Kowloon Park

Kowloon Park

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Kowloon Park is a large public park in Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui , often abbreviated as TST, is an urbanized area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong. The area is administratively part of the Yau Tsim Mong District. Tsim Sha Tsui East is a piece of land reclaimed from the Hung Hom Bay now east of Tsim Sha Tsui...

, Kowloon Peninsula
Kowloon Peninsula
The Kowloon Peninsula is a peninsula that forms the southern part of the main landmass in the territory of Hong Kong. The Kowloon Peninsula and the area of New Kowloon are collectively known as Kowloon....

, Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. It is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department
Leisure and Cultural Services Department
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department , often abbreviated as LCSD, is a department in the Government of Hong Kong. It reports to the Home Affairs Bureau, headed by the Secretary for Home Affairs. It provides leisure and cultural activities for the people of Hong Kong, which was also one of...

.

History


The park was formerly a site of Whitfield Camp barracks
Barracks
Barracks are specialised buildings for permanent military accommodation; the word may apply to separate housing blocks or to complete complexes. Their main object is to separate soldiers from the civilian population and reinforce discipline, training and esprit de corps. They were sometimes called...

 for British force with a battery(Kowloon West Battery II) on its west side.

The Urban Council
Urban Council, Hong Kong
The Urban Council was a municipal council in Hong Kong responsible for municipal services on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon . These services were provided by the Urban Services Department. The equivalent body for the New Territories was the Regional Council.-History:The Urban Council was first...

 redeveloped the site into the Kowloon Park in 1970. It was officially opened on 24 June 1970 by the Governor of Hong Kong
Governor of Hong Kong
The Governor of Hong Kong was the head of the government of Hong Kong during British rule from 1843 to 1997. The governor's roles were defined in the Hong Kong Letters Patent and Royal Instructions...

, Sir David Trench
David Clive Crosbie Trench
Sir David Clive Crosbie Trench, GCMG, MC, DL 2 June 1915 – 4 December 1988 was a British soldier and colonial governor.-Early life:Trench was educated at Tonbridge School, Tonbridge, Kent and graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge with the degree of Master of Arts .-War service:In 1938, Trench...

.

Part of the site was occupied in the construction of the MTR
MTR
Mass Transit Railway is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. Originally opened in 1979, the system now includes 211.6 km of rail with 155 stations, including 86 railway stations and 69 light rail stops...

 from 1975 - 1978.

The Government was criticised when the Executive Council
Executive Council of Hong Kong
The Executive Council of Hong Kong is a core policy-making organ in the executive branch of the government of Hong Kong.. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong serves as its President.The Executive Council normally meets once a week...

 approved plans in 1982 for a strip of retail premises fronting Nathan Road to be carved into the hill of Kowloon Park. The move was first proposed when the Barracks were converted into public open space in 1970, and ignited some controversy. It was opposed by the Urban Council, as well as the Muslim community, whose mosque
Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre
Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre or Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Centre is one of the four principal mosques in Hong Kong. Located in Kowloon at the corner of Nathan Road and Haiphong Road next to Kowloon Park, the Mosque is currently the largest Islamic house of worship in the city...

 was close by. The rights for the development of the 5,410 sq metre strip were sold in February 1983 to a subsidiary of New World Development
New World Development
New World Development Company Limited , based in Hong Kong, is active in property, infrastructure, services and telecommunications. It was established in 1970 with Dr Ho Sin Hang as Chairman and Chow Chi Yuen as Director and General Manager...

 for $218 million

In 1989, the park was redeveloped at a cost of $300 million, which was funded by the then Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club
Hong Kong Jockey Club
The Hong Kong Jockey Club is one of the oldest institutions in Hong Kong, founded in 1884 to promote horse racing. It was granted Royal Charter and renamed to "The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club" in 1959...

.

Stone Wall Trees


There are some Stone wall trees
Stone wall trees in Hong Kong
Masonry wall trees refer to trees grown from openings in masonry stone retaining walls. In alleviating harzards from landslides, many slopes adjacent to main roads and developments on Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong needed to be secured. Between the 19th century and World War II, the Hong Kong...

 growing on the walls adjacent to aviary pond in Kowloon Park.

Museums


One preserved historic barrack, Block S58, is used as a godown of Hong Kong Museum of History
Hong Kong Museum of History
The Hong Kong Museum of History is a museum which preserves Hong Kong's historical and cultural heritage. It is located next to the Hong Kong Science Museum....

. Three other preserved buildings
Declared monuments of Hong Kong
Declared monuments of Hong Kong are places, structures or buildings legally declared to be "protected". In Hong Kong, declaring a monument requires consulting the Antiquities Advisory Board, the approval of the Chief Executive as well as the publication of the notice in government gazette.As of 12...

 of the former barracks are used as museums:

Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre



Blocks S61 and S62 of former Whitfield Camp are "Grade III historical buildings" which were constructed in circa 1910. They are a pair of identical two storied colonial military barrack blocks. The roofs are pitched with Chinese tiles with tar finish. They housed the former Hong Kong Museum of History from 1983 to 1998 before the completion of the present Hong Kong Museum of History at Chatham Road South. An extension block linking the two historical barracks was constructed in the 1980s to provide more space for the museum facilities. It now houses the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre is located in the Kowloon Park, Haiphong Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong.The Centre occupies the historic Blocks S61 and S62 of the former Whitfield Barracks at the Kowloon Park.-History:...

..

Health Education Exhibition and Resources Centre



Block S4 of former Whitfield Camp is a two-storied colonial military barrack building which is identical to Blocks S61 and S62. It now houses the Health Education Exhibition and Resources Centre
Health Education Exhibition and Resources Centre
The Health Education Exhibition and Resources Centre was opened on 17 May 1997 in Hong Kong. It is under the management of Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in Government of Hong Kong.-History:...

.

Sporting facilities



The park houses an indoor sport center and a large aquatics center. The pool complex includes four indoor heated pools, including an Olympic sized 50-meter main pool, a 25-meter training pool, a 20-meter diving pools and a free form leisure pool. There are three outdoor leisure pools of irregular shapes linked together by waterfalls. In addition, there is a circular paddling pool and a sunbathing area. The Swimming Complex opened on 12 September 1989 and can accommodate a maximum of 1530 swimmers, with an annual attendance of more than 1 million visitors. As one of the best equipped swimming pools in Hong Kong, it is the only venue on the Kowloon side suitable for staging major or international swimming events.

Other facilities


The former Kowloon West Battery II, which was graded as Grade I historic building, was converted into a children's adventure playground in Kowloon Park; it is still recognizable for what it was, however. The gun emplacements have been renovated. Naval guns have been mounted in each emplacement after they were discovered at a construction site at Chatham Road
Chatham Road
Chatham Road South and Chatham Road North are two continuous roads spanning from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hung Hom in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The road originally ran from Signal Hill to Hung Hom under No. 12 Hill by the side of Hung Hom Bay...

in Tsim Sha Tsui in 1980.

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