Heritage activists urge gov’t to spare the General Post Office from the wrecking ball

Built on a 3700 m2 site in front of the towering Connaught Centre and adjoining the Star Ferry concourse, Hong Kong´s five-storey GPO was completed in 1976 designed in a geometrical modernist style by local architect K.M. Tseng. Tseng, working for the Architectural Services Department, also designed the Queensway Government Offices and Wanchai Tower (Wikipedia). It was announced last year the building will be torn down and a new facility opened in Kowloon Bay, reported the SCMP.

Conservationists rallied at the General Post Office building on Sunday, as the government prepares to demolish the landmark and re-develop the site as commercial space.

Protesters from Green Sense and the Central and Western District Concern Group said that demolishing the building would create 12-thousand cubic meters — enough to fill five swimming pools — of construction waste. They are appealing to Legislative Council members, according to Inmediahk, to oppose the plan at a Wednesday meeting about moving the post office’s operations to Kowloon Bay.

The government first announced that it would scrap the General Post Office years ago as part of a grand HK$12 billion plan to transform the Central waterfront. An office building and shopping malls will rise in its place.

But preservation advocates told Inmediahk that the area already has enough malls, and propose using the building as a post office and a cultural exhibition space.

Katty Law of the Central and Western District Concern Group criticized the demolition plan in a letter, shared with Coconuts HK, to the council last week. “No building in Hong Kong will be safe if the Government continues to belittle our cultural and architectural heritage,” she wrote.

The five-story building has served as the headquarters of the Hongkong Post since it was completed in 1976.

It is one of the most iconic examples of the city’s post-war modernist buildings, which experts and advocates say are under threat because they have little architectural significance and land is so scarce.

Rather, the value of buildings like the General Post Office, is that “they record that period” of Hong Kong’s history, author and professor Dr. Charlie Xue told Coconuts HK in March, calling such structures like an “endangered species”.

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