Two buildings located in the heart of Singapore’s central civic district. Historic events of a nation’s past took place in this area that many of the older folks would remember. Let us take a peek into its past as to what is known today as the Judicial Stretch at St Andrews Road.
^ City Hall (right) and Supreme Court (left).
^ The location where City Hall now stands was formerly the site of two private homes built in 1828 and 1830 which belonged to Dr William Montgomerie of the East India Company and Thomas Church (Resident Councillor). In 1926, works began to build the Municipal building designed by F.D.Meadows and was completed in 1929. In 1951, the name was changed to City Hall when Singapore acquired her city status.
^ A bit of its history.
^ A historic moment that occurred at City Hall was at the end of WW2 that saw the surrender of Japanese forces on 12th Sep 1945 which marked the end of Japanese rule over Syonan-to. The photo shows the Japanese delegation led by General Itagaki Seishiro, under escort of Allied soldiers, walking towards City Hall to sign the Instrument of Surrender. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ Crowds of Allied soldiers gathered at City Hall on the day of Japanese surrender. (Photocredit National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ The same spot that the soldiers gathered on 12th Sep 1945. Huge Corinthian columns of Greek architecture that cuts a prominent façade at City Hall.
^ The Japanese delegation walking up the steps of City Hall into the building. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ General Itagaki Seishiro signing the surrender document at the surrender ceremony of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seated opposite him was Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten signing the acceptance of Japanese surrender. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ The Japanese delegation escorted down the steps of City Hall after signing the surrender documents.
^ The same steps at City Hall today.
^ The Japanese delegation led by General Itagaki Seishiro. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ The ceremonial parade after the Japanese surrender. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ Lt Gen Christison taking the salute on the steps of City Hall on 12th Sep 1945 during the ceremonial parade after the Japanese surrender. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, 12th Sep 1945)
^ The same steps that witnessed many ceremonial parades when Singapore gained independence on 9th Aug 1965 to become a sovereign state.
^ From this vantage point, you will be able to see Queen Elizabeth Walk as well as the shoreline of the Esplanade. Today, land has been reclaimed right up to the Integrated Resorts seen at the background of the photo.
^ Cast iron door-knockers in the form of a lion head on the doors of City Hall building.
^ Gazetted as a monument on 14th Feb 1992 by the Preservation of Monuments Board.
^ Another prominent building that sits just next to City Hall is the Supreme Court of Singapore designed by Frank Dorrington Ward and built between 1937-1939. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, circa 1939)
^ Present-day photo of the Supreme Court building.
^ The frontage of the Supreme Court building that cuts an imposing and dignified presence.
^ The dome and the tympanum sculpture works by Italian sculptor, R.Nolli at the Supreme Court building. Tympanum refers to the decorative wall surface that contains sculptures or ornaments.
^ You may notice some sculptures depicting certain scenes found at the entrance of the Supreme Court building.
^ An old file photo of the Padang and the buildings of City Hall and the Supreme Court in the background. (Photocredit: National Archives of Singapore, circa 1944)
^ Roughly at the same spot where the previous photo was taken. From 1944 to 2009…a span of 65 years.
^ In the early years of Singapore’s independence, National Day parades were held at the Padang. Later the parades were decentralized to the sports complex located in various housing estates. National Day parades were later moved to the National Stadium when the stadium was built in 1973. If you happen to have the tickets for this year’s National Day Parade held at Marina Bay on 9th Aug 2009, perhaps a stroll down the historic sites of City Hall and Supreme Court buildings will make your celebration a bit more eventful.
Wishing Singapore a Happy 44th Birthday!!