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Revitalization of Pak Tze Lane in Central began Friday, as part of a restoration process meant to highlight the link between Hong Kong's success and the 1911 Chinese revolution.
The Pak Tze Lane Garden project, being undertaken by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), will cost about HK$40 million. It is expected to be completed in 2011 in time for the centennial of the 1911 Revolution, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Officiating at the ground breaking ceremony for the project, Chairman of the URA Barry Cheung Chun-yuen said, "This worthwhile and meaningful initiative will provide the public with a themed and landscaped open space while at the same time manifesting the significance of Pak Tze Lane in modern history."
The location was the original site of the Chinese Patriotic Mutual Improvement Association and one of the stops on the Dr Sun Yat-sen Historical Trail. Pak Tze Lane was also home to the Furen Literary Society, a revolutionary organization. Due to its strategic location, Pak Tze Lane was an ideal place for revolutionaries to meet and hence a cradle of the 1911 Revolution, Cheung added.
The project carries dual purposes. The first is to educate people about the Chinese Revolution. The theme of the Pak Tze Lane garden is "Origin of the Chinese Revolution". It will incorporate exhibition panels and three-dimensional facilities tracing the development of revolutionary events.
Asked how the URA will recreate the original ambience of the place, Cheung said the designers and history experts would do their utmost to truly reflect the history.
Chairman of the Central & Western District Council Chan Tak-chor said Hong Kong was where Sun's revolutionary thoughts originated and Pak Tze Lane helped the revolutionaries accomplish their dreams. Therefore, it is vital to preserve this meaningful area, he said.
The second purpose is to improve the environment for the residents of the area. Pak Tze Lane is close to the URA's Peel Street/Graham Street project where a multi-purpose community hall and a green walking corridor will be provided.
The project also aims to improve pedestrian facilities, including by building a new staircase linking the Pak Tze Lane and open spaces in the district.
Founder of the Furen Literary Society Yeung Ku Wan's paternal nephew Albert Yeung Hing-on is glad the project aims to commemorate his legendary uncle. He added that Pak Tze Lane is an important Hong Kong heritage and he expects more people will be familiar with the history of the Chinese Revolution upon completion of the project.