Somewhat offbeat attractions - Statue Square in Central

The old Legco Building, the only statue left is a banker!, the Cenotaph and probably the best place to relax in Central District - this is Statue Square

 

 Started life as our Supreme Court, the old Legco Building and mainstay of Statue Square

 Started life as our Supreme Court, the old Legco Building and mainstay of Statue Square

What a lovely old building

What a lovely old building

Look closely and you will see old 2nd World War wounds dotted everywhere

Look closely and you will see old 2nd World War wounds dotted everywhere

The scales of justice, oh so very colonial

The scales of justice, oh so very colonial

Take the time to explore every side of the building, there is a whole lot of history there

Take the time to explore every side of the building, there is a whole lot of history there

For me Statue Square is a constant but fading reminder of the old colonial days and it is best represented by the old Legco Building. This building was inaugurated in 1912 as the Supreme Court, from late 1941 - 1945 it was the headquarters of the Japanese Secret Military Police and reverted back to the Supreme Court soon after the War.

1978 saw the Supreme Court move to new premises and from then until 1985 the building underwent structural changes and in 1985 it became the Legislative Council Chambers until 2011.

The building is currently empty whilst more changes are made.. it will become the new home of the Court of Final Appeal in 2015, which is good news as there was talk of it being converted into a shopping mall!

A wonderful place to relax and watch the world go by

A wonderful place to relax and watch the world go by

In the background stands the only statue left in Statue Square, it is Sir Thomas Jackson who was the General Manager of HSBC in the really old days which is somewhat fitting given Hong Konger's obsession with money! 

I quite often sit for half an hour here just to watch the world go by and sip a good cup of coffee whilst being reminded of the good old days1

The trees are growing back after being decimated by Typhoon Ellen in 1983

The trees are growing back after being decimated by Typhoon Ellen in 1983

Statue Square used to have a lot more trees.. in 1983 Hong Kong was hit by a super Typhoon called Ellen and many trees were uprooted and destroyed... so it is not as shady as it used to be.. 

The Cenotaph, unveiled in 1923

The Cenotaph, unveiled in 1923

Statue Square is in 2 parts and divided by Chater Road, on the other side and over the road from the old Legco building is the Cenotaph which was unveiled in a moving ceremony in 1923. 

Prior to 1997 a British Flag always flew at the Cenotaph which honours those that perished in the two World Wars... this incidentally is as close as you can get. 

One of my favourite images

One of my favourite images

I love this image of Statue Square, the Cenotaph, behind it is the old Legco Building and then from left to right... Cheung Kong Centre, the old Bank of China Building, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and on the right side Princes Building.

Birds and bugs are in abundance

Birds and bugs are in abundance

If birds and bugs are your thing then there is enough greenery at Statue Square to support any number of them, birds in particular are not afraid of humans as everyone feeds them. 

There's always something happening

There's always something happening

Keep yours eyes peeled, there is always stuff going on in Statue Square

Another view of the Centotaph with the Hong Kong Club Building in the background. 

Another view of the Centotaph with the Hong Kong Club Building in the background. 

The Hong Kong Club building lurks in the background and the Hong Kong Club is where the rich folk hang out.. muppets like me would never be allowed in.. on the other hand if I changed my name to Tarquin Fotherington - Smythe and wore an old Eton tie (surely you can get one on E-Bay?) I might get lucky. My claim to fame... I used to know a member in the 1980's and he was Scottish! How are you GBD?

More of the same

More of the same

To the left of the old Legco building is a bunch of trees, this used to be a cricket ground, sadly it was uprooted and moved in the 1970's... it is now Chater Gardens and is literally half trees and half concrete.. it has no redeeming features what so ever, I say bring back the cricket ground. Huzzah! 

Statue Square comes alive on a Sunday

Statue Square comes alive on a Sunday

Statue Square is to the left and right of the yellow stripey road crossing.. this is a view looking down on Chater Road which is closed on Sunday's and Public Holiday's when it becomes the playground for many thousands of Filipino maids enjoying a day off. 

Statue Square is really something to behold on a Sunday! if you are in town on a Sunday head down there anytime after 11am and meet some of the friendliest, happiest people on the planet.

The name says it all

The name says it all

Did I mention that every now and then you can see art exhibits in Statue Square? Keep your eye out for these... my favourite was the elephant being held up a by a French dude. 

An old image of Statue Square - due credit goes to the photographer whom ever he/she was. 

An old image of Statue Square - due credit goes to the photographer whom ever he/she was. 

I am guessing this picture was taken in the late 1950's as the building in the foreground being knocked down was Queens Building which is now the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (which opened in 1963).... the Cenotaph and the old Legco Building are pretty much the same and you can see the cricket ground which is now Chater Gardens. WOW! 

Another old image of Statue Square - due credit goes to the photographer whomever he/she was. 

Another old image of Statue Square - due credit goes to the photographer whomever he/she was. 

I am guessing that this image was taken between 1923 - 1939, again you can see the Cenotaph and the old Legco Building and you can also see the original Queen Victoria Statue within the circle in the centre of the photograph.. I just love this image mainly because the open space of Statue Square is essentially the same now as it was in this image. 

Another of my favourite images taken from within Statue Square

Another of my favourite images taken from within Statue Square

The simply magnificent Bank of China towers over the Cenotaph along with my favourite building (the rectangular one) Cheung Kong Centre... Cheung Kong Centre is headquarters to the empire of Li Ka Shing who is Hong Kong's richest resident, I assume he has no issue getting into the Hong Kong Club and other similar establishments.

Simply the luckiest spot in Hong Kong

Simply the luckiest spot in Hong Kong

Just over the road from Statue Square is HSBC Headquarters and you absolutely must make the pilgrimage to rub the ass of the lion holding court there, the one that is roaring. 

The planets have aligned, Feng Shui has aligned, the escalators have aligned and the lions survived being stolen by the Japanese in the 2nd World War... the lion shown in the image did suffer though as it is full of holes from bullets and shrapnel, how can this NOT be the luckiest spot in Hong Kong and as such you should rub the ass of the lion. I do, nearly every day. 


I do personal walking tours around Hong Kong, I am on the streets every day and I have a somewhat interesting perspective of this wonderful city I have called my home for 37 years. My private walking tours are perfect for visitors who want a detailed overview of Hong Kong prior to exploring on their own and for people who are only here for a day or two who want to make the most of their limited time here.

Many clients book me for their first full day in Hong Kong, they get to see the best that Hong Kong has to offer + a crash course on our wonderful public transport system and then they go exploring for the rest of their stay armed with step by step instructions and recommendations from me....

...oh, and if you book a tour then you are booking a tour with me, I do not employ other guides.

Jamie's private walking tours - no ordinary experience

   



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Posted on June 7, 2013 and filed under Offbeat attractions.