Old Tai O Police Station

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Old Tai O Police Station in 2013.
The Old Tai O Police Station is visible on the hill, overlooking Shek Tsai Po Ferry Pier (Tai O Public Pier).
Distant view of the Old Tai O Police Station.
Room in Tai O Heritage Hotel.

The Old Tai O Police Station (Chinese: 舊大澳警署) is a former police station in Hong Kong. It is located on the small hill next to Tai O Ferry Pier,[1] at the south-western tip of Tai O, which can be considered the most westerly point within Hong Kong.[2]

The Tai O Cultural Relics Hotel operates in a social enterprise mode, with over half of the staff being Tai O or Lantau.

History[edit]

The police station was built in 1902 with a main duty of combating piracy and smuggling prevalent in the neighbouring waters.[2] The number of policemen stationed there increased from an initial six or seven to over 180 in 1983. The station was downgraded to a patrol post in 1996, and was left vacant in 2002.[3]

Higher on the same hill are the Tai O Barracks of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison,[4][5] formerly known before the handover as Naval Coastal Observation Station, Tai O.[6]

Architecture[edit]

The police station consists of two 2-storey blocks: a main block and an outhouse block linked by a footbridge at first floor level. The outhouse block has Arts and Crafts architectural features.[2]

Conservation[edit]

The Old Tai O Police Station was listed as a Grade III historic building in 1988,[1] and as a Grade II historic building in 2009.[7] In 2008, it was included among the seven buildings in Batch I of the Hong Kong Government's Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme seeking adaptive reuse of government-owned historic buildings.[8]

In the end, the government accepted the redevelopment proposal of the Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation to convert the building into a boutique hotel. The HKHCF was initially set up under the name Nice Brilliant Limited in December 2007, and changed its name in March 2008. The HKHCF has close ties to Robert Ng's Sino Group, and two of his children sit on its board. Legislator Fernando Cheung accused them of being a "one-man NGO" set up for business purposes rather than social service.[9] The conversion project is planned for completion at the end of 2011, with an estimated cost of HK$64.9 million.[10]

The Old Tai O Police Station was transformed into the boutique, nine room Tai O Heritage Hotel, and is curated and managed by the HKHCF.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°15′12″N 113°51′13″E / 22.25322°N 113.853686°E / 22.25322; 113.853686 (Old Tai O Police Station)