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Exit the Dragon: Bruce Lee’s Kowloon Tong home demolished

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Source: Coconuts HK/inkstonenews

The master at work. Screengrab via YouTube.

Bruce Lee, his wife Linda Lee Cadwell and son Brandon and daughter Shannon were pictured in the 1970s.

The former Hong Kong mansion of Bruce Lee is now being torn down, despite calls from Lee’s fans to preserve the property known as “Crane’s Nest” as a museum. 

The two-story, 5,700 square-foot townhouse, located in the upscale district of Kowloon Tong, was where the martial arts legend spent his final years. But it will soon be demolished to make way for a Chinese cultural studies center. The demolition work kicked off on Tuesday. In the morning, the entrance to the compound was locked, while several construction workers worked around the main building, which was surrounded by bamboo scaffolds. 

The owner of the property said the existing building had fallen into disrepair. But the decision still disappointed Lee’s fans, who have for years lobbied the Hong Kong government to turn the site into a museum to honor the late actor, who passed away in 1973 but still has a massive global following. “The former home of a superstar is finally turning into ashes, since the property owner and the government gave up on saving it,” the Bruce Lee Club, a Hong Kong-based fan group, posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday. 

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 and raised in Hong Kong, Lee is one of Hong Kong’s most famous and universally adored 

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.  But besides a statue on the seafront, a waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s and a temporary exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the city has few other tributes to Lee. Some Hongkongers visited the mansion on its last day. Eleanor Xian, 50, said she came to take photos of the house for her family members, who were loyal fans of Lee. “There’s nothing we can do,” Xian said. “Hong Kong’s land is too precious. It could only be used to make money, not for conservation.”

Lee lived in the house with his wife Linda and two children, Shannon and Brandon, after they moved to Hong Kong in 1971 in order to further his acting career. After Lee died suddenly in 1973, his widow and children moved back to the US. The following year, Chinese businessman Yu Pang-lin, a toilet cleaner-turned-billionaire, bought the property for about HK$1 million or $127,000.

Many of Yu’s properties were rented by love hotel operators, earning him a moniker that he detested: “Love Hotel King.” The Lee house was also converted into a love hotel that charged guests by hour. In 2010, Yu wanted to donate the place, worth millions of dollars, to the government to build a Bruce Lee museum, but the two sides failed to agree on a redevelopment plan. After Yu passed away in 2015, his entire estate, including the mansion, was donated to the Yu Panglin Charitable Trust. The trust originally tried to renovate the house. But after assessing its condition, the trust estimated that repairs could cost $2.55 million, similar to the cost of demolishing the building and erecting a new one. A new building, due to be finished next year, will house a Chinese studies center that teaches children subjects like Mandarin and Chinese music, according to the trust.

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This is distressing. They should have promote it as a museum instead of a love hotel.  I traveled to HongKong often I can't remember how many times. Always going to the same familiar places till i get bored. I would have visited the mansion if there is some kind of ongoing promotional activity. I am sure many Bruce Lee's fans will have done the same. The mansion will not be in a state of disrepair if tourists flock there. Bruce Lee is still as popular as ever. His popularity never fades. He is indeed a legend. He has a legion of fans everywhere "the whole world". Everyone loves him. He is more popular and better remembered than any head of a country. Even those born in this century love him.

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This is sad to hear that the former house of Bruce Lee is being torn down, would have been a good idea if they could save it and keep it as an exhibition or something for the Bruce Lee fans or as a tourist attraction spot.

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This is bad news especially Bruce is an icon.  just look at Elvis's mansion making millions $ every day as tourist attraction.

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