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.

Photo: Kevin Cheng/United Social Press.

The brick and stone arched structure attracted widespread attention.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

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.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

Records show the initial work was completed in 1904.

Photo: Kevin Cheng/United Social Press.

Ho found a disused pipe showing the year 1909 and another with the year 1932.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

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.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

Located on top of a mountain in the Sham Shui Po district in Kowloon, the service reservoir fell into disuse in the 1970s.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

A 1903 report to the colonial Director of Public Works shows it was designed to hold two million gallons of water.

Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

The Water Supplies Department later confirmed it had suspended demolition work pending an assessment by the Antiquities and Monuments Office.

Photo: Kevin Cheng/United Social Press.
Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.
Photo: Hong Kong Reminiscence.

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Rhoda Kwan

Rhoda Kwan is HKFP's Assistant Editor. She has previously written for TimeOut Hong Kong and worked at Meanjin, a literary journal. She holds a double bachelor’s degree in Law and Literature from the University of Hong Kong.