11 May 2015
Built as the Gatekeeper’s Lodge of Marble Hall which was the private residence of Sir Paul Chater (1846-1926), a Calcutta-born Armenian merchant of great wealth.
The Gatekeeper’s Lodge was probably built in 1901/1902 when Marble Hall was built but in any case no later than 1918, when it appears in a site plan prepared by the Director of Public Works. Located at a site 500 feet above sea level, Marble Hall was executed in marble specially quarried in Italy and Greece and polished in Belgium. It has been regarded as one of the finest buildings ever constructed in Hong Kong.
In May 1946 Marble Hall was devastated by a fire. It stood empty until it was demolished in 1953 to make way for redevelopment, leaving the Gatekeeper’s Lodge as the only reminder of Chater’s residence.
Shortly after World War II, the Gatekeeper’s Lodge was leased to the Royal Interocean Lines. Later on, the Government took it over and used it as government staff quarters. Before 2000, it was used by the now-defunct Urban Services Department (USD) as staff quarters. It was called “Marble Hall USD Staff Quarters” in the 1990s, then “Chater Hall Gardener’s Quarters”. Until recent times, the building has been partially used for storage by landscape staff and partially vacant. Nowadays, it is totally vacant.