New life for old police station2018.05.17
THE revitalised Central Police Station (中區警署) compound will be opened from 29 May in three phases, with the first phase set to attract 2,000 visitors a day. Entrance is free but interested parties must register online. Bookings were opened from 10 May.
The former Central Police Station, also known as Tai Kwun (大館), had police, judicial and prison functions gathered in one location. The compound comprises 16 historic buildings, including three declared monuments, on a site off Hollywood Road (荷李活道).
The first phase includes 11 historic buildings, the parade ground, the prison yard, and a new art gallery and auditorium. Some of the historic buildings include the barrack hall of Victoria Prison.
The second phase is expected to reopen by yearend, and includes the armoury, Central Magistracy and two police quarters. The third includes the married inspectors’ quarters, also known as block four, which partly collapsed in 2016. Construction work on it will be completed in 2021.
The project was undertaken by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, which has invested HK$3.8 billion in it. The trust will continue to operate the heritage site after it opens, and will spend HK$80 million on the facilities every year. It is estimated that 5,000 people will visit the site every day.
The club strived to preserve most of the historic aspects of the structure.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 17 May 2018)