Archive for November, 2009

From Railway Track To The Centrepoint (Part 2 of 2)

…cont’d from Part 1

In part 1, I talked about the existence of railway track to the establishment of Cold Storage Depot in Orchard Road.

Cold Storage acquired a few shops at the corner of Orchard Road and Cuppage Road, which is today’s The Centrepoint. Subsequently around 1919, their first retail outlet was opened. To the oldies like Philip, Peter or Chun See, the most memorable should be the Cold Storage’s Magnolia Milk Bars in the 50s.  

Below photo shows how the Cold Storage looked like in 1956;

Here is another photo of the same location but Centrepoint in its place in 1980s;

Credit : Above 2 photos – National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

See the changes in 2004 below;

Credit : Robert Steiner

The old Cold Storage building has undergone many ‘physical’ changes way before 1983. Let’s take a look at some of the changes of the building itself.

In the 70s, there was an extension to the building added as shown below;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

See the pedestrian crossing just outside the Cold Storage building in 1977;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

Is the above crossing still there? Haha, I guess you know the answer! You can see the second photo on top or the one below (80s);

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

How many of us are aware of the name changed from just Centrepoint (先得坊) or Centrepoint Shopping Centre to The Centrepoint? But which come first – Centrepoint or Centrepoint Shopping Centre? I’m not sure but I think they are used interchangeably. Take a look at the following photos;

This one was probably in the 80s when Centrepoint was opened:

Credit : Natonal Archives of Singapore, PICAS

See the side wall was named as just “Centrepoint”.

In 2004, you can see the wall changed to “Centrepoint Shopping Centre”;

Credit : Robert Steiner

You can also see the same name in this book titled “Portrait of Places”, which I think maybe in the 90s;

Credit : Portrait of Places

Now in 2009, the name is The Centrepoint. The name was changed to The Centrepoint in 2006;

We can see that even though in the 80s, the side wall and the front of the building was named just “Centrepoint”, the entrance to the building was “Centrepoint Shopping Centre”;

This one dated 1989;

And this one dated 1990;

Above 2 photos credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

So I think they are used interchangeably before the name changed to The Centrepoint.

The Centrepoint has 6 floors and featured a wide variety of tenants which include Robinsons, Marks and Spencer and the Dairy Farm Group which operates the 7-11, Cold Storage outlets in the mall. In fact, most of the time I usually end up shopping in Robinson only.

Credit : Taken by Terence Ong in 2006

So which is your favourite shops in The Centrepoint? When was your last visit to Centrepoint? Oh I have not been there for a long time…

Apology Note : I would like to apologise to those that have been spammed by my email system recently. I’ve checked and rectified with anti-virus software and if it still happen, pls let me know. Sorry once again.

What my father wrote;

From Railway Track To The Centrepoint (Part 1 of 2)

I just got my key when they first opened in 1983. I mean my 21 years old ‘key’ when Centrepoint first opened in 1983 at Orchard Road. Many of us have witnessed the changes of the landscape occuppied by Centrepoint over the years. Even Centrepoint itself have undergone major ‘facelift’ throughout all these years.

When I was young and still staying with my godparents, I seldom visit the Orchard Road area except for the occassional Sunday Tim Sum at Peking Restaurant. I started going to Orchard Road was when I owned my first car (a Ford Laser 1.3 then) but Centrepoint was the area I would avoid. I disliked the turning to the carpark and so I usually ended up at Plaza Singapura (my favourite).

To be frank, I don’t visit The Centrepoint that ofen even until now. Let us now take a look at the changing landscape at Centrepoint. Take a look at this map, from the book “Federated Malay States Railways, 1921”;

Credit : Federated Malay States Railway, Cornell University Library.

From the above map, we can only see that the railway passed through Orchard Road, and this was shown in many of the old postcards and photos as well.

The above postcard (not dated) shows the elevated railway track above Orchard Road near the Emerald Hill. Now take a look at the bottom postcard showing the same place without the railway track;

Credit : Above 2 postcards, Singapore Philatelic Museum

Now take a look at another postcard below with the train on the track;

It is said that when the train crosses above, the pedestrians will come to a standstill as the Chinese believed that it will bring bad luck if the train crossed above your head. Anyway from the above postcard, can you tell where is the current Centrepoint located (left or right side of the postcard)?

Below is another view of the same location in 1989 (of course Centrepoint was already built then);

Cold Storage acquired a few shophouses in Orchard Road in 1917 and this was probably known as Cold Storage Depot then.  So is the railway track still there when Cold Storage was at Orchard Road? Let’s take a look at another old map from the book “An official guide to eastern Asia v.5”;

Credit : Cornell University Library.

From the above map, we can see clearly where the Cold Storage Depot was and the railway track. This was probably in 1920s, and Cold Storage took over the buildings around 1917 – so it tally. Below is another photo in 1913 showing the railway track at Orchard Road;

Credit : National Archives of Singapore, PICAS

You can take a look at the below photo (probably from the 60s) and the Cold Storage was already there (on the left, building with flag poles on top);

Credit : Singas, Mr. Terry Goodyer

Note : You can also see this photo and the current year photo in Icemoon’s blog.

to be cont’d in Part 2


What my father wrote;


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November 2009