Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another one bites the dust – Market Street Car Park

It was reported in the newspapers yesterday that the iconic Market Street Car Park will be demolished soon. According to this Today report, it will be redeveloped into a ‘Grade A office tower’ at a cost of S$1.4 billion. It also says that, built in 1964, this was the first multi-storey public car park to serve the parking needs of the financial district.

Below are two photos of the car park courtesy of Geoffrey Pain. You may not be able to make out the names of the 3 shops on the ground floor in the first photo. They are 海洋 Ocean Garments (OG), Crocodile and The Record Library. On the left is the famous Lau Pa Sat food centre.

Can you identify the street in the second photo?

Here's another photo (circa 1970) from Peter Chan.

Do you have any memories of this Market Street car park?


ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

That's another landmark gone but good riddance because I find it an eyesore.

The important question is, what will replace it? Probably a larger than life car-park that will take a 10-minute uphill climb?

Perhaps with more parking lots available the charges will drop.
Up and down.

Pipe dream!

Icemoon said...

Is this the Golden Shoe Car Park? I have always call it by that name.

Lam Chun See said...

No. This is not the Golden Shoe Car Park. Both are along Market St. But Golden Shoe CP is on the other side Church Street nearer to the Spore River, whereas this one is near to Cross St and Lau Pa Sat. The confusion is becos in the old days, Market Street was one straight road. Now it is truncated and separated by Church St and Cecil St.

peter said...

"Golden Shoe" was a nickname coined by the URA in the 1960s to refer to a geographical precinct within the CDB which was ear-marked for urban renewal. It was shaped like a shoe but golden because it was properties acquired by the URA and turned into 99-year leasehold commercial space. At that time Spore had very small plots like you see in the aerial photo. There was no way property developers could put up office blocks; so property lots had to merged to form one big plot. Golden Shoe was supposedly to be a beta site to determine market interest in 99-year commercial leasehold properties. The first building that came up in the Golden Shoe was not the carpark but the former Moscow Narodny Bank Building (at the forner of Cross Street and Cecil Street). Then it was UOB Bank Bdlg (corner of Chulia Street and Bonham Street), Tat Lee Bank Bdlg (not sure what it's called now) at the corner of Market Street and Chulia Street.

If I can remmember correctly, Golden Shoe started in/around Market Street (excluding Raffles Place/Collyer Quay) to/including Teluk Ayer Street (excluding Shenton Way, Anson Road and Cecil Street). Shenton Way was then open space and was later called "Wall Street of Singapore" which was another precinct to differentiate it from the old commercial center at Raffles Place. But the first bdlg that came up in Shenton Way was the Trade UNion House/Spore Conference Hall in 1965 or 1966, then MSA Building was next.

peter said...

Owners or residents who could prove they lived in the acquired properties to be taken over by the URA were compensated according to "which ever was lower" market value. The government established the Tenants Compensation Board to determine compensation. My late father was a board member.

Joseph Wong said...

I remember the Gemini Chit Fund company that caused a scandal in 1971 was located at the Market Street Car Park. Used to accompany my grand uncle to the company to contribute payments.

Bill Johnston said...

One of the businesses in the Market Street car park was a record library. It had a large stock of 33⅓ rpm
vinyl records - mostly classical but other types of music as well. It also sold 7" Ampex reel to reel tapes. I was a member of the library for five or six years: I could borrow up to three records at a time to take home and make tape copies. The library insisted that your hifi system was of a certain standard before you could borrow records and you had to pay for any damage - in non-airconditioned cars it was difficult to transport the vinyl without it melting or buckling!
Although it was illegal to make copies of records the library had certain discs it would not lend out. I remember wanting to take out Mozart's "Magic Flute"; I couldn't do so but the library would copy it onto tape and sell the tape to you!
I built up a huge collection of recorded music, all on 7" Ampex tapes. The tape boxes included a self adhesive vinyl strip you could stick to the spine and a small sheet of gold leaf so that you would write the title on it. I used white Letraset.