Six local buildings added to national monuments list

Another six buildings will be preserved as national monuments.

They are Church of St Teresa, Command House, Keng Teck Whay temple, the former Raffles College, the former St James Power Station, and Bowyer Block at the Singapore General Hospital.

Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew, in announcing the latest buildings to be gazetted on the National Monuments, said the six preserved buildings will help enhance Singapore’s community spaces and make the city even more distinctive.

The Church of St Teresa was officially opened in 1929, and serves the religious community in the area, and is a landmark in the heartlands of Kampong Bahru.

In the same area is the former St James Power Station which was Singapore’s first municipal operated power station. Built in 1926, it generated electricity until the late 1970s.

Not too far away, is the Singapore General Hospital where Bowyer Block stands with its distinctive Clock Tower. It is one of the few original hospital buildings from 1926 and was named after Dr John Herbert Bowyer, the former Chief Medical Officer who died during the war.

In the central business district, is the Keng Teck Whay temple that stands beside Thian Hock Keng. It was established in 1831 by 36 members of Hokkien Chinese heritage.

Over at the Bukit Timah area, hailing from Singapore’s colonial past, Command House formerly known as ‘Flagstaff House’, once served as the official residence of 16 successive General Officers Commanding (GOC) Malaya, and its notable residents include Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten.

Nearby is the Former Raffles College which was officially opened in 1929. It was the first institution for higher learning in Malaya and produced many eminent political and economic leaders for Singapore. The institution evolved into the to the National University of Singapore now based at Kent Ridge.

RADM (NS) Lui said Singapore is committed to preserving its built heritage to leave a lasting legacy for future generations and celebrate the social memory of these places.

“We need to keep our history and heritage alive and relevant to our future” he said.

RADM (NS) Lui was speaking at the launch of Resonance – Songs of our Forefathers, a book on Singapore’s built heritage and history captured through the camera lens of photographers such as property developer Kwek Leng Joo.

The project was initiated by architect and former Chairman of the Preservation of Monuments Board, Alfred Wong.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Nov 2009

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