- Beach Road, Singapore
Beach Road (Chinese: 美芝路;
Malay: "Jalan Pantai") is a roadlocated within the Kallang Planning Area and Downtown Corein Singapore.
The road starts at its junction with
Crawford Streetin Kallang Planning Area in the north, runs in a generally southerly direction, enters the Downtown Core at its junction with Ophir Road, and ends at its junction with Stamford Roadand Saint Andrew's Roadto the south.
Etymology and history
Beach Road is one of the early roads developed in Singapore and appears in
George Drumgoole Coleman's 1836 "Map of Singapore". The road was actually a coastal road fronting the seacoast in the early decades of the British colonial city — hence its name.
The Chinese used to call the road "thih pa sat khau", meaning "the street to which the
iron marketopens or faces", a reference to Clyde Terrace Market, which was taken over and run as a public market by the Municipal Commissioners in 1910. Clyde Terrace Market, also known as Beach Road market, had its foundation stonelaid on 29 March 1873, with Masonic honours. Costing $37,889, the building was completed in 1874. It was demolished in 1983 to make way for the The Gateway twin office towers, designed by architect, I.M. Pei, which stand now on this site.
Beach Road was also known as "sio poh kai ki" in Hokkien, which means "small town
seashore". "Sio poh" is "small town", referring to that part of Singapore to the north of the Stamford Canal Road, as opposed to "tua poh" or "big town", the Singapore Riverend of the town.
Up till the 1870s and 1880s, the sea came right up to Beach Road. At the time, large seaside
villas stood here — just as Stamford Raffleshad envisaged when he laid out his 1822 Town Plan. Raffles reserved Beach Road for the residences of the European merchants. By 1825, there were 20 such buildings. These luxurious homes earned the street its Chinese name "ji chap keng" or "Twenty House Street". In 1886, one of these 20 houses, owned by W.R. George, was bought over by the Sarkies brothersand later became the Raffles Hotel. By the 1880s, these houses were turned into hostels or eating places to cater to the increasing flow of travellers and Beach Road ceased to be a prestigious residentialdistrict.
Apart from houses, there were
hotels, clubs and bars as well. The Singapore Cricket Clubhad its roots here. The area was also the scene of frequent brawls, as in the days before Tanjong Pagarbecame the portarea, European sailors on shore leavewould make for Beach Road. Brawls and other unruly behaviour were the reason why Mrs Balestier, the first American consul's wife, presented the historic Revere Bell to Saint Andrew's Church in 1843. The bell was intended not only for church servicebut also to be struck in the afternoon to warn seamen to return to their ships before darkness fell.
sandy beachonce existed in front of Raffles Hotel on the Beach Road side, and may account for the few steps which today lead to the lobby, as apparently it was common for the water to come up and over Beach Road at high tide, before the land now in front of Beach Road was reclaimed.
land reclamationbeyond the foreshoreline of 1843 alongside Beach Road was to provide land to build the Alhambra and Marlborough Cinemas, a police stationand the Singapore Volunteer CorpsHeadquarters and Drill Hall (later converted to the Singapore Infantry RegimentHeadquarters). Further land reclamation began around the 1880s, gradually robbing Beach Road of its sea frontage. Over the years, Nicoll Highwayand later Marina Squareand Suntec Citywere built on reclaimed land, pushing Beach Road even further inland.
The prominent landmarks located along Beach Road include (from north to south):
Golden Mile Complexand Golden Mile Tower
Golden Mile Food Centre
Masjid Hajjah Fatimah
*Saint John Headquarters
Parkroyal on Beach Road
*The DHL Balloon
*Old Beach Road Police Station
*South Beach, planned complex comprising the former Beach Road camp and the former NCO Club
Civilian War Memorialand War Memorial Park
Raffles Citywith Swissôtel The Stamfordand Fairmont Singapore
*cite web |url= http://infopedia.nlb.gov.sg/articles/SIP_889_2004-12-23.html |title= Singapore Infopedia: Beach Road |accessdate=2006-09-08 |format= |work=
National Library Board
*Victor R Savage, Brenda S A Yeoh (2004), "Toponymics - A Study of Singapore Street Names", Eastern University Press, ISBN 981-210-364-3
*National Heritage Board (2002), "Singapore's 100 Historic Places", Archipelago Press, ISBN 981-4068-23-3
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