Are we looking at buildings only as money-spinners?

I READ “It’s the end of the Storey” (June 27) with disbelief.

How serious are we as a nation about preserving what little is left of our heritage? What, exactly, are these “engineering constraints” that make it impossible to construct the Downtown Line without demolishing the New 7th Storey Hotel? Since the Bugis station already exists, would it be fair to say that they will just be doing works underground? And if so, can they not tunnel around the building, rather than just directly below it?

After the recent demolition of the much-loved National Library (and going back even further, other historical landmarks such as the National Theatre, the Van Cleef Aquarium, the old Esplanade – Elizabeth Walk – and Satay Club), have we not learned our lesson? We can’t turn back the clock and save these buildings – some would say, monuments – but going forward, we can try our best to preserve those that are still with us.

I feel that we are still not doing enough in this area and tend to look at buildings purely from an economic standpoint – hence, you get the Raffles Hotel, Chijmes and the Singapore Art Museum. These structures are money-spinners and to the authorities, the New 7th Storey Hotel is merely an anachronism from the past, on its last legs, deserving of the wrecking ball.

It is not too late. I beseech the authorities to re-consider their decision and leave the New 7th Storey Hotel alone.

Source : Weekend Today – 28 Jun 2008

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