Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beaconsfield House

Beaconsfield House was a government office building in Hong Kong's .

Built in 1963, the building was home to the Information Services Department until it was demolished along with the neighbouring Hong Kong Hilton in 1995 to make way for the Cheung Kong Centre.

Plot history

The 18,300 site was carved out of a rocky hill on the shore of Victoria Harbour. In 1841, Hong Kong's Deputy Superintendent of Trade and acting administrator, Alexander Johnston, had the upper part of the hill levelled to build a home. The slope below was cut away to provide space for stables and outbuildings, and the rock and earth were used for reclamation.

The first generation building

The second generation building

The building was constructed in a utilitarian style of the 1960s, and consisted of 6 storeys.

The lower floors were occupied by the Royal Hong Kong Regiment , which had its officers' and NCOs' mess in the building. The building thus housed three service messes, a post office and a public toilet. The Information Services Department moved its offices from the west wing of the to Beaconsfield House. Talks had commenced in May 1993, and were finalised in August 1995 In April, 1995, Executive Council has approved the sale of the site, for a sum estimated to be in excess of HK$5.5 billion.

In September 1995, the Planning authorities passed the redevelopment proposals for the 9,900 combined site. With a plot ratio of 15, building would be built. The developer agreed with the planners that most of the building would actually go on the Hilton site; much of the car park and Beaconsfield house area would be given over to park and public amenities.

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