Saturday, March 3, 2012

1966 color photo of Raffles Place

I have seen this rare gem, a color photo of Raffles Place taken in 1966/67, in Raffles Place can easily be considered as the place where Singapore story started.  The founder of modern Singapore, Sir Stamford Raffles, wanted Singapore to become a "great commercial emporium and at the heart of this dream was Raffles Place.[1] The place was first named Commercial Square but renamed to Raffles Place back in 1850s.

Unfortuntely, the place is currently not as beautiful as it was back in 1966. All the buildings you see in this photo are demolished and Raffles Place is now a sterile, ugly, and a soul-less place squeezed with skyscrapers (see photo below).

Downtown Singapore
Raffles Place 1966/67 - Source : Flickr
SNAP: Singapore National Album of Pictures comments in Flickr gives a brief description of the buildings:

"The old classical Chartered Bank building featured here was designed by Swan & Maclaren. It was replaced in 1982 by a 44-storey rhombic-shaped building now renamed as 6 Battery Road.

The United Overseas Bank [former United Chinese Bank] stood at the corner of Bonham and Chulia street. The old building in the photo was demolished and the construction of a new one started in 1970 and was ready in 1974.

On the John Little site today is Shell Towers, built in 1982. In 1965, the open space in the foreground was excavated to provide for a underground carpark accommodating 250 cars. Above it [as seen in the photo] was a landscaped garden; with two ornamental fountains and 42 lamps that lit the garden by night.
Today, the underground carpark has been converted to the Raffles Place interchange for the MRT [Mass Rapid Transit] trains."

Raffles Place 2012

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