Kowloon Park History
In the early 1800s, Kowloon Park a military base has become to be known as Victoria Harbor. It was a vital base that was renamed to Whitfield Barracks when it was conquered by the British in 1861. Sir David Trench, the governor of Hong Kong at the time, decided to scraped the current land, demolished the former buildings and structures, to create a park. Construction was underway in 1970 and Kowloon Park opened which is now one of Hongkong attraction. Development cost nearly $300 million dollars, a bill paid by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. The park was expanded several times, once with an aviary in 1980 and again, adding a sports center and swimming pool complex.
The controversy surrounding the park was little. However, it did raise concerns during the construction of a mass transit line, the MTR rapid transit line (which changed names twice to the Kwun Tong Line and, it’s current incarnation, the Tsuen Wan Line) during 1975 to 1978. Because of this, construction of the project was slow. A strip mall was planned to be embedded in a side of the park and approved during the early eighties; a decision the government was criticized for. The Government received more shaken fists when it permitted the destruction of the barracks to make room for more open public spaces. In the early eighties, the commercial space opened and was dubbed Park Lane Shopper’s Boulevard.
The park is one of the largest in Hong Kong, totaling an area of 13.33 hectares. Divided by the north and south, the park has topographical diversity. The north side is suited towards recreational activity, while the southern side is saved for passive amenities.
Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre
The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center lay on former blocks of the Whitfield Camp, classified as a Grade III historical building. The former incarnation of the discovery center was the Hong Kong Museum of history, which ran from 1983 to 1999. This museum was moved to Chatham Road South. The area has expanded, linking several barracks constructed in 1980s and currently houses the current Hong Kong Museum.
Kowloon Park Swimming Pool
With at least 2,000 swimmers a day, the Kowloon Park Swimming Pool is one of the most used swimming complexes in Kowloon. It boasts an impressive Olympic 165-foot pool, 2 82-foot training pools, and a diving pool at 66 feet. That’s not all, on the outside they have various leisure pools crafted in interesting shapes, and connected by waterfalls, sunbathing areas, and paddling pools. It was created in 1989, built to service a little over 1500 people, but attracts an annual crowd of more than a million visitors. The pool was used to host the 2009 East Asian Games; thus, it was renovated to add accommodating first aid, media, doping controls, marshals, and officials.
This article only covers the surface of what Kowloon park has to offer. It also has a diverse array of flamingos and other birds, as well as historic military attractions.