5 Iconic Landmarks that will close for good in 2016

5 Iconic Landmarks that will close for good in 2016
October 18 08:17 2016

On a recent taxi ride the uncle nostalgically shared with us how much Tiong Bahru had changed from the times of lively bird cages, community powered coffee shops and colourful wall murals and Chinese paper cuts. Progress has put the country at the forefront in many aspect and with it, the disappearance of a few iconic landmarks.

By the end of 2016 a few places will have made way to new projects so go visit them before the new year rings in.

Tanjong Pagar Railway Station

Once a major entry point into Singapore, the Tanjong Pagar Railway Station was opened in 1932 and last operated in 2011. Today, it stands inconspicuously on Keppel Road awaiting its final days. In recent years it has hosted a range of activities, from markets and dinners to gallery shows but it will close for good at the end of the year when it will be transformed into the new Cantonment MRT station. Parts of the station building and the platforms will still be preserved when the new station opens in 2025 as per the Singapore Land Authority press release.

Thieves Market

A somewhat similar fate awaits the Thieves Market in Bugis as the construction of the new Jalan Besar MRT Station nears completion.

In the beginning of the last century, Sungei Road, the market’s location, was filled with houses of wealthy Europeans and Asians. Today, one can find memories (and strange objects) of the past, a very close-nit community, and some items most of us will consider nostalgic “junk”.

By the end of the year the lights will go out at the Thieves Market and it may only be remembered as the place you could find relics of the past or the educational grounds to now millionaire Pang Lim, managing director of Koufu, who started his career at the Thieves Market selling scrap.

Rochor Centre

On my last visit a few weeks ago, Rochor Centre was already half empty. The colourful blocks were constructed in 1977, but have to make way for the new North-South Expressway (and the new acronym NSE) by the end of the year. Make sure to take a last walk through the centre and buy yourself a farewell present at the Chinese CD shop.

Dakota Crescent

Still constructed during British colonial days, these low-rise blocks have generated a renewed interest in the charm of the past in recent years. Prime example is the small local café Tian Kee (now closed). Curiously enough Block 62 had won in the late 90s the ‘cleanest block’ competition, but at the same time a neighbouring block was the location of frequent drug raids.

The goodbye to the small neighbourhood also means a farewell to the famous old dove playground, which is just as outstanding as its dragon counterpart in Toa Payoh. Although there are initiatives to save Dakota Crescent, it will most likely be raised to the ground to give birth to new condos.

Novena Underpass

Perhaps lesser known than the above-mentioned places, the Novena Underpass is linking Novena MRT with surrounding buildings, such as the Goldhill Centre. Besides fulfilling its designed function, the underpass featured very colourful images and street musicians. Be sure to talk a last walk, saving it all in your memory.

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featured image by Sherman Geronimo-Tan

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Peter Schimke
Peter Schimke

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