Building once owned by now-defunct newspaper up for conservation

September 06, 2019 17:40
The four-storey building at 88 and 90 Staunton Street in Sheung Wan is expected to be given the status of a Grade 2 historic building. Photo: URA

An old tenement building in Sheung Wan that played an important part in the development of the city's newspaper industry may well be added to the list of declared monuments in Hong Kong.

The Antiquities Advisory Board is expected to propose that the four-storey building be given the status of a Grade 2 historic building at a meeting scheduled for next Thursday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The building, at 88 and 90 Staunton Street, was once the residence of Shum Wai-yau, who founded Wah Kiu Yat Po, or Overseas Chinese Daily News, in 1925. The newspaper closed down in 1995.

Designed by famous Portuguese architect A.H. Basto, the building also housed a dormitory for some of the newspaper’s employees.

The area where it is situated had been designated by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) as part of its Staunton Street/Wing Lee Street Development Scheme Plan, but it was saved from being redeveloped after concern groups opposed the idea.

The Hong Kong News-Expo, a museum dedicated to the history of the local news media industry, is located in nearby Bridges Street, and as such, preserving the old building on Staunton Street, would serve to highlight the fact that this area in Sheung Wan once played a crucial role in the local newspaper and printing industries.

The URA said on Thursday it has been decided that the building will be preserved and revitalized.

Meanwhile, the Antiquities Advisory Board said it will also discuss whether a famous paifang (a traditional Chinese style of arch or gateway) in Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, will be declared a Grade 2 historic structure, and a masonry wall and earthenware pipes on Caroline Hill Road in Causeway Bay as Grade 3 monuments.

– Contact us at [email protected]

TL/JC/CG