Demolition work by Hong Kong’s Water Supplies Department of a huge underground reservoir dating back to the early 1900s has been halted after online images sparked public calls to preserve it as a heritage site.
The brick and stone arched structure attracted widespread attention.
District Councillor Kalvin Ho Kai-ming, who visited the site on Monday, wrote on his Facebook page that he had asked the Water Supplies Department to halt demolition and preserve the reservoir. “We urged the Secretary for Development to list the Bishop Hill reservoir as a proposed monument for 12 months… and request the Antiquities and Monuments Office to start full assessment,” he wrote.
Records show the initial work was completed in 1904.
Ho found a disused pipe showing the year 1909 and another with the year 1932.
The department initially planned to demolish the site and fill the underground reservoir with concrete, citing structural dangers after tree roots had pierced the roof.
Located on top of a mountain in the Sham Shui Po district in Kowloon, the service reservoir fell into disuse in the 1970s.
A 1903 report to the colonial Director of Public Works shows it was designed to hold two million gallons of water.
The Water Supplies Department later confirmed it had suspended demolition work pending an assessment by the Antiquities and Monuments Office.