on Monday are appealing to the city’s heritage advisory body to reconsider its decision not to grade a row of tenement house ruins near the Mid-Levels escalator. The group had repeatedly urged the government to thoroughly study the historic significance of the ruins hidden at Cochrane Street in Central since October last year and urged their preservation. But at its meeting last month, the Antiquities Advisory Board decided not to grade the ruins after just minutes of deliberation. Fears of demolition for historic State Theatre building in North Point: heritage group calls for preservation Katty Law Ngar-ning, convenor of Central and Western Concern Group said the board should reconsider its decision because it failed to appreciate the ruins’ value as a rare surviving example of early residental structures in Hong Kong as well as its social history. Law’s group had discovered the neighbourhood was once occupied by a mixed community of Westerners and local Chinese. “We have been making the call for a grading since October [last year] but there have been no positive answers since,” said Law of her decision to create a petition prior to the board’s meeting at a heritage centre at Kowloon Park on Monday afternoon. “I hope the board can reverse its decision of not grading the ruins.” She also asked the board to allow the group to present its findings at a future board meeting. Abandoned Hong Kong island gets new life as heritage site and ecotourism destination Law added she had filed a complaint with the Ombudsman . Ted Hui Chi-fung, a Central district councillor supporting Law, felt the history of the building was being “buried away” by the government. According to a government appraisal of the ruins, the remains, located at what was formerly City of Victoria, comprised a densely-packed, back-to-back tenement house built before 1903. After 1903, buildings were required to provide open space and a sanitary lane. In the 1960s and early 1970s, tenement houses in the city were mostly torn down as they were dilapidated. Local historian and former board member Ko Tim-keung, echoing the group’s call for thorough assessment of the building, last week said he felt the city’s preservation body had often overlooked buildings’ historical significance by focusing only on architectural value or visual appeal. Hong Kong preservation body to revisit doomed historic pawn building in light of new archival evidence The ruins now face a threat of demolition as they are located near an Urban Renewal Authority project revamping Graham Street Market. Andrew Lam Siu-lo, the board’s chairman, accepted Law’s petition.