by Dr. Imran bin Tajudeen, NUS
(Signing up details to be announced at a later date)
Saturday, 10 January 2015, 9am-12pm (with a short break)
Nineteenth-century Singapore once operated as a dual port with twin settlements, one centred around Singapore River and controlled by the British, and another centred at Kampung Gelam, a royal town with adjoining merchants’ districts facing the harbour at Kallang Bay and a now obscure Rochor River. More than half of this historic settlement of Archipelago traders has been demolished to make way for Singapore’s earliest large-scale modernist public housing scheme within the old city area, Precinct N1 (Crawford estate), while the former harbourfront at Beach Road now features the skyscrapers of the Golden Mile scheme, an urban redevelopment strip that includes two mixed-use mega-complexes: Golden Mile Complex by local architects Gan Eng Oon, William Lim, and Tay Kheng Soon, and The Concourse by Paul Rudolph. The remnants of the old town, including the former palace, is now a conservation district emptied of its former community, while the public cemetery is under threat. The walk will take us to these aspects of the town in turn.