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Hong Kong Island
Old Pathological Institute (Caine Lane, Sheung Wan)
The Old Pathological Institute in Caine Lane, formerly known as the Bacteriological Institute, was opened in 1906. It was the first purpose-built public health and medical laboratory in Hong Kong.
Bacteriological studies in Hong Kong were still underdeveloped at the end of the 19th century, and only temporary facilities for bacteriological examinations were available until permanent premises were opened in Caine Lane in 1906 to house the newly established Bacteriological Institute in response to the need to control plague and other infectious diseases in the territory. The expanded role taken up by the institute after the Second World War saw it renamed the Pathological Institute. When the institute’s headquarters were relocated in 1960, the building was renamed the Old Pathological Institute, but vaccines continued to be produced at the site until the 1970s. The building was then used by the Department of Health as a medical store, before the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences was established at the building in 1996.
Comprising two upper floors and a basement, the red-brick structure is built in the Edwardian style. The arcaded verandah, balconies and double-layer Chinese pan-and-roll tiled roof are examples of the adaptation of Western architecture to a subtropical climate. The building’s parapet walls decorated with a Dutch gable and obelisk-shaped finials are notable architectural features that are rarely found in Hong Kong.
Old Pathological Institute was declared a monument in 1990.
Old Pathological Institute
Caine Lane, Sheung Wan (Plan)
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