Actually I was there with only 1 objective - To snap the old Tiong Bahru SIT flats pictures.
In order to see the contrast, I walked over to the front of Block 28 Tiong Bahru Road to snap a picture today. (Sorry I did not get the angle right)
The post office featured in the old picture still exist in the same spot. Also, the 2nd storey windows and grills are still the same! The original layout of these flats does not come with any external windows. You can see the old picture's 3rd storey, there aren't any windows at that time.
Based on what I had gathered from some old timers in Tiong Bahru, the flats here were originally rented out and when HDB took over the estate in 1973, they probably also started Singapore's 1st Interim Upgrading Project by adding on external windows and upgrading the sewage pipes. (So in short, the windows were added on only in 1973.)They were sold to the residents for about $20k. Back then it was considered hefty as my parents bought their Holland 3rm flat for about $7k only!
Today, the price is still as hefty as ever as this place continues to be highly sought after.
What I feel sad about and at times even angry is that I'm constantly being asked if there are En-Bloc possibilities for these OLD flats. Why are SOME people so determind to see this place go? I was asked this question this morning by a delivery man. Just last night, someone called to enquired about Tiong Bahru and the reason why he wants to buy is based on a rumour that this place will go under the wreaking ball soon.
I guess this place will always be under threat from urban renewal due to its prime location.