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Dec 23, 2009

They are tearing down Queenstown Central!




Have you read the news? Our gahman will be tearing down Queenstown Central coming July.

Snippets from the TODAY article:

SINGAPORE - They have seven more months to live in their flats, and even though they have secured swish new abodes in Dawson Estate, the residents of Margaret Drive would rather stay put.

"I've lived here for 40 years. I'd rather not move if I could," said Madam Tan Kah Tian, 73.

"The new place is as cramped as a dog kennel," piped in her friend, 76-year-old Madam Liao.

It is a common refrain among residents.

Blocks 6C, 39A and the 40-year-old food centre at Margaret Drive will go under the wrecker's ball in July next year - all part of plans to rejuvenate Dawson Estate.

Block 6C looks like a slum, with windows and doors of shops boarded up, save for six businesses among them, including a provision shop, a plastic-bag wholesaler and a skateboard shop.

Located just opposite the Fishermen of Christ Fellowship and Church of Our Saviour - where the cinemas Golden City and Venus used to be - the 16-storey block with a row of shops on the ground floor was a hive of activity in the 1970s.

"Even without looking at my clock, I could tell when it was 6pm or 7pm just by the noise from cars exiting the cinema and traffic trying to get in," said retired primary school teacher Chua Khong Leng.

According to Mr Chua, 73, the "piecemeal" closure of the estate's amenities has hastened its demise.

"The closure of the wet market inconvenienced the residents. Then a few years later, Ta Chong emporium was torn down and along with it went the banks, post office and Crown Restaurant."

Those were the days.

Back in the '70s, Margaret Drive was a bustling town centre. There was a food centre, a community library, Mont D'or cake shop, the cinemas, a bowling alley, as well as the emporium and restaurant that Mr Chong mentioned.

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That blocks 6C and 39A would be demolished is just a matter of time. They stuck out like a sore thumb in the absence of surrounding flats that had been demolished earlier. Just like the 7th Storey Hotel, the buildings would make way for new developments, in this case rejuvenating Dawson Estate.


Source: Queenstown A Heritage Trail

The golden age of Queenstown had seen at least 7 neighbourhoods, according to above map. Their names, if I remember correctly:

N1 - Princess Estate
N2 - Duchess Estate
N3 - Commonwealth
N4 - Tanglin Halt
N5 - Queen's Close
N6 - Mei Ling
N7 - Buona Vista

The town centre was at Duchess Estate, where you could find the sports complex, library, polyclinic, cinemas, emporium, restaurant, market etc.

8 comments:

Adelin Lok said...

the usual saying of 旧的不去,新的不来。

Lam Chun See said...

Well Sporeans can always go to Good Morning Yesterday as well here to catch a glimpse of Queenstown's past. Good thing I have taken many photos. If opportunity arises, I will take some more.

Victor said...

Chun See, how can you leave out my blog? :p

Icemoon, how come you "latest comments" also disappeared?

Icemoon said...

Victor, the widget disappeared 'cos the javascript link is broken again. I switched to another "provider". The blogger native widget is ugly and not user friendly.

Icemoon said...

Adelin, they are tearing down Queenstown faster than I can explore and blog, haha.

Adelin Lok said...

ice: you're too slow. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I missed the Emporium days & will miss the delicious Char Kway Teow at the market : (

Icemoon said...

Anon, don't remind me lor. Every time I am there, the char kway teow stall is closed. I only tried it once, when I attended the church next door.