Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Codename: Wildgeese - Lewis Collins (1984) - The Peninsula Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui

We manage to catch a glimpse of Salisbury Road in front of the Peninsula Hotel. This is at a time after the old train station was demolished (bar the clock tower) but before the Cultural Centre was constructed.

Other things worthy of note are the old YMCA (behind the grey sign on the right, top picture) and the fact that the Peninsula Hotel had already undergone its forecourt revamp.

1 comment:

  1. The Peninsula has had at least two forecourt revamps, and this is between them. (It's also the version I remember best as a kid, and I think the most attractive one.)

    The first revamp replaced the original forecourt lawn and its fountain (a twin-basin affair which can be seen in these images http://www.hkmemory.hk/collections/hkplaces/AllItems/images/201107/t20110722_42522.html or your own at http://hongkongandmacaufilmstuff.blogspot.com/2011/05/soldier-of-fortune-clark-gable-1955_15.html) with the one in your image here, which has rounded corners and is surrounded on three sides by a low hedge.

    As you can see in these images (http://www.hkmemory.hk/collections/hkplaces/AllItems/images/201107/t20110722_41276.html and http://www.hkmemory.hk/collections/hkplaces/AllItems/images/201107/t20110722_41271.html), the new fountain and its surround were still completely level, as was the lawn which they replaced. A small flight of steps remained before the entrance to the hotel, taking you up from the lower level of the forecourt. And at either side of the forecourt, there was now a handful of parking spaces.

    I'm not exactly sure when that first revamp happened, but I believe it was some time in the 1970s or perhaps very early 1980s. The second revamp occurred later, and I remember it taking place, which would have to place it in the late 80s or early 90s. (Most likely around the same time as the new tower was added in ~1994.)

    That second revamp was much more radical. An underground car park was added, and the entire forecourt reprofiled to slope upwards at the rear, removing the need for the flight of steps and likely increasing the room available for the car park. Ramps on either side took you down into the car park and back out, and the fountain itself was replaced with the current, much smaller and square-cornered version with a hedge along the back side only.

    This version is personally my least favorite, as the ramps for the car park are ugly and almost the whole forecourt is now given over to cars. But at least the hotel itself is still largely intact, I suppose, so it could have been much worse...