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Old Kei Yan Primary School​ (Kong Kit Building)

Built in 1851, grade 2 historical building.

The old block of Old Kei Yan Primary School campus (OKYPSC). 

Historical Interest

Built in 1851, this building was originally the south wing of St. Paul’s College (聖保羅書院) which provided English classes to the Chinese and nurtured many figures, including Wu Ting-fang (伍廷芳), a well known diplomat and the first unofficial member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. The first building on the site appears to have been a boys’ school built in 1845-1848. The building was ordered to be rebuilt in a more “Collegiate Style” by the newly appointed Bishop, the Rev. George Smith. The top floor was added in 1937 and the open verandahs of the old building enclosed giving it a modern appearance. In 1955 the building was taken over by Kei Yan Primary School (基恩小學).

With a new school campus available in the summer of 1996, Kei Yan Primary School was then evacuated from Glenealy and moved to the new site at Hollywood Road. After that, Sheung Kung Hui Ming Hua Theological College (聖公會明華神學院) occupied one of the two buildings of the school premises. Another former school building has been used as an office of Echo (教聲), journal of Sheung Kung Hui. This building is now named as Kong Kit Building.

Architectural Merit

The building was originally two storeys high and built in a restrained Tudor Revival style with a pitched roof of Chinese tiles, gables, and open colonnaded verandahs. The work carried out in 1937 drastically altered the appearance and height of the old building giving it a Modernist look. The southwest elevation has cantilevered balconies running the full length of the façade with projecting wide eaves or typhoon canopy at roof level. Only one arched opening survives on this elevation. The southeast elevation also has a modern look, but Tudor style arches and buttresses still survive at ground floor level. Moulded string courses and cornices run along the full length of the façade. Windows to the upper two (first and second) floors are rectangular in shape. The roof of the building is flat with an indented or battlemented parapet. Ornamental brackets, hood mouldings, and period style joinery still exist internally and externally.

Rarity, Built Heritage Value & Authenticity

Because of the alterations to the building, it has lost its authenticity. However the original structure appears to be still there so that the building does have historical and built heritage value. Although the premises of Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School experienced several refurbishment works, its old appearance can still be traced from its stone foundation, remaining buttress at ground level and arched doorway. Tudor Revival architecture is rare in Hong Kong and it is fortunate that some features still survive.

Social Value & Local Interest

The social value of the school lies in the role it has played in the fields of education and religion.

The unique scenery and cultural landscape are the collective memory of the Central and Western District residents, especially the Kei Yan Primary School graduates. With a history of more than a hundred and seventy years, the Building has supported the development of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (Anglican Church) as well as the interaction between Christianity and Hong Kong society. Beginning life as an institution dedicated to supporting the education of poor and underprivileged members of Hong Kong’s lay Chinese communities. Today, surrounded by commercial and historical buildings, the building stands as testimony to the story of the gospel and the eternally immutable love of God in this blessed land.

Group Value

Old Kei Yan Primary School is very important as an integral component forming up both the Anglican heartland in Glenealy and the Heritage Trail–Central Route. It has historical and local interest and also group value being situated alongside St. Paul’s Church (Grade 1) and the Old S.K.H. Kei Yan Primary School (originally the south wing of St. Paul’s College, Grade 2). 

Old Kei Yan Primary School was part of the OKYPSC as well as the main core of the Bishop’s hill historical building complex. The building is the south wing of Bishop's House and it is also attached to Ming Hua Theological College with its external staircases.

Old Kei Yan Primary School is part of the “Conserving Central” initiatives was announced in 2009-10 Policy Address by chief executive Tsang Yam-kuen. The eight sites mentioned in the initiatives include the Central Government Offices Complex, the Central Market, the Central Police Station Compound, the former French Mission Building, Murray Building, the New Central Harborfront, the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Compound (Bishop Hill), and also Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road.

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