Queenstown comprises an eclectic mix of colourful places and people, "each a charming addition to the town's multi-faceted identity." In the 1970s, Queenstown "hip" factor was increased by several notches with the three cinemas and the shopping complex, housing the then largest Chinese restaurant and sole air conditioned emporium. These structures were demolished in the 1990s, erasing the memories of a generation of Queenstown residents. In the past few months and in the upcoming years, many iconic structures will walk down memory land as Queenstown strive to reinvent itself to be Singapore's premier district. Through the lens of MyQueenstown Team, let us recall our Top 10 most memorable buildings or structures in Queenstown!
Commonwealth Avenue Cooked Food Centre
Food Centres, like wet markets, are essential to every community, hence they were planned into each neighbourhood. They were built in phases and insync with the surrounding district. Commonwealth Avenue Cooked Food Centre, built in 1969 to serve the residents in the Duchess Estate or "Queenstown Central," is slated for closure on 28 February 2011. The heavenly combination of Hai Kee Teochew Cha Kua Teow, Shanghai Dimsum, Queenstown Poh Pia and many others will forever be etched in our memories.
Fair Price Cooperative
Residents used to buy their rice and goods in this cooperative operated by NTUC. There was a giant book store at the second level where many kids and students will remember buying books. These days, the supermarket offers respite from the defying heat. As it shuts its doors next year, Strathmore residents may have to travel to Dawson Place or Tanglin Halt for their groceries.
Queenstown Remand Prison
Queenstown Remand Prison should be completely demolished as this article is published. Opened on 23 September 1966, it solves the prison overcrowding problem in Outram Prison. Screams and ghosts were believed to be haunting the prison which housed famous inmates such as American teenager Michael Fay and author ofSingapore, My Home Too, Chee Soon Juan. Many ghost busters have mentioned in forums that spirits and ghosts were spotted at night.
The Quiet Holland Avenue District
Many parts of Queenstown are undergoing facelifts. One district that is included in the Selective Enbloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) is Holland Avenue. For many years, Holland Avenue has been a quiet and peaceful part of Queenstown where residents will cycle along the paths. Come 2011, these 40 year old shop houses (above) will say goodbye and moved to those gigantic 40 storey flats next to Buona Vista Bus Terminal.
Overlooking a brilliant skyline of Queenstown and Orchard; Listening to the birds' melodious chirping; Enjoying the 'windiest' breeze in Singapore, Residents in Block 39A have experienced it all. Once it was the tallest flat in Queenstown, it appeared like a dwarf when we compared it to those 40-storey giants in Forfar Heights. Time seems to come to a halt when you look at the breathtaking sceneries.
KTM tracks at Queens' Close and Tanglin Halt
After 20 years of political dilly-dallying, the historic deal to jointly develop the KTM land was concluded by leaders of Malaysia and Singapore. These sound of chooing trains will soon be thing of the past. As reported in April, these KTM tracks used to be a playground for many Queenstown residents. Some residents may be excited and happy to see it go while other residents may mull over the prospect of losing another part of their physical memory.
Taxi Stand at Jalan Hang Jebat
This taxi kiosk at Jalan Hang Jebat has witnessed the "migration" of the iconic ColBar and the construction of a modern flyover. Such taxi kiosk will be soon a thing of the past when plans to develop Jalan Hang Jebat and Portsdown Road materialise in the coming years. This 50 year old resting point lies next to the lush, green and tranquil estate that is set on hilly terrain and filled with scores of old rain trees, angsana and coconut palms.
Residents will not forget to say "hi" or "goodbye" to the comical and friendly Yeo brothers when they visit the mama stall or the community library. They stayed on because he wished to spend more time with his friends and residents who built a strong rapport with him and his brother over the years.
Queenstown Cinema and Bowling Alley
This is the place where many young couples held their hands for the first time. This is the place where young, energetic students strike a double or a turkey with their friends. The cinema, today, looked like a dilapidated and forlorn figure among the skyscrappers in Forfar Heights.
Tanglin Halt Chap Lao Chu No More
Following the foot steps of Blk50s+, Blk 70s+ 'beach boys' of Tanglin Halt will make way for another district of 40 storeys across Commonwealth Drive by 2012. This is one of the remaining flats in Queenstown overlooking the KTM tracks. Time and tide waits for no man...
Change seems to be a constant in every parts of Queenstown. Everyone and every structure has their story to say and their memories to preserve. These 10 photos represent our 10 most memorable structures and buildings in Queenstown today. What are yours?
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