The Main Building
The Main Building is the oldest architectural structure on the HKU Main Campus. This Edwardian Baroque-style building was designed by Alfred Bryer of Messrs Leigh & Orange. Construction begun in 1910 and was completed in 1912. The building itself was a gift from Sir Hormusjee N Mody, who was a distinguished Parsi businessman and land developer in Hong Kong. "Mody Road" in Tsimshatsui bears his name. Without his generosity, the University's existence may not have been realised.
At the Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony in 1910, Sir Hormusjee presented a golden trowel to the then Governor, Sir Frederick Lugard, who used it to lay the foundation stone of the Main Building.
During its early days, the Main Building housed everything, including offices, lecture rooms, a library, a clinic, and even a temporary students' hostel.
In December 1941, the Main Building was converted into a temporary hospital due to the outbreak of war. During the war, it was also badly looted; the roof was stripped and the materials were used as fuel. Sir Lindsay Ride, the then Vice-Chancellor, recalled that many of the University's buildings, including the Main Building, "...became roofless skeletons, stripped of equipment, furnishings and fittings, floors and stairs".
In the 1950s, the Main Building was extended with the addition of two further courtyards to its south, and one floor in the rear. In 1956, the central "Great Hall" was named Loke Yew Hall after Loke Yew.
In 1984, the Main Building was declared a monument by the Hong Kong Government. Today, when you visit the Main Building, you can find the clock tower, four courtyards and palm trees, which are now over 30 feet tall. You can also find the bust of Sir Hormusjee N. Mody on the ground floor and the bust of Loke Yew on the second floor.