Maryknoll Convent School was founded on Austin Road in 1925 as a kindergarten by the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic (originally called The Foreign Mission Sisters of St. Dominic), which had come to Hong Kong in 1921 with the mission to preach to and serve the local community. When St. Teresa’s Parish was established in 1931, the school management felt that the developing district of Kowloon Tong was an ideal place for a convent school, and construction of a new campus on Waterloo Road started in 1933.
Hong Kong Governor Sir Andrew Caldecott (1884-1951) laid the cornerstone of the Main Building in May 1936, and one year later the school moved to its new premises to provide education from kindergarten to college entrance. It has been a landmark in the area ever since.
The operation of the school was interrupted by the Second World War, during which it was used as a Japanese military hospital from 1942 to 1945. Construction of the convent next to the Main Building, which had begun before the war, was finally completed in 1953. In 1960, the secondary section was moved to new premises at 5 Ho Tung Road. The primary section has remained in the Main Building on Waterloo Road since that time and later also took over the convent when it became a whole-day school in 1997.
Built in 1937, the Main Building is laid out in the style of a medieval monastery or college with an open peristyle courtyard surrounded by cloisters. The free neo-Tudor style of the school complex incorporates a number of features drawn from Art Deco, Romanesque, Neo-Georgian and Gothic Revival architecture. The auditorium’s vaulted ceiling in the Romanesque style, the granite staircase facing Boundary Street, the pointed arches, hipped or gambrel-shaped roofs and the single tower of the façade are all notable features of the Main Building.
The Main Building of Maryknoll Convent School and its setting are preserved in very good condition. No significant changes or alterations have been made to the school over the years, old-style furnishings and flooring can still be found in the Main Building, and the well-kept landscape gardens further enhance the overall setting.