The home of HK’s governors and chief executives, the main building was constructed in 1855 at an estimated cost of GBP14,940. It took 4 years to build, taking on a colonial renaissance style that was altered throughout the years to take on each resident’s personal taste. Major renovations occurred under Governor Des Voeux (who added an annex to the East side of the house that was to feature the ballroom and supper room) and under Japanese occupation (when a central tower was built and the structure was enlarged and re-built in neo-classical-Japanese style).
With Tung Chee Hwa choosing not to reside within the 24,000 sq.m grounds, Donald Tsang was the first Chief Executive to live inside Government House. He was criticized for what was seen as exorbitant spending on renovations that amounted to a total cost of HKD14.5M. The current resident, chief executive C Y Leung, spent a comparative amount of HKD4.9M on renovations before moving into the property on the 29th of October last year.
Let us hope the renovations do not include anything that may be construed as an ‘illegal structure’.
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