HSBC Headquarters Building (2nd generation) [1886-1933] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

HSBC Headquarters Building (2nd generation) [1886-1933]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
Date Place demolished: 

The opening date comes from an article in the Hong Kong Daily Press, 1886-08-14, pg02, which reported the opening of the Bank's new building on that day. (Though to be 100% correct, the article notes that "although the Bank is being removed into it, the building is far from completed, and it will not be finished, at all events, within six months."

Other notes from the article:

  • The site for the new building consisted of the site of the previous HSBC HQ building, plus the site of the "tenement belonging to the Chartered Mercantile Bank", which HSBC had acquired.
  • Design was put out to competition and "After a careful consideration of the plans submitted the choice of the Directors fell upon one which had been prepared by Mr, Clement Palmer, of the firm of Messrs. Bird and Palmer, of this colony, [...]"

The demolition date comes from an article in The China Mail, 1933-11-02, pg 09:

"[...] the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building, with the exception of the granite columns at the front and rear, has within three weeks, been all but razed to the ground."

Photos that show this place



Were they both new, or was one the old Wardley House ?


It was described as a single building, though with a very different appearance depending on whether you saw the south face (left in the photo above) or north (right).

It replaced the old Wardley House. The 1886 HK Daily Press article again:

It will be remembered that the old bank building was a much smaller structure than the imposing pile which has succeeded it, and which, when it is completed, promises to be one of the finest pieces of arcgitecture in the colony. Adjoining it to the westward were the premises formerly occupied by the Chartered Mercantile Bank, and these were acquired by the Directors of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank to add their site to that of the building already in their possession, the accomodation afforded by which the rapidly increasing business of the Corporation had much outgrown. About three years ago the building was vacated, and the Bank was moved into temporary quarters on the P. and O. premises, and the old offices and the tenement belonging to the Chartered Mercantile Bank were pulled down to make way for the present handsome structure.

Late 1890s - chater Praya reclamation well underway

Marine Lot 104
Marine Lot 104 - HSBC Wardley Street.


So what was the deal Gov cut with HSBC ?

a) $1,250,000 (less $250,000 for 10,000 sq ft of vault space for storing silver needed for the colony's note issues)
b) Lot #580 and the buildings thereon (St. John's Place)

In return, HSBC got Wardley Street and a portion of the City Hall site. (The history of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
, Volume 3)

Good architectural piece on the bank buildings in Hong Kong and Shanghai: