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 began in 1910 and was completed in 1912. The building itself was a gift from Sir Hormusjee N. Mody, 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 all aspects of the University, including administrative offices, lecture rooms, a library, a clinic, and even a temporary student hostel.
In December 1941 the Main Building was converted into a hospital due to the outbreak of war. During the war, it was badly looted; the roof was removed 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 and a further floor at the rear. In 1956, the central "Great Hall" was named Loke Yew Hall after Dr Loke Yew in recognition of his support of the University.
In 1984, the Main Building was declared a monument by the Hong Kong Government. Today, visitors to the Main Building can see the clock tower, four courtyards and palm trees which are now over 30 feet tall. They will also find the bust of Sir Hormusjee N. Mody on the ground floor and the bust of Dr Loke Yew on the second floor.