in Hong Kong - Kowloon
One of the oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong, the former Marine Police Headquarters was completed in 1884. Comprising a main building, a stable block and a signal tower (commonly known as the Round House), the compound was occupied by the Marine Police from its establishment until 1996, apart from the period during the Japanese occupation (1941-1945) when it was used as a base by the Japanese navy. The main building was originally a two-storey structure, but an extra floor was added in the 1920s; its south-east and south-west wings served as married quarters. During the Japanese occupation, extensive underground tunnels were constructed beneath the lawn, but they were blocked up and the lawn was re-turfed for the public’s safety after World War II. The most distinctive building within the compound is the signal tower, which was constructed to provide time signals to ships in the harbour. It fell out of use in 1907 when the time ball service was relocated to Signal Hill (Tai Pau Mai).
In 2003, the government launched a heritage tourism development project and issued an open tender with the aim of engaging the private sector in a project to preserve, restore and develop the former Marine Police Headquarters as a heritage and tourism-themed commercial site. The project was completed in 2009, and the site was renamed ‘1881 Heritage’ after its revitalisation.