Authorities have given the green light for the demolition of a colonial-era building in Jordan, prompting concern among heritage groups who say the block has immense historical value and should be earmarked for preservation.
Leslie Chan, a district councilor who serves the area, posted a letter on Facebook last week from the Buildings Department stating that the demolition of the building has been approved.
The four-storey structure, on 190 Nathan Road by the intersection of Austin Road, was built before 1937, according to the city’s Antiquities and Monuments Office. It was awarded status as a Grade 3 historic building in 2018.
The Conservancy Association Center for Heritage (CACHe), an NGO that advocates cultural preservation, describes the cream-colored building as a blend of the eastern and western design characteristics common of the pre-World War 2 era.
One of the signature attributes of the building is its corridor-style balconies stretching across the block. According to CACHe, just three such buildings with this design feature remain in Hong Kong.
The ground floor units of the building are currently occupied by a face mask shop and a currency exchange store. A Lego Store is located on the first to third floors of the block.
Coconuts has reached out to the Buildings Department and the Antiquities and Monuments Office for comment.
Lee Ho-yin, an architecture professor at the University of Hong Kong and former member of the Antiquities Advisory Board, said he believes the historical value of the building puts it as deserving of a Grade 1 status, rather than its current Grade 3 label.
He told HK01 that the building does not have any safety hazards, and that it would be “a pity” for it to be demolished.