History of Stamford House
I passed by this place so many times and yet never really see the beautiful intricate details. Having a sharpened photography interest really opened up my eyes to many things.
This building, Stamford House sits at the junction of Stamford Road and Hill Street, opposite the SMRT Headquarters and Stamford Court. Its intricate architecture and details had been restored several years ago back to its former glory.
Stamford House was designed by architect Raj Bidwell in the Venetian Renaissance architectural style and was built by Regent Alfred John Bidwell in 1904. Mr Seth Paul’s retail firm Whiteaway Laidlaw & Co operated their business there till 1910 when the building was then known as Oranje Building.
Before and After World War Two
The top two floors was operated by Raffles Hotel for a number of years due to shortage of hotel rooms. Mr Seth Paul’s daughter, Theodara Van Hein, renovated the building in 1933 and it became the Oranje Hotel. During World War Two, in February 1942, survivors of the Prince of Wales and Repulse recuperated at the Oranje Hotel before the Japanese forces occupied Singapore and used the building as a hotel. After the war, shops occupied the ground floor and the upper levels were rented out.
Basco Enterprises Private Limited bought the building in 1963 and named it Stamford House. The Stamford House and the Shaw Building was acquired by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in 1984. Conservation plan for the Stamford House saved the building in May 1991.
Unfortunately for its opposite neighbour, the Eu Court faced demolition in 1992. Now the Stamford Court stands in its place [For photos, see previous post]. Around the same time, the National Library was also demolished and rebuilt next to the Bras Basah Complex. So two historical buildings are gone forever.
In land scarce Singapore, sometimes progression pays a painful price. While I understand the importance of renewal and improvisation, I still think those two buildings should have been saved.
Savor what we still have. Anyway, here is a Google Map for reference.
How to Get There
View Larger Map“>
Another map link : street directory
See you on the next post!