Event #1: Victoria House
April 26 2014 / 1pm – 6pm

Residence of the Chief Secretary for Administration (Victoria House)

Located at No. 15 Barker Road on The Peak, Victoria House is the residence of the Chief Secretary for Administration and one of the best preserved colonial-style buildings in Hong Kong. It was formerly the official residence of the Colonial Secretary, before the post was renamed Chief Secretary in 1976 and then Chief Secretary for Administration since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 July 1997.

A colonial neo-classical two-storey building set in beautiful gardens, Victoria House is constructed mainly in reinforced concrete with a granite base and is covered with glazed pantiles. It is presently occupied by Ms. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor GBS, JP, and previous tenants have included Ms, Anson Chan Fang On-sang and Mr. Henry Tang Ying-yen during their time in office.

The house is situated on the site of the main block of Victoria Hospital for Women and Children, which operated from 1897 until its closure in 1947. The hospital was built to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, and a plinth recognising this fact is still visible from Barker Road. The maternity ward building remains today and is used as accommodation for senior government officials.

THE Peak: Top of the Island

Commonly known as “The Peak”, Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island. While Central, Wan Chai and Western District were among the first areas on the island to be developed, The Peak was not inhabited until the late 1870s, when the first houses were built. This was followed by the opening of the Peak Tram, Asia’s first funicular railway, in 1888, making accessibility to The Peak much easier. The tram remains in operation today, serving local residents and tourists.

At first, residents of The Peak were all expatriates, and The Peak Reservation Ordinance designated the area as an exclusive residential area reserved for non-Chinese tenants. This changed in 1906, however, when Sir Robert Ho Tung, an influential Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist, became the first Chinese-born person to build a mansion on The Peak, a magnificent home that survived until 2013.