From time to time, I like to write about historical places in Singapore. It takes a bit of time to research and photograph these places. So for today, here is a focus on Fullerton Hotel, one of the historical building in Singapore. By the way, I am not affliated or an employee of the hotel.
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, as it is now known, is located at the Singapore River in the CBD area. Across the road is Fullerton Square and the Merlion Park. In the past, it was the General Post Office Building and before that, by its original name - The Fullerton Building.
1829 – 1928
Fort Fullerton was built in 1829, in defence of the settlement against any naval attacks. The Fullerton Building was completed in June 1928, with the northern end of the building covering the site of Fort Fullerton. Officially opened on 27 June 1928 by Governor Sir Hugh Clifford, he suggested the building be named after Robert Fullerton.
1928 – 1996
There were five founding tenants in the beginning : the General Post Office (GPO), The Exchange, Singapore Club (now Singapore Town Club), the Marine Department, and the Import and Export Department (later called Ministry of Trade and Industry). The Chamber of Commerce and various government departments dealing with agriculture, fisheries and forestry were also tenants there.
The GPO took the lower two levels while the Singapore Club rented the upper levels. In 1961, the Economic Development Board (EDB) took over the upper levels. The Singapore Club then relocated to Clifford House and then to Straits Trading Building on Battery Road.
World War 2
The building was used as a hospital for wounded British soldiers before the surrender to Japan in 1942. General Percival and Sir Shenton had a discussion here in the Fullerton Building on the possibility of surrendering Singapore to the Japanese. The building became the headquarters of the Japanese Military Administration in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.
After the War
The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRA) used the building as its headquarters between 1970s to 1995 . In March 1996, The Singapore General Post Office vacated the premises. The Public Works Department did internal alterations in 1985. Conservation efforts followed and was it was finally gazetted as a conservation building by the Singapore Governemnt in 1997.
Renovations and redevelopment
The Fullerton Building was acquired from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 1997 by Sino Land Company from Hong Kong and its sister company, Far East Organization. Renovation works were completed on 8 December 2000 and on 1 January 2011, the Fullerton Hotel Singapore was officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.
For more information, click on the link at Wikipedia. Google has a time line on the link provided below.