1906 The Praya near Blake Pier | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1906 The Praya near Blake Pier

1906 The Praya near Blake Pier

When: A great typhoon hit Hong Kong on 18th September, 1906. This photo was taken a day or two later, with debris from the typhoon still clear to see:

Typhoon debris

Where: The stout stone wall is part of Blake Pier, which stood off Connaught Road at its junction with Pedder Street. The photographer is likely standing on the P&O Jetty, which was a little further west along the seafront.

Who: This was a busy part of town, with ferries and launches carrying people to and from Kowloon and the larger ships in the harbour.

People on Blake Pier

There's a small group of European ladies and children in their bonnets. What are they up to? Waiting to see off a friend? Or waiting for a launch to take them out to a cruise liner in the harbour?

We can also see several Chinese workmen along the edge of the pier, sitting on sturdy cast-iron pillars. Were the pillars to be set up nearby, or they're also waiting for transport to their final destination?

What: On the right, new buildings line the Praya:

Buildings along the Praya

From right-to-left we have:

  • Queen's Building
  • A couple of single-story, tiled-roof buildings. I'm not sure what they were. Maybe they were a site office for the various construction projects that were underway on this newly reclaimed land? Most of the commercial buildings were finished by 1906, but the Supreme Court was still under construction.
  • Hong Kong Club
  • United Telegraph Companies' Offices
  • New Oriental Building

The Star Ferry's pier was over on the far side of Blake Pier. We can see one of the old style ferries and its passengers in the distance:

Star Ferry

Beyond that you can see the rooftops and curved cranes of the Naval Dockyard. And down in the left corner you can just see a bit more bamboo and thatch, the remains of the matshed shelter that had been built on Blake Pier.

As always, corrections & additional information are very welcome.

Regards, David

Reference: BA026

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, September 19, 1906