After much public furor about the relocation and demolition of the Star Ferry pier in Central, I have ridden the ferry to the new pier for the first time. People have staged protests as a last ditch effort to preserve the clock tower. Nevertheless the government have moved ahead and completed the demolition.
I think the effort to save the clock tower is a lost cause. The value of the ferry building comes from it being a functioning pier. Once the land is filled in and roads are built over it, any left over structure will lose the waterfront context and its meaning.
All is not lost, as Star Ferry is still in service in the nearby new pier. Although I find it hard to love the mediocre new piers, which tried half-heartedly to be both old and new. Still the plan includes a new waterfront promenade, if executed well, can provide a wonderful open space by the waterfront that Central has never had. I think the true long term threat is actually the relentless advance of land fills, which might reduce the habour into a channel or even into a canyon crowded by sky scrappers. The constant presence of haze and air pollution is also disheartening. I remember the green hills and blue sky of the Victoria Habour in beautiful sunshine. Now people question openly if they can ever see clear sky again.
2007.01.30 comments -