16 Dec 2010

Johnston Road, Hong Kong

Johnston Road is a major road in Wan Chai on the Hong Kong Island of Hong Kong. It spans from the junction with Heard Street, Hennessy Road and Stewart Road are at its east towards another junction with Hennessy Road and Queensway at its west near Asian House. It is shaped like a bow with the string being Hennessy Road and the Caltex gas station, Southorn Playground and Methodist House in between.

The road was named after Alexander Robert Johnston, the British Deputy Superintendent of Trade during the First Opium War. He was the government administrator even before Sir Henry Pottinger was appointed the first Hong Kong governor in 1842. The fact that the street was named after Sir Reginald Johnston was actually a myth. The road is built on the margin of the oldest building cluster in Wan Chai. Many Hong Kong residents are trying to preserve the old buildings and trees from redevelopment. The century old transport Hong Kong Tramways goes through the road with its first service opening in 1904. Although the name of Johnston Road named in 1920s, part of the road can be traced back to 1851 or earlier when the area was known as Praya East. The section from Spring Garden Lane to Wan Chai Road was known as "Strand Road", for its proximity to the coast.

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