History and Recent Development of the Queen's Pier
(retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen%27s_Pier)
Built in 1957 on reclaimed land, to replace a pier adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong Hotel, which was then near the waterfront. The pier was designed by British architect Ron Phillips in 1956 as part of the City Hall development and adjacent public open space, which included Edinburgh Place. The pier was "an integral part" of the development, with the entrance to the City Hall forming an axis with the Pier to lend a sense of occasion to visiting dignatories. It was considered essential to combine the goal of juxtaposing the city bustle with maximising public access to the very limited open space in Central. The out-sized public areas were conceived as a natural extension to promote the "freedom of movement and a sense of unlimited space". The structure consists of tiled concrete base and pillars, and was model after previous piers in the area. Stairs are located on the north side to allow ferry passengers to board and disembark.
It was formerly a ceremonial landing area for the British Royal Family visiting Hong Kong, and for successive Governor of Hong Kong to assert their authority when arriving in Hong Kong. Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom landed there in 1975, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales landed there in November 1989.
The pier is also a public pier, where pleasure craft were allowed to dock. Tour boats offering a view of the Kowloon side of the harbour use the pier for passenger boarding. Up to 1978, it was the winning line for the annual cross-harbour swimming race.
The pier's role diminished with most visitors coming by air. For several decades, the pier has served as a meeting point for people strolling the area, and some for fishing.
On April 26, 2007, the pier was officially closed in order to facilitate Central and Wan Chai Reclamation. Once complete, the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation will generate 1 million square metres of land for development.
Following the controversy following the demolition of the Star Ferry Pier in Edinburgh Place, activists made Queen's Pier the next battle-ground against the conservation policy of the Government of Hong Kong.
Following the criticism received over its handling of the Star Ferry Pier, the Government floated the idea of a piece-by-piece relocation of the Pier to a new location on the reclaimed waterfront. In May 2007, the Planning Department launched public consultation on Central harbour-front development and relocation of the Pier. The Government unveiled four design options for such relocation. During the Antiques Advisory Board's public hearing May 9, 2007, Board members voted a 'Grade 1' listing for the pier by a majority, but without a recommendation to the government on its status as a monument.
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