Former Marine Police Headquarters

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1881 Heritage
Former namesMarine Police Headquarters Compound
General information
StatusDeclared monument
Architectural styleNeoclassical
Address2A Canton Road
Town or cityTsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
CountryHong Kong
ClientCK Asset Holdings Limited
Design and construction
Architecture firmRenovation:
A+T Design Limited
Structural engineerRenovation:
AECOM Asia Company Ltd
The Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound as after renovation, viewed from the entrance on Salisbury Road.
Partial view of the courtyard of the Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound.

The Former Marine Police Headquarters Compound (Chinese: 前水警總部; Jyutping: cin4 seoi2 ging2 zung2 bou6), constructed in 1884, is located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The site is now officially renamed as 1881 Heritage.

The Kowloon compound used to be occupied by the Marine Police, now a unit within the Hong Kong Police Force, since its establishment until late 1996, when it was moved to Sai Wan Ho.[1]

The compound is a declared monument since 1994 as it is one of the four oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong.[2] The Compound and the Old Kowloon Fire Station have been re-developed into a heritage hotel with food and beverage outlets and retail facilities in a project headed by architect Daniel Lin of A+T Design, opened in 2009.[3]


The Marine Police Headquarters in the 1900s. At that time, the building was still a two-storey structure.

The former Marine Police Headquarters was constructed in 1884. It comprises a main building, a stable block and a signal tower. It has been used by the Marine Police, except for the Japanese Occupation (1941–1945) when the compound was used as a base by the Japanese navy.

During the Japanese Occupation period, extensive underground tunnels were constructed beneath the lawn but after World War II, these tunnels were blocked and the lawn was returfed for the safety of public.

In the 1970s the compound lost a large part of its grounds, when the slope was levelled to make way for the construction of Kowloon Park Drive.[1]

The station was colloquially referred to as T-Lands Police Station – probably a reference to Marine Police brevity code for a marine police station on "Land" at "Tsim Sha Tsui".[4] This name is used in at least two novels based in Hong Kong: “Soldier of Fortune” by Ernest K. Gann published in 1954.[5] and "Dragon Flame" by Nick Carter published in 1966.[6]


The restored Signal Tower as of 2010, with Hong Kong Cultural Centre in the background.
Hullett House Corridor
Stables Grill @ Hullett House

Main building[edit]

The main building was originally a two-storey structure; an extra storey was added to the Main Building in the 1920s. The south-east and south-west wings of the main building served as married quarters.

The Signal Tower[edit]

The Signal Tower, commonly known as Round House, was constructed to provide time signals to ships in the harbour. Its use diminished in 1907 when the time ball apparatus was removed to Signal Hill, Kowloon.


The Government announced, on 23 May 2003, that Flying Snow Limited, a subsidiary of Cheung Kong Holdings, had won the 50-year land grant at a tendered price of $352.8 million from six proposals for the tender.[7] The approval allowed the developer to preserve and redevelop the historical building into a heritage tourism facility. Flying Snow has transformed the building into a heritage hotel with food and beverage outlets, and retail facilities.

The project was the first attempt by the Tourism Commission to engage the private sector to preserve antiquities by revamping them into a tourist attraction.[citation needed] The project opened as 1881 Heritage in 2009.[3]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kowloon — Around Nathan Road, DiscoverHongKong – About Hong Kong Tourism Board.
  2. ^ The Geographical Information System on Hong Kong Heritage, Hong Kong Government.
  3. ^ a b 1881 Heritage opens in Hong Kong, LUXUO, 23 September 2009.
  4. ^ T-Lands Police Station
  5. ^,2263241%7C The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 March 1955. p12.
  6. ^ Dragon Flame. Award Books A173F. May 1966.
  7. ^ Old police facility to become top tourist draw,[dead link] Hong Kong Government.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°17′44″N 114°10′12″E / 22.295479°N 114.169994°E / 22.295479; 114.169994 (Former Marine Police Headquarters)