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SG Calls to protect Queenstown's historical sites

Property Here - Thursday, July 11, 2013

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Queenstown residents have gathered to save close to 20 sites from future demolition, according to media reports.

About 1,000 people signed a petition to preserve locations in Singapore's oldest estate including the former Archipelago Brewery, Queenstown Polyclinic and Queenstown Sports Complex.

Civic group My Community and the estate's Citizens' Consultative Committee launched a conservation paper after four years of planning, urging the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) to consider protecting the buildings under Singapore's Master Plan 2013.

Buildings were chosen based on their historical and architectural significance and contribution to the overall environment.

Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Chia Shi-Lu was among those who signed the petition, and said while the estate did not have the “spectacular” sites of Joo Chiat's Peranakan houses or the graves in Bukit Brown, the selected buildings were significant in Singapore's housing history.

My Community President Kwek Li Yong said the sites were some of the few in Singapore “...that are not important only to the estate but important to Singapore”.  

Other buildings proposed for conservation include Singapore Improvement Trust and Housing Board blocks built during the 1950s and 1960s as well as Masjid Mujahidin, the first mosque built by the HDB.

The Singapore Heritage Society, which is compiling its own list of potential sites for conservation,  commended the efforts of Queenstown residents while the National Heritage Board said it was “heartened” by the move.

“There should be more voices promoting dialogue with policymakers to help decide what it is that people think are important in Singapore,” said Yeo Kang Shua, Honorary Secretary of Singapore Heritage Society.

Image: Queenstown is Singapore's oldest estate, built to tackle overcrowding in Chinatown in the 1950s.

 

Amy Kelly, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories emailamy@allproperty.com.sg