Sunday, October 21, 2012

Singapore's first post-war flats to be torn down

Starting next month, demolition works of the two-storey Block 25 Owen Road will be carried out as the flats are no longer available for letting under the Public Rental Scheme.

Built by Singapore Improvement Trust, the site is home to the first post-World War II flats in Singapore, reported The Straits Times.

Despite its rich history, Block 25 Owen Road does not have conservation status as it is “part of a larger Singapore Improvement Trust estate already redeveloped and is not designated for conservation”, said a spokesman for the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Moreover, the URA is very selective on which sites to conserve due to scarcity of land.

“To showcase the evolution and our success in public housing, 20 Singapore Improvement Trust blocks at the fairly intact Tiong Bahru estate have already been conserved,” the spokesman added.

URA currently conserves more than 7,000 buildings in Singapore.

Several residents living near the flats were surprised about news of the upcoming demolition. June Ng, a resident at Gloucester Road, said she thought the shophouses would be renovated as they were re-roofed recently.

“Residents, expats and students liked to convene here because it’s very quiet and very authentic. It reminds you of the good old times, and takes you back down memory lane,” she said.

Demolition works are expected to be completed by May next year. 

View the original article here

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