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