A 67-year-old building on Wellington Street in Central has been classified as Grade III historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Board.
The structure, owned by Nam Wah Ink Company, an ink manufacturer and printer established in 1947, is situated on 118 Wellington Street and was acquired by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) for HK$76 million as part of the redevelopment plans for Peel and Graham streets.
Several committee members of the antiquities board have urged the URA to ensure the proper conservation of the historical building.
Grade III buildings, according to the board, are “buildings of some merit. Preservation in some form would be desirable but alternative means could be considered if preservation is not practicable”.
The URA said the conservational value of the building itself is not particularly high.
However, the two billboards outside the balconies on the first and second floor are masterpieces of renowned calligrapher Su Shijie, and of high historical value.
Su was a member of the Tongmenghui (also known as the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance), a revolutionary organization founded by Sun Yat-sen in 1905.
Antiquities board chairman Lam Siu-lo admitted that despite of the high value of the calligraphy, the board had no power to stop the building’s demolition.
The URA said the original wooden structure of the building had already been replaced by the existing concrete, and the building could be torn down and rebuilt if deemed appropriate. It vowed to make every effort to document the process for the records.
Sources said the descendants of the calligrapher Su had promised to preserve the billboards if the building was eventually demolished.
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