Grading: Grade 1
This building at 120 Wellington Street is believed to be constructed in the year after a massive fire in Central in 1878. Having survived from the bubonic plague and many typhoons, this oldest tenement building, or Tong Lau in the local language, is still standing today. To prevent the spread of the plague, the government enacted a law that required new buildings erected after 1903 to have a scavenging lane behind. Since then, this building has become one of the few remaining tenement houses in Hong Kong that is back-to-side to adjoining buildings. Other buildings of the same period include the back-to-back tenement houses remained on Cochrane Street. Many of the original architectural features of this building, such as green brick walls, traditional pitched roof, and wooden staircases, are of high historical values and have been preserved till date.
The Wing Woo Grocery, a popular shop in the community that had sold dried seafood and daily commodities since the 1930s, was located in this building. During the Japanese occupation period, the shop ceased operations and was used as a storage space for salt and sugar. The business was eventually closed down in 2009.
The project is supported by Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.
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