Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kom Tong Hall

Kom Tong Hall, originally uploaded by Octopuscard.

Kom Tong Hall is a historic building at Mid Levels, Central. It was accorded status Grade II historic building in 1990 by the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB).
The Hall was built in 1914. It was named after the former owner of the Mansion, Ho Kom-tong, who was a younger brother of the prominent philanthropist Sir Robert Ho Tung. The Ho family is the first Chinese family permitted to live in the Mid Levels in the early colonial period.
In 1960, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the building. The Church used the Hall for worship services and other local Church activities as well as for administration of its Asia area humanitarian, building and other programs. As a result of Church growth, locally and throughout Asia over the last four decades, the Church’s headquarters were moved out of Kom Tong Hall and into a much larger new 14-story building in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
The Church no longer had need for the building and was looking to sell the property. It soon became apparent that a vacant lot would yield a far higher amount than if the property were sold intact, and the Church considered demolishing the building. In fact, in October 2002, the Church actually submitted an application for a demolition permit to the Building Authority. However, after hearing concerns raised by friends in the community, and a series of negotiations with the Hong Kong Government, Church officials reached a consensus in selling the property in tact and preserving the building. [1]
After the Government completed the purchase in 2004, efforts began immediately to covert the 92-year-old historic mansion into a museum honoring Chinese revolutionary figure Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. The converted museum was officially opened on 12 December 2006.

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