Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wisma Indonesia (in the mid-1960’s)

Last week, Geoff Pain sent me 3 mid-1960’s photos of the Wisma Indonesia at Orchard Road. Anyone remember this place? It was relocated to Chatsworth Road and in it’s place the Wisma Atria was constructed.




Below is a scan from my 1981 street directory. You will notice that many of the landmarks there have been either demolished or rebuilt; e.g. the Lido Theatre. Do you see a hotel called Irama Hotel next to Wisma Indonesia? Anyone remember this place?


Quiz:
1) What was the name of the Chinese restaurant at the International Building next to Lido?
2) What was name of the institution that previously occupied the premises marked Raffles Junior College?

16 comments:

Selatke said...

The Chinese restaurant at the International Building was the Peking Restaurant. There was also a Chinese emporium in that building.

Another quiz: What was the name of the cafe on the ground floor of the old Ngee Ann Building?

The Teochews (maybe other dialect groups too) personally delivered wedding invitations to their relatives and close friends, and brought with them a box of traditional pastries. Gradually the traditional pastries were replaced by assorted western cakes with decorated icing. Cakes from the cafe at Ngee Ann Building were supposed to be high-class.

This custom of bringing a box of pastries with personally-delivered wedding invitations has now virtually died out.

peter said...

1. Same as Selatke's answer.

2. Teachers Training College before it became RJC.

Lam Chun See said...

I remember Peking restaurant mostly becos my sister had her wedding dinner there. Not very sure about the Chinese emporium. Was it on the ground floor? But I do remember that the car park entrance was from Claymore Hill. Is that still the same?

As for the TTC campus, I did not know that the RJC was here at one time. Was that its first campus? I only remember it being in Mt Sinai Rd.

peter said...

Can recall which floor (2nd or 3rd)but had to take the elevators at the side nearer to Lido Cinema. Famous for tim sum trolley, Ground floor was Qantas office.

Yah first campus.

Anonymous said...

It's not wisma atria but Ngee Ann City ( takashimaya)

Selatke said...

The Chinese emporium in the International Building was aptly called Chinese Emporium. It was on the second floor.

At one time there were a number of Chinese emporiums located all over the Singapore, including 2 Orientals, Eastern, Chinese, Yuyi, Katong, Toa Payoh, etc. (I might have said earlier that the one in High Street was Oriental, but it was actually Eastern.)

peter said...

Nope. Ngee Ann City only involved Ngee Ann Bdlg and land owned by the Ngee Ann Kongsi. The Wisma XXX was the Indonesian Embassy for which a land swap between the Spore developer and the Indonesian Govt was made. Quite similar between U.S. Embassy and I think Hong Leong, and the U.S. ambassador's house @Grange Road with a local developer.

The former SHELL Orchard Station became Orchard MRT.

peter said...

i was wrong about the airline company that operated on the ground floor of International Bdlg. It was British Airways and not Qantas. It was on the side of International Bdlg nearer to Calymore Hill.

Anonymous said...

I remember the Institute of Certified Public Accountants was located at the RJC area before it shifted to CPA House at Aljunied.

Selatke said...

According to the official website of Ngee Ann Kongsi:

"The complex [Ngee Ann City] sits on land owned by the Kongsi, part of a parcel of land known as Tai Shan Ting [泰山亭], bounded by Orchard, Paterson and Grange roads. Tai Shan Ting was one of the several burial grounds owned and managed by the Kongsi. The cemetery was cleared in 1957 and parcels of land were leased for 99 years to Mandarin Hotel, Cathay Cineleisure Orchard and the Indonesian government (now Wisma Atria). The remaining land was acquired by the Government for a teachers' training college on Paterson Hill, MRT projects and road widening projects. A 10-storey Ngee Ann Building stood on the land for a while before it made way for the current complex."

So the land is owned by the Kongsi, and the Indonesian Embassy, Wisma, Mandarin Hotel, Cineplex, etc are only leasees. Ngee Ann City is the one managed by the Kongsi itself.

Just imagine. The Kongsi bought the vast piece of land as burial land at a pittance from the colonial government and the land is now worth $$$$$.

Keith said...

There's a large, rectangular, forested and hilly land besides Orchard Parksuites and behind Ngee Ann City. Any idea whose land is it ?

Icemoon said...

Keith, land belongs to SLA.

Former RI / RJC student said...

The pre-u classes were in the RI campus at Grange Road until 1980 I believe. Then it moved to the TTC campus and became known as RJC while the Mt Sinai campus was being built.

The classes finally moved to Mt Sinai in 1983(?).

adam said...

Icemoon,

that hilly land is it a burial ground? i have always wondered what is it...

Anonymous said...

The western style cafe at the old Ngee Ann Building was Mont 'Dor. Had wonderful cakes and ice cream and Hainanese style western food. Another western cake shop was Adelphi cake shop at Adelphi Hotel opposite St Andrew's Cathedral. What was name of nightclub at Wisma Atria? Chinese name was something like Sea Swalow that featured many local and overseas Chinese singers.

Kenneth Ong said...

There was a cluster of Hainanese style restaurants around Orchard Rd at same time at Mont D'or. They were Stella Doro opposite the Cold Storage Creameries, Emerald Steak House at Emerald Hill, and Cairnhill Steak House opposite the Heeren Building of old. All of these no longer exist.

These restauants pre-dated The Ship and Shashlik that came later and exists till today.