Hong Kong’s list of declared monuments will expand to include three Grade 1 historic buildings: Hong Kong City Hall, Jamia Mosque, and Lui Seng Chun. The decision was made during the most recent meeting held by the Antiquities Advisory Board.
Each of the buildings were accorded Grade 1 status based on six criteria: historical interest, architectural merit, group value, social value and local interest, authenticity, and rarity. They are now deemed to meet the “high threshold” of heritage value to be declared as monuments protected from demolition under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
Jamia Mosque was built between 1915 and 1916 to replace a mosque on the same site on Shelley Street. It is now Hong Kong’s oldest mosque and the first one in the city to be declared a monument.
Lui Seng Chun (雷生春) in Mong Kok, the only tong lau (or tenement-style building) on the list, was built in 1931. It housed a Chinese medicine shop on the ground floor, while the upper floors were occupied by businessman Lui Leung and his family. The building is now used as a Chinese medicine and healthcare centre operated by Hong Kong Baptist University.
City Hall, which was built in 1962, has the distinction of being the city’s most recently built monument. The Modernist-style building has been used for landmark events such as inauguration ceremonies of five governors before the 1997 handover. Visitors can also use the library or attend concerts and exhibitions at City Hall.
There are currently 129 declared monuments in Hong Kong, ranging from Tin Hau Temple in Causeway Bay and the exterior of Eliot Hall at the University of Hong Kong to the remnants of the South Gate of Kowloon Walled City.
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