03 Oct 2006, Issue 3


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In This Issue

Alumni Consultation Forum on the "Draft Report of the Committee on Bilingualism" (21 Oct 2006)
Upcoming Activity Highlights
Get Free Film Tickets, Discounts on Cakes & Italian Ice-cream and Free Maxim's Fast Food Coupon
Career Opportunities at Hi-tech Companies of Hong Kong Science & Technology Parks
Believe It or Not! 6 CU Alumni in One Family
The Million-dollar Myth of the University Mall
Care about the University and Those in Need

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The Univeristy Mall is fondly referred to as the "Million Boulevard" (百萬大道) by the University community. Ever wonder how it got the name?
The Million-dollar Myth of the University Mall
Between the University Library and the Science Centre is the most famous walkway on campus, the University Mall (林蔭大道). The Mall was originally designed to allow all students to "meet, rub shoulders, and exchange ideas". The walkway is fondly referred to as the "Million Boulevard" (百萬大道) by the University community. Ever wonder how it got the name?

Myth 1 – Millions of Tiles were Used?
One saying is that the "Million Boulevard" is floored with millions of crafted tiles. Although the walkway, occupying an extensive area of open space between the University Library and the Science Centre, can accommodate thousands of participating guests in the University's annual congregations, it seems exaggerated to claim that millions of tiles were used in its construction as its floor area is just 29,900 sq ft (260 ft (L) x 115 ft (W)).

Myth 2 – Symbolic Meaning of the Auspicious Chinese Pattern along the Mall?
As you may notice, the University Mall is decorated with fret pattern tiles - a kind of auspicious pattern commonly found in traditional Chinese architectures and antiques. Since the Chinese fret represents the number "ten thousand", the University Mall, which is made up of repeating Chinese fret patterns, is therefore called the "Million Boulevard".

Myth 3 – Construction fee= $1 Million?
There is yet another saying that the construction fee of the University Mall was as high as $1 million and hence the name the "Million Boulevard". You can imagine how big this figure was back in the 1970's by comparing it to the construction fee of other buildings in Central Campus. According to the University Bulletin (Vol. 6, No. 2, 1969), the construction fee of the Benjamin Franklin Centre, which was established in 1969, was just $2.5 million while the construction fees of the Institute of Chinese Studies and University Administration Building, which were both established in early 1970's, were approximately $1.5 million and over $2 million respectively.

What is YOUR version of the myth of the "Million Boulevard"? Send in your comments and new findings to alumni@cuhk.edu.hk. You are also welcome to contribute interesting stories of other architectures of CU.


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