Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Old Buildings Quiz (1)

Ever since I started blogging about the good old days, I have taken an interest in old buildings in Singapore. Whenever, I see an old building, I want to take a photo of it for fear that it would be torn down when I am not looking; such as my beloved National Junior College. Or worse still; the government may decide to preserve it – i.e. they will retrofit it beyond recognition, the way new pop groups ‘remake’ some of our favourite oldies. OK, I exaggerate, but you get my point.

I am not referring to the well-known buildings like the CHIJMES, or the Fullerton Building which have been gazetted as national monuments. I am referring to the unimportant buildings such as the former Driving Test Centre at Queenstown, Braddell Rise School and Matter East School. So whenever the opportunity arises, I would take some photos of these buildings.

I would like to share some my collection with you. But to make it more interesting, I will make it into a quiz. Here’s the first one. I have chosen this building because it is related to an interest article in the Straits Times today about the Jewish community in Singapore and their new building in town.


Please tell me the name of this building nd where it is located. I suspect many of you have seen this building but never noticed it's name.

11 comments:

Ngiam Shih Tung said...

The row of shophouses on Selegie Road just before it crosses the Rochor canal into Little India. Not Elias building, but it also has a jewish name.

Victor said...

That was a dead giveaway, Chun See. I didn't intend to cheat. You see, I saved the photo on my desktop for closer study and the answer was there in the default filename staring at me.

Actually, this building is very near my primary school and I am familiar with it. But I never knew it was called by that name.

zen said...

Chun See makes a strong point by saying that when a building is preserved and retrofit to such an extend, losing its character, it merely becomes a pale shadow of its former self. It is like a dignified good-looking old dame, having an extreme make-over until no one could recognise her. The other day I passed by the former glorious Cathay cinema and found an almost new building with a tiny facade that reminds us that this old lady was in fact Cathay, what a let-down, something like 98 percent new, with two percent left to show. It shows that many new owners retrofiting old buildings have only dollars and cents in their heads.

oceanskies79 said...

Victor gave me the clue. Ellison Building is located at the junction between Selegie Rd and Bukit Timah Rd.

The roof of the building in the first photo is likely a special one since I read from infopedia.nlb.gov.sg that the colonial governors would sit at that roof to catch races held at Race Course Rd.

Lam Chun See said...

Yes it's the Ellison Building along Selegie Road as Shih Tung said. I was too lazy to upload the photo to Flickr. Otherwise, you can see the name clearly on the 2nd photo.

I don't know much about this place. Actually, I had lunch with an ex-colleague the other day at the nearby Paradiz Cerntr and so I took the opportunity to take some photos of the former Rex cinema and the surrounding roads and found this building quite interesting.

One of those buildings that have disappeared is the Selegie Complex with was demolished recently.

Lam Chun See said...

I thot that Victor would be able to recognize that buidling becos his former school was just across the road. But I doubted that he would have noticed the name which was quite obscure.

Thanks PY for that nugget about the building's history. I didn't know that it was on Infopedia.

Ngiam Shih Tung said...

Ellison didn't sound very jewish at first, until I realized it was probably a first name, like Alison, which is still a popular jewish girl's name.

But the building has unmistakeably jewish history- the Star of David is very prominent in this picture

http://www.ozimages.com.au/Photo.asp?PhotoID=365369

Lam Chun See said...

My friend Siva recently posted an article about the flowering Sea Apple tree. He showed a photo of the tree next to a building that look just like this one. Go take a look here.

Sivasothi said...

Hey Chun See got your comment, will check and get back to you. I'll ask the driver, had my eye on the flowers, trying to grab shots that day; had no idea wwhere I was!

zen said...

Not too long ago it was reported in the newspaper that a famous singer went to Jerusalem, attended a rite and proudly proclaimed that she had renamed herself with a Jewish name Est..r. She is well known for reinventing her singing career when it appears to go downhill. This shows that a name change does have an impact on her singing career.

Tiffanie said...

Hi,
Im a student doing a project on Selegie Road. I happened to see your blog when searching for information about Selegie Road. Can you tell me more about its past and present? How has it changed? it seems like the Beancurd store is still popular throughout the years but I'm sure it has made some accommodations with the new cultural and behavioral changes influenced by globalization.