Don’t let it die

Shouldn’t technology be able to save the New 7th Storey Hotel?

I REFER to “It’s the end of the Storey” (June 27) and I want to express my utmost disappointment at the imminent demolition of the New 7th Storey Hotel (picture) along Rochor Road.

It is hard to understand that with the advance in building technology why this is the only engineering solution to resolve the situation; we have even seen an MRT station built under a huge canal in the Chinatown area. Many countries have succeeded in merging new and existing buildings through tactful architectural intervention (we can count our own Bugis Junction as an example of this, as well).

Then again, this is yet another painful reminder of other similar examples – the most recent being the demolition of the red-brick National Library building.

Another is now fading away in most memories – the beloved former National Theatre, which was just a few streets away.

I hope the Government remembers that the collective historical memory of Singapore belongs to the nation and her people, and must be treated with great respect. Architectural history is an important component in the fabric of the people’s collective memory and these threads should not be so easily removed under the tag of “progress”.

Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of younger Singaporeans are finding it harder to take root in the country? It will of interest to hear the comments of the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the National Heritage Board and other relevant authorities on this matter.

Source : Weekend Today – 28 Jun 2008

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