Thursday, April 3, 2008

A piece of HISTORY

Saw a renovation in progress and amongst the rubbles,

I was pleasantly thrilled to be able to find an almost intact piece of brick from the 1930s.

These bricks were hacked down by the owner of this new flat as she wanted a bigger room and the sealed up chimneys system does not serve any purpose at all.

This protrusion, (Next to the refrigerator) is part of the chimney system used back in the 30s.

The chimney system, hacked away due to obsolescence.
Notice the 2 darkened black stripes. These are the soot covered area within the chimneys.

The outlets are still there but I guess it leads to nowhere now.

This is a picture of a chimney system that still exists in some of the homes within the Tiong Bahru Estate Pre-War flats. It is getting harder and harder to find these things now.

Anyway, these Alexandra bricks were the same bricks that were used to build the Old National Library. That old library was torn down to create a tunnel so that motorist could save a few precious minutes a day. What appears to be SAVINGS is in fact a permanent LOSS for generations to come.

Facing brick from the National Library at Stamford Road

At least 5000 bricks were retained from the old building in 2004 and now form part of a wall in the basement garden of the Library at Victoria Street. The bricks were baked at the Alexandra Brickworks factory, with clay from Jurong.

More articles on the Old National Library could be found at Wikipedia


Readymade said...

Nice find! :)

Belle said...

sorry for the threadjack, but I thought you might know this and I didn't see your email. I want to buy some old window grills, like the 50s/60 style--do you know anyone who sells them? thanks!

SGalf said...

Hi Belle,

I am not too sure if anyone sells them.

Spotting the discarded ones are almost quite by chance as all contractors would have to clear them away before the end of the day.

How about getting someone to replicate the design?

I did it for my gate.

Originally I wanted to buy some old window grills from some folks at Bo Bo Tan Gardens to turn them into my gate.

I later abandoned the idea as the grills were either in a very bad shape or it was difficult to customize them to fit into whatever you have in mind.

One of the owners in Tiong Bahru also did the same thing. (Check out April's issue of Homes & Decor issue).


choonkeat said...

@belle I happen to have an old window grill. is this what you're looking for?

SGalf said...

wah...very nice leh.

belle waring said...

OMG that's amazing! I will totally buy that from you. email me: bbwaring -at-

I arranged to buy them out of a house being torn down near me, after much explaining to the dubious crew boss, he said they were selling them as scrap 55c per kilo, and then they workmen all activity at all. then I came back from a few days in bali and the whole place had been leveled already! $%^^&^#! I think it looks like they are preparing to tear down some of the 3-story blocks along river valley road, maybe I can go there. I don't speak chinese so I sometimes run into confusion there. luckily my singlish very powerful one. ;)

Allan said...

What a beautiful find of Singapore history. Good for you...

Anonymous said...

hi there,

i came across your blog.

I desperately need to find bricks for a school project i have, do you mind telling me where this place is? or anywhere else you know that is undergoing renovations and i can grab a brick or 2?

also do you know of any run down red brick walls in singapore?

thanks so much!

if you cld pls msg me at 93662211.