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BuiltinSG + 3DLantis 3D Design Competition

builtinsgdesigncompetition

Together with our friend from 3DLantis, we are holding a 3D Design competition to spread our love for Singapore and her wonderful heritage. 

All you have to do is get inspired by Singapore's heritage and send us either 3D designs or sketches of your ideas and we will help you bring it to life. Ideas can be inspired by architecture or otherwise, we are looking for everything that you may have to share. 

Anyone is welcome to join.

Stand to win up to USD 500. 

Contest ends 24th of February 2015. 

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Jinrikisha Station: Singapore’s last reminder of its once ubiquitous rickshaws

Situated at the junction of Neil Road and Tanjong Pagar Road, the eye-catching Jinrikisha Station was formerly the depot for rickshaws, one of the earliest public transport modes in Singapore. 

The name Jinrikisha is the Japanese term for rickshaw, which means human-powered carriage. First imported into Singapore from Shanghai in 1880, the small, lightweight two-wheeled vehicles quickly became popular amongst the population, as they were affordable and convenient to get around. 

With the rickshaw business prospering, a Jinrikisha Department was set up in 1888 to register and license each rickshaw, and the Jinrikisha Station was subsequently established in 1903 to provide travellers with easy access from the nearby Tanjong Pagar docks area to the city. 

Photo provided by National Archives of Singapore

Photo provided by National Archives of Singapore

The double-storey Jinrikisha Station was designed in the neo-revivalist baroque style, featuring white walkway arches, double white columns with decorative details, exposed brickwork that have now been painted over, and a domed lantern set atop. The building has a unique appearance, with a rounded façade that follows the curve of the junction, and an epigraph indicating its construction date, a characteristic of many other ornate buildings of the early 1900s.

By 1919, there were as many as 9,000 rickshaws manned by 20,000 rickshaw pullers working in shifts, and it was common to see rickshaws flooding the streets of Singapore. Despite earning a meager income of approximately 60 cents per day, the rickshaw pullers continued to work hard over the next few decades.

After World War II, the British government issued a ban on rickshaws in Singapore, as they were perceived as being oppressive to the poor, and a contributor to the nation’s increasing road congestion. By 1947, rickshaws were replaced with trishaws, electric trams and buses.

The Jinrikisha Station was included in the Tanjong Pagar Conservation Area in the late 1980s by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, and refurbished in the early 1990s to house shops and restaurants today.

In 2007, the historical building was purchased at a whopping S$11 million by Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan!

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Revisiting the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall

After a three-year refurbishment, the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall are finally reopening their doors this August with enhanced acoustics, new music, dance and theatre rehearsal rooms, as well as food and beverage outlets. Such improvements are certainly vital to preserve the grandeur and allure of this Victorian-era colonial landmark, which was erected nearly 150 years ago.

 Now, let us take a walk down memory lane and revisit the buildings’ rich history!

Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in January 2006.  Photo from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Theatre_and_Concert_Hall_6,_Jan_06.JPG 

Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in January 2006. 
Photo from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Theatre_and_Concert_Hall_6,_Jan_06.JPG 

You would be surprised to learn that the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall were not even meant to be a theatre originally! In fact, the Victoria Theatre was first established as the young colony’s Town Hall back in 1862.

Designed by renowned architect, John Bennett, the building’s architecture exhibited influences of Victorian Revivalism with its Italianate windows, and was one of the first in Singapore to reflect this style. The Town Hall served a dual function initially, with a theatre on its ground floor, and offices and meeting rooms on the second. However, with a growing administration and an increasing demand for entertainment amongst the population, the Town Hall eventually proved too small for both functions. Thus, by 1893, its offices had to move out.

When Queen Victoria passed on in 1901, the colonial government decided to build a memorial hall for her alongside the existing Town Hall in the same architectural style for the purpose of continuity. Upon its completion in 1905, the new building was named Victoria Memorial Hall, while the Town Hall was revamped into a theatre around the same time, and renamed the Victoria Theatre. Subsequently, the Clock Tower joining the two buildings was completed in 1906, and the Victoria Theatre officially opened three years later in 1909.

Victoria Theatre and Victoria Memorial Hall in 1905. Photo from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Theatre_and_Victoria_Memorial_Hall_-_c_1905.jpg 

Victoria Theatre and Victoria Memorial Hall in 1905.
Photo from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Victoria_Theatre_and_Victoria_Memorial_Hall_-_c_1905.jpg 

Before the onset of World War II, the Victoria Theatre and Memorial Hall housed numerous concerts, musicals and plays, including a performance by Noel Coward in 1930. It later served as a hospital during the early stages of the war, and was then used for the trial of Japanese war criminals after their surrender at the end of the war.

Rehearsal at Victoria Theatre Photo provided by National Archives of Singapore

Rehearsal at Victoria Theatre
Photo provided by National Archives of Singapore

The Victoria Theatre and Memorial Hall became a prominent role in Singapore’s political landscape after the war, functioning as the centre for the briefing of election officials and the counting of ballot papers from 1948, as well as the venue for the People’s Action Party’s inaugural meeting in 1954. In 1962, the original bronze statue of Singapore’s founder Stamford Raffles, which had been standing at the nearby Padang for years, was moved to the front of the building. After a thorough renovation in 1979, the Victoria Memorial Hall was renamed the Victoria Concert Hall, and has since become the home of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

Statue of Stamford Raffles in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall  Photo from: http://www.worldofstock.com/stock-photos/statue-of-stamford-raffles-in-front-of/TAG1242

Statue of Stamford Raffles in front of the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall 
Photo from: http://www.worldofstock.com/stock-photos/statue-of-stamford-raffles-in-front-of/TAG1242

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Chong Pang

Chong Pang, probably one of the most underrated neighbourhoods in Singapore

Yup, there is more to Chong Pang than the famous Chong Pang Nasi Lemak ;)

Take a walk around Chong Pang City, and you will be greeted with sights and smells reminiscent of a typical neighbourhood in Singapore – the various small, family run businesses from your one-stop hardware stores (that seem to sell almost everything), fashion boutiques (who buys clothes from them I wonder? :/), spectacle shops, goldsmith shops to fruit stores where you hear frequent calls of “lehlong, lehlong”, the wafting scent of the unpretentious, freshly baked buns of the many small bakeries that is present all around the neighbourhood, the sight of uncles drinking their Kopi-o in the afternoon, and Tiger at night, and of course the sounds of the usual chatter and banter in the wet market and food centres. 

However, what sets it apart from other neighbourhood is its’ rich sense of heritage, proudly displayed all around the area.

Once you step into Chong Pang City, it does almost feel like it is a ‘city’ on its own with the unique Chinese-style gateways flanked around the neighbourhood. 

Such gateways are a common sight around Chong Pang.

Such gateways are a common sight around Chong Pang.

 When I first saw those gateways, it reminded me of the Chinese cities we see in those local or TVB period dramas. Indeed, unknown to most (maybe to even some of the Chong Pang residents), Chong Pang actually shares a Sister City relationship with the Xindu County- Chengdu Satellite Town of Sichuan, China! As a symbol of the friendship, Mr K Shanmugan, Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC (Chong Pang Division) on behalf of Chong Pang presented the Merlion Statue to the residents of the Xindu County so do check it out the Merlion if you ever visit Xindu in Sichuan.

In return, in May 1995, Mr Zhao Dexi, Magistrate of Xindu County-China presented to Chong Pang a mother and baby panda Statue that can be found at the entrance of Chong Pang Garden.

Yes, Singapore had pandas way before Jia Jia and Kai Kai came along!

Yes, Singapore had pandas way before Jia Jia and Kai Kai came along!

Can you spot the panda statue? 

Can you spot the panda statue? 

You can check out the full story in this news report from a China TV station here

At the gateways, you can find signs like this with information about the history and origin of the neighbourhood centre and the person the neighbourhood was named after, Mr Lim Chong Pang, the son of pioneer Lim Nee Soon. Completed in 1984, Chong Pang City was the first neighbourhood centre in Yishun New Town. It took its name from the former Chong Pang Village, which used to be located around present day Sembawang MRT Station, a village started by Lim Chong Pang in the 1930s to house Indian migrants working in the Singapore Naval Base at Sembawang. 

Background information on Chong Pang City

Background information on Chong Pang City

In addition to the unique gateways and panda statue, there is an imposing statue of a farmer toiling at the field in the heart of the neighbourhood. It serves as a tribute to the past, when the economic activities of Chong Pang mainly depended on agriculture such as vegetable and fruit planting and poultry rearing. Through the statue, hopefully the young generation can understand our forefathers’ hardship and appreciate the transformation of Nee Soon from a tranquil rural estate to the modern and vibrant town it is today.

Farmer toiling at the field

Farmer toiling at the field

 So, maybe the next time after having the famous Chong Pang Nasi Lemak, you can consider taking a 10 minutes’ walk to this neighbourhood to admire its unique statues and gateways, as well as learn about the fascinating history of Chong Pang! 

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Central Fire Station

Established in 1909 at Hill Street, the Central Fire station is Singapore’s longest-standing fire station. Nicknamed “blood and bandage” due to its red-and-white brick facade, “blood” refers to its exposed red bricks, while “bandage” alludes to the bricks that were covered with plaster and painted white.[1]

Prior to the late 1800s, there was no proper firefighting unit in Singapore. Frequent fires that plagued the island often resulted in deaths and massive property destruction.[2] Although the Singapore Fire Brigade was then set up in 1888 and the first fire station at Cross Street completed three years later in 1891 as the brigade’s headquarters, these proved to be insufficient due to the lack of trained firemen and up-to-date firefighting equipment.[3]

It was not until the arrival of a professional English firefighter Montague William Pett in 1904 that significant improvements were made to Singapore’s firefighting force. In addition to upgrading the fire engines and boosting the fire service’s efficiency, Pett successfully pushed for the building of the Central Fire Station, which served as the new headquarters of the fire brigade.[4] The station was well equipped with an engine house, living quarters for the firemen and their families, a repair shop, carpenter shop, paint room, training yard, as well as a lookout tower.[5]

During World War II, the station was painted over with camouflage green to protect it from air raids. The Auxiliary Fire Service was also set up in 1939 at the station to enhance Singapore’s firefighting forces.[6] When Singapore eventually fell to the Japanese forces, several firefighters were retained to continue their duties during the war, while the rest were interned at Changi prison. At the end of the war, although the interned British firefighters returned to England, a few of them eventually came back to Singapore to resume their work at the Central Fire Station.[7]

In 1998, the Central Fire Station was gazetted as a national monument to pay homage to its significance in Singapore’s history.[8] In conjunction with the restoration and refurbishment of the station by the Singapore Defence Force (successor of the Singapore Fire Brigade), the Civil Defence Heritage Gallery was built to commemorate the local fire service’s contributions. Situated in the oldest part of the station, this gallery showcases Singapore’s firefighting history through photographs of major fires, old firefighting equipment and uniforms, interactive displays and audio-visual presentations.[9]

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Down the memory lane of our past learning journeys

How many of these activities can you remember doing on your learning journeys back in Primary School?

Kampong Glam

1. Visited the Masjid Sultan or Sultan Mosque with its iconic golden dome

Credits: https://guidepal.com/singapore/see--do/masjid-sultan

Credits: https://guidepal.com/singapore/see--do/masjid-sultan

How many of you still remember the story of the glass ring at the base of the golden dome? The base was made from glass bottle ends that the Sultan had collected as donations from the poor Muslims as the building committee believed that the mosque should be a place for worship for both the rich and the poor.

2. Tried on Sarongs, like these boys. 

Credits: http://www.academia.edu/4427970/Learning_beyond_the_school_walls_Fieldwork_in_Singapore_Grades_1-6

Credits: http://www.academia.edu/4427970/Learning_beyond_the_school_walls_Fieldwork_in_Singapore_Grades_1-6

3. Visited Gedung Kuning, or Yellow Mansion 

Credits: http://kgglam2013.blogspot.sg/2013/03/malay-heritage-centre-and-gedung-kuning.html

Credits: http://kgglam2013.blogspot.sg/2013/03/malay-heritage-centre-and-gedung-kuning.html

The mansion was painted yellow as the Malays believed it to be a royal colour. In 1999, Gedung Kuning was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act by the Singapore government and underwent restoration works. At present, it houses the restaurant Mamanda. 

4. Tried out these traditional games

Credits: http://solvesingaporeprimaryschoolmathematics.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/fatimah-and-hairu-enjoy-congkak-game-part-6-math-question/

Credits: http://solvesingaporeprimaryschoolmathematics.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/fatimah-and-hairu-enjoy-congkak-game-part-6-math-question/

Congkak - A game involving marbles and a wooden board

Credits: http://jbabiesdad.blogspot.sg/2012/09/malay-heritage-centre.html

Credits: http://jbabiesdad.blogspot.sg/2012/09/malay-heritage-centre.html

Chaptek

Credits: http://jbabiesdad.blogspot.sg/2012/09/malay-heritage-centre.html 

Credits: http://jbabiesdad.blogspot.sg/2012/09/malay-heritage-centre.html 

Five Stones

5. Went crazy and bought many bottles of these perfumes

Credits: http://desvfashion.blogspot.sg/2011/02/original-singapore-walking-tour-sultan.html

Credits: http://desvfashion.blogspot.sg/2011/02/original-singapore-walking-tour-sultan.html

Did you know that these perfumes are oil-based and contain no alcohol, in line with the Muslim customs?

Chinatown

6. Experience truly how multi-racial Singapore is by first visiting the renowned Chinese temple - Thian Hock Keng temple

Credits: http://blog.novacarhire.com/2013/01/14/travel-guide-to-singapore/

Credits: http://blog.novacarhire.com/2013/01/14/travel-guide-to-singapore/

Do you still remember what the guide had told you about this amazing temple? Refresh your memory here! 

Then to this Indian temple - Sri Mariamman Temple

Creditsl http://travelcie.com/view/singapore/sri-mariamman-temple-singapore

Creditsl http://travelcie.com/view/singapore/sri-mariamman-temple-singapore

Who still remembers that you have to take off your shoes before entering?

And lastly, Jamae Mosque

Credits: http://oceanskies79.blogspot.sg/2013/05/simple-american-in-singapore-part-2.html

Credits: http://oceanskies79.blogspot.sg/2013/05/simple-american-in-singapore-part-2.html

I think probably only in Singapore can you find 3 different places of religion all in one area!

7. Visited the Chinatown Heritage Centre and learnt all about our Chinese migrant ancestors

Credits: William Cho, https://www.flickr.com/photos/adforce1/8197453912/ 

Credits: William Cho, https://www.flickr.com/photos/adforce1/8197453912/ 

The Samsui women (红头巾) - Remarkable women of their time, toiling alongside with men at construction sites and withstanding all these hardships just for a better life for themselves as well as their families back at home. 

Credits: http://www.pbase.com/image/101072652

Credits: http://www.pbase.com/image/101072652

Living quarters of a coolie

Credits: http://5integrity2014.blogspot.sg/2014/03/learning-journey-to-chinatown.html

Credits: http://5integrity2014.blogspot.sg/2014/03/learning-journey-to-chinatown.html

Attempted to experience life as a coolie by doing this.

Credits: http://alicesg.blogspot.sg/2013/12/chinatown-heritage-centre-part-1.html

Credits: http://alicesg.blogspot.sg/2013/12/chinatown-heritage-centre-part-1.html

First learnt that this huge boat is known as a junk, and was how the Chinese immigrants came to Singapore by.

8. Had fun walking along all the colorful shop houses and streets of Chinatown

Shophouse.jpg

Little India

9. Bought these Indian snacks

Credits: http://www.angkaladkarin.com/2012/01/my-singapore-shopping-haul-little-india.html

Credits: http://www.angkaladkarin.com/2012/01/my-singapore-shopping-haul-little-india.html

10. Or these bangles

Credits: http://alicesg.blogspot.sg/2013/12/chinatown-heritage-centre-part-1.html

Credits: http://alicesg.blogspot.sg/2013/12/chinatown-heritage-centre-part-1.html

11. Or a peacock feather

Credits: http://singaporeactually.com/2010/09/01/beautiful-art-at-little-india-mrt-stop/

Credits: http://singaporeactually.com/2010/09/01/beautiful-art-at-little-india-mrt-stop/

12. Or a flower garland

Credits: http://www.storyofbing.com/2011/06/little-india-in-singapore/

Credits: http://www.storyofbing.com/2011/06/little-india-in-singapore/

13. Or got a henna tattoo (and feeling like you just got a real tattoo)

Credits: http://thuynguyen94.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/little-india-a-different-face-of-singapore/

Credits: http://thuynguyen94.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/little-india-a-different-face-of-singapore/

14. Passed by all these goldsmith shops

Credits: http://edp5a2010.blogspot.sg/2010/04/learning-journey-to-little-india.html

Credits: http://edp5a2010.blogspot.sg/2010/04/learning-journey-to-little-india.html

15. And these wonderful fruits and vegetable stalls

Credits: http://www.singapore-vacation-attractions.com/little-india-street-photos.html

Credits: http://www.singapore-vacation-attractions.com/little-india-street-photos.html

16. And not forgetting filling in the worksheets at the end! 

Credits: http://milestone-moments.blogspot.sg/2011/07/2011-montfort-junior-p1-learning.html

Credits: http://milestone-moments.blogspot.sg/2011/07/2011-montfort-junior-p1-learning.html

Thinking really hard..

17. Lastly, crashing on the bus back to school after all the exhausting but fun and enriching walks in the cultural areas of Singapore!

Enjoyed this article? Like our Facebook page BuiltinSG for more of such goodness! In addition, we will be featuring the 3 aforementioned religious buildings in Chinatown where we will be giving out free 3D models of it so stay tuned!

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Kampong Lorong Buangkok

In the midst of Singapore’s modern architecture and concrete jungle, lies a 60 year old village which is still unheard of amongst most Singaporeans. Kampong Lorong Buangkok, with its 28 families still residing in wooden houses with zinc roofs, is the last remaining ‘Kampung’ in Singapore today. 

Photo taken from http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/none/buangkok-village-761982

Photo taken from http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/none/buangkok-village-761982

Typical wooden house with zinc roof Photo taken from http://remembersingapore.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/from-villages-to-flats-part-1/

Typical wooden house with zinc roof

Photo taken from http://remembersingapore.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/from-villages-to-flats-part-1/

Love the contrast - Entrance to Kampong Lorong Buangkok with modern HDBs in the background Photo taken from http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/none/buangkok-village-761982

Love the contrast - Entrance to Kampong Lorong Buangkok with modern HDBs in the background

Photo taken from http://travel.cnn.com/singapore/none/buangkok-village-761982

Kampong Lorong Buangkok is situated right in the heart of the Hougang neighbourhood, surrounded by skyscraping flats and condominiums. This piece of land the village now sits on was acquired by Mr Sng Teow Koon in 1956. Mr Sng then lived there with his family and rented out the remaining land to others. Just within a few years, Kampong Buangkok then expanded from a village of 4-5 households, into one that housed almost 40 families in the 1960s.

As you walk through its cluster of rundown wooden houses, the village atmosphere would seem to bring you back in time. While nostalgia would overwhelm the middle aged and elderly as they relive their childhood memories, the younger ones gain an insight into how Singapore looks like, half a century ago. 

Photo taken from: http://www.centralsingaporecdc.org.sg/voices-64/somethingforeveryone.html

Photo taken from: http://www.centralsingaporecdc.org.sg/voices-64/somethingforeveryone.html

Being out of place in 21st century Singapore can prove to be quite problematic. Kampong  Buangkok is also known as ‘Selak Kain’ in Malay which translates into ‘hitching up one’s sarong’. This is because its residents are constantly haunted by flooding problems and plans to improve the drainage system never go through since it is not deemed a worthwhile investment.

The land is also believed to be due for redevelopment in the near future, which had sparked numerous debates about whether this last visible part of Singapore’s history should be retained, albeit at a huge opportunity cost.

Check out Kampong Lorong Buangkok instead, as a refreshing change to your usual Sunday morning strolls at urbanized MacRitchie Reservoir and experience the true ‘Kampong spirit’ while it still subsists in Singapore.  

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YMCA Singapore

"Y-M-C-A!"

While many would instinctively associate YMCA with the all-time favourite disco classic by American band Village People, fewer may be aware that this hit was actually inspired by the Young Men’s Christian Association that was founded in London in 1844.[1] More commonly known by its acronym YMCA, the organization strives for spiritual, intellectual and physical well-being of individuals and wholeness of communities.[2] Founded on these same Christian principles, the YMCA was first established in Singapore in 1902 at No. 1 and 2 Armenian Street.[3]

Photo provided by YMCA Singapore

Photo provided by YMCA Singapore

The organization aimed to reach out to all youth in Singapore, promoting healthy development with the Christian ideals of care, honesty, respect and responsibility.[4] In addition to housing several sports facilities including tennis courts, grounds for football, hockey, cricket as well as Singapore’s first swimming pool, the YMCA provided technical and commercial education programmes for youths to further their studies and acquire new skills.[5] With an increasing number of available programmes, the organization had to relocate to another building on the same street named Zetland House in 1904 to accommodate the subsequent rise in its membership.[6] Due to further expansion several years later, it eventually moved to its prime site at 1 Orchard Road in 1911.[7]

However, during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in World War II between 1942 and 1945, the YMCA building was transformed into the headquarters of the much-feared Japanese Kempeitai (Military Police).[8] Civilians and military personnel of the Allied forces[9] who were suspected of being anti-Japanese were interrogated and brutally tortured in the building through electric shock, water torture, violent beatings and starvation[10]. Amongst them was war heroine Elizabeth Choy, a YMCA member who had to be imprisoned for a total of 193 days, as she was accused of relaying messages to British internees.[11]

At the end of the war, there were differing views on the fate of the YMCA building. It was only after countless discussions that the YMCA managed to recover the building, and finally resumed its operations in December 1946.[12] The building was later demolished in 1981 to make way for the larger and more modern complex of today, which was officially opened in 1984.[13] At present, the YMCA of Singapore caters to all members of the communities, regardless of race, language or religion,[14] through its wide range of educational and social interaction activities.[15]

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Old National Library

If you were born in the 90s like me, the memory of the National Library would probably be that of the modern glass building located between Bugis Junction and Bras Basah Complex at 100, Victoria Street. 

National Library at Victoria Street Photo taken from National Library Board

National Library at Victoria Street

Photo taken from National Library Board

However, just in the not too distant 9 years ago, the National Library building was actually an iconic red-bricked building that probably would have stood out of today’s modern Singapore landscape with its striking British architectural design of the 1950s.  

The library was first known as Raffles Library, in commemoration of Stamford Raffles who started the first library in Singapore Institution (now known as Raffles institution) due to his belief in the importance of education, having been a self-made man. It was then renamed as Shonan Library during the Japanese Occupation. Despite the war, the library building managed to remain largely unscathed and intact, with only some 500 books looted compared to other libraries in Malaya which saw nearly half their collection lost. The survival of the war further cemented its role in the public as an ‘emblem of Singapore’s cultural heritage’ and ‘an epitome of commitment by all to consolidate society through shared knowledge and experience’[1].  In the 1950s following the calls for a free public library, with the generous donation of $350,000 from Lee Kong Chian, a renowned Chinese community leader and philanthropist, the old National Library building was set for construction at Stamford Road. The red-brick building was officially opened and christened as the National Library on 12 November 1960s, by the head of state, Yang di-Pertuan Negara Yusof Ishak.

Since then, the library has held many collections of books of the languages of all four races in Singapore and also initiated many activities such as story-telling sessions for children which are still carried out in various libraries today. Apart from just being a place to satisfy every Singaporean’s thirst for knowledge, it was also a place to satisfy your hunger to fuel through all the gruelling studying. After all, even SM Goh and many other Ministers used to frequent the famous Wanton Mee stall by Old Mdm Leong at the S11 coffeeshop beside it[2] (which makes me wonder other than it being really delicious, does it also give you some extra brain power? ;)).

For those who visited the library after its renovation in 1997, you may also have fond memories of chilling at the The Courtyard Café and The Fountain, whilst soaking in the atmosphere of the early Renaissance. 

The Courtyard Cafe Photo taken from National Library Board

The Courtyard Cafe

Photo taken from National Library Board

In 31 March 2004, the red-bricked Old National Library was closed and to be demolished to make way for part of the Singapore Management University’s city campus. In its place, the new National Library was opened in 22 July 2005 at Victoria Street.

 It was a pity that I had never been to the Old National Library before it was demolished, but thankfully there are still two red-bricked entrance pillars of the library kept near the Fort Canning Tunnel. Regretfully, I have never once noticed it despite walking past it numerous times while I was in that area. Perhaps, it is time we spend less time looking at our phone screens, and more on our surroundings to appreciate Singapore’s landscape, architecture and heritage and maybe, we might discover more interesting pieces of Singapore’s history that we have never bothered to notice around us.

Check out our FacebookInstagram and Twitter page at BuiltinSG for more interesting facts on Singapore today!


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