Goodbye to Pound Lane.Sheung Wan Hong Kong

Discussion in 'Video to Share' started by gold7778t, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. gold7778t

    gold7778t TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 27, 2013

    Hong Kong has a vast amount of built heritage within it neighborhoods worthy of heritage preservation and protection. These sites are often hidden gems within a crowded urban landscape and offer opportunities for the public to relax and enjoy Hong Kong’s rich cultural heritage. Sadly, many of these sites are in danger of being destroyed and replaced in Hong Kong’s ongoing development frenzy. Pound Lane, the Pound Lane Public Toilet cum Bath House and Blake Garden are prime examples.

    These sites are located in the Tai Ping Shan district and are of significant historical interest to Hong Kong’s medical and community history. The Tai Ping Shan district is a historic, low-rise neighborhood, originally comprising a colonial Chinese community district. In the mid to late 1800s, thieves and robbers were common in the district until a police barrack and station were established in the neighborhood, restoring law and order. The district was named Tai Ping Shan, or “Mountain of Peace” in Chinese, and the streets were developed with houses built along the narrow and uneven hillside slopes. Pound Lane was originally the site of a government pound where straying animals such as cows and sheep were kept.

    The Tai Ping Shan district was greatly affected in the 1894 bubonic plague outbreak due to its dense population and deplorable sanitary conditions at the time. As a result, the neighborhood was demolished and rebuilt in a grid around Hong Kong’s first public park for Chinese residents—Blake Garden. Blake Garden is a valuable open space with several registered Old and Valuable Trees, reflects the district’s association with the lives of ordinary people and serves as a monument to the unsung masses who died during the plaque.

    The Bath House was opened in 1904 and at that time was the only public bath house in Hong Kong providing facilities for both men and women at that time. It is directly adjacent to the Kwong Fuk Tze temple, which was originally built in 1856 for people to house the spirit-tablets of their ancestors. As the plague spread in 1894, the temple was taken over as a shelter where the dying poor were deposited awaiting death. Although the original structure has been demolished and rebuilt, the Bath House retains its built heritage value as a historic relic of public sanitation in early twentieth-century Hong Kong and still serves its initial public function to this day.

    Pound Lane’s value lies in the role it has played in providing a pedestrian access way connecting the Tai Ping Shan district and nearby buildings, including the Tung Wah Hospital, Kwong Fuk Tze temple and Blake Garden. The lane starts at Tai Ping Shan Street, extends up to Hospital Path and is intersected by Po Hing Fong. The street is closed to pedestrian traffic and was built with steps and landings formed by granite slabs or concrete paving. Metal railings are installed at the centre of the street, and open drainage channels are provided at certain points to drain off rainwater.

    Many interesting old sections of stone retaining walls, boundary walls and wall trees exist along Pound Lane. These structures provide evidence of the long-term development of the area, show old construction techniques, and give visual variety to the appearance of the street. Pound Lane is a valuable piece of Hong Kong’s built heritage, and if graded, would become only the fourth street in Hong Kong to be given heritage status. It is of considerable historical interest and evidences the original narrow streets of the Tai Ping Shan district with its many steps and landings. Although many of the old granite slabs have been replaced with concrete and modern railings, the steps still manage to retain their authentic appearance.

    Pound Lane, the Bath House and Blake Garden form an integral part of the Tai Ping Shan district along with the Bacteriological Institute, Tung Wah Hospital and the Kwong Fuk Tze temple and merit Grade 1 heritage ratings to preserve the character, collective knowledge and spatial quality of this low-rise, historic neighborhood. In addition, these sites serve as reminders of the development of the health care system in Hong Kong, which was shaped to a large extent by infectious diseases, and which reminds us that the plague was the first epidemic in which the government and health professionals worked hand-in-hand to protect the people of Hong Kong.
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
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  3. gold7778t

    gold7778t TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 27, 2013

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