Part of the site was occupied in the construction of the MTR from 1975 to 1978, and this was cited as a reason for the slow progress in developing the remaining three stages of the park for recreational use.
The Government was criticised when the Executive Council 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 was close by. The rights for the development of the 5,410 square metre strip were sold in February 1983 to a subsidiary of New World Development for $218 million. The commercial development is called "Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard". Owing to the grade change, the roofs of the shops are level with the ground of Kowloon Park, and so the gardens extend onto the building rooftops.
An aviary was opened in 1980. From 1987 to 1989, the park was completed at a cost of $300 million, which was funded by the then Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. The park was "doubled" in size, expanding to the north and south, and the sports centre and swimming pool complex was built.
Flora and gardens
There is a tree walk located next to the Rose Garden. There are also some stone wall trees growing on the walls adjacent to aviary pond in Kowloon Park.
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.
Health Education Exhibition and Resource 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 Resource Centre.
Avenue of Comic Stars
Located near the park's Park Lane Shopper's Boulevard entrance, the Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars opened in 2012. It features 24 figurines of local comic characters and 10 bronze handprints of local comic artists along a 100-metre path.
Bird Lake and the Aviary
Apart from the birds in the Bird Lake and the Aviary, about 100 different wild bird species can be found in the Park. The Conservation Corner, Color Garden, Chinese Garden, Bird Lake and Fitness Trail are ideal spots for wild bird watching.
The park houses an indoor sports centre and a large aquatics centre.
The pool complex is the most heavily used in Hong Kong, serving over 2000 swimmers daily. It includes four indoor heated pools, including an Olympic sized 50-metre main pool, two 25-metre training pools, and a 20-metre diving pool. Outdoors, there are leisure pools of irregular shapes linked together by waterfalls, a circular paddling pool, and sunbathing areas. The swimming complex opened on 12 September 1989 and can accommodate a maximum of 1530 swimmers, and has an annual attendance of more than 1 million visitors. From 2007–2009, major improvements works were carried out. The indoor free form leisure pool was converted into one of the 25-metre training pools, and a trampoline room extension was constructed. The pool hosted the 2009 East Asian Games, and ahead of this event facilities were added for swimming officials, marshals, doping control, first aid, equipment and the media.
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. Events of the Hong Kong Games are also held there regularly.
The former Kowloon West II Battery, which was graded as Grade I historic building, was converted into a children's adventure playground in Kowloon Park; it is still recognisable 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 in Tsim Sha Tsui in 1980.
- Leisure and Cultural Services Department: Kowloon Park: Historical Background
- Brief Information on proposed Grade I Items. Items No. 43 and No. 44
- Sinclair, Kevin (10 December 1978). "Park still not ready after eight years" (PDF). South China Morning Post. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- Michael Chugani, Kowloon Park land sale plan tipped to spark row, South China Morning Post, 10 January 1982
- Jim Gilchrist, "'Bargain' $218m for park site", South China Morning Post, 6 February 1983.
- "Kowloon Park will be "doubled"". South China Morning Post. 25 February 1982.
- "Redevelopment of Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui". SOCAM Development. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- UNESCO Asia Pacific Heritage Awards: Whitfield Barracks
- "HK Avenue of Comic Stars opens", news.gov.hk, 28 September 2012
- "Wild Bird Watching", lcsd.gov.hk
- "Park pool ready for 3rd HK Games". news.gov.hk. 23 April 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- "14 EAG Projects" (PDF). Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- Leisure and Cultural Services Department: Kowloon Park Swimming Pool
- Leisure and Cultural Services Department: Kowloon Park: Discovery Playground
- The Geographical Information System on Hong Kong Heritage: Former Whitfield Barracks, KLN West II Battery
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