St. Joseph's Mansion / Caritas Valtorta House [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

St. Joseph's Mansion / Caritas Valtorta House [????-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists

Looking at the photos I guess this was on the site of today's Bishop Lei International House. Can anyone confirm?

Photos that show this place


There are a couple of mentions. First in chapter 2:

It was at this stage of my life ((in the early 1920s)), I saw the first ever reinforce concrete building in Hongkong (The St. Joseph's Mansion - now the Caritas Valtorta House at 2A Robinson Road) being built. To break up granites on the steep hill slope, explosives had to be used, and resorting to the beating of gongs to warn the passes by of the danger.


When the St. Joseph's Mansion was built, the first tenants were almost exclusively Portuguese. The long hall, at its basement, too, had the Club de Lusitano as its first tenant. I recalled watching from the steps, the Portuguese Community celebrating the Opening with a very well attended Dancing Party in that hall.

And then in chapter 5:

The enrollment of Wah Yan College Hongkong was swollen to over 800 students by 1927 As the student population of Wah Yan swelled, the Portuguese tenants hitherto occupying the St.Joseph's Mansion right next door to the School building on Robinson Road, began a wholesale "migration" over to live in Kowloon; thereby making it possible for Wah Yan to take over the entire St. Joseph's Mansion, a 6 storeyed building for the rapidly expanding school. Two and a half floors of the St. Joseph's Mansion were converted into a hostel for boarding students. The St.Joseph's Mansion ( what is now the Valtorta House of Caritas Hongkong ), the first ever reinforced concrete building built in Hongkong, was originally built as a 6-storey block of flats, with three separate staircases each leading to a 3-room self-contained flat on each floor. Because they were designed and built with three separate staircases, each such staircase was given a number by the Rating and Valuation Department. Thus the St. Joseph's Mansion was in fact, numbered as 2,4 & 6 of Robinson, and the orginal custom built school premises for the previous St. Joseph's College had its house no. changed from No.2 to No.8 following after the completion of the St. Joseph's Mansion. The rooms and hallways of the flats in the Mansion were quite spacious, and the flats were provided with flush toilet, a kitchen and one or two servants rooms. To convert these flats into a school hostel, all that were necessary was to knock open a passage way at a convenient spot through the partition wall between Nos. 2,4 & 6; modified the varieties of rooms domitories, dining room and other utilities, and there were sufficient space for about 100 boarding students.

I can confirm the building was sitting on the present day Bishop Lei International House.  I went to school here - St Joan of Arc in the fifties.

Thanks Goldfinch, that's good to know.

I realise we've got some more information about this building  (he calls it St. Joseph's House) in an earlier comment by AE Tse, see:

So although the building in the later photo looks quite different, it's the same building underneath.

Regards, David