Saturday, May 24, 2008

Irreversible & Permanent Change

Another of Tiong Bahru's icon has been destroyed.

The signature red gourd burner (Hong Hu Lu) has been torn apart to make way for a new 20 room hotel.

This is the aftermath.

My feeling is quite mixed at the moment.

I'm happy that hotel operators are beginning to take notice of this sleepy enclave and thinks that tourists might be interested in this area.

But at the same time, I feel sad that a Tiong Bahru icon has to be sacrificed to make way for that development.

I just hope the 5 storey hotel will not look like the Cape Inn Hotel along Seng Poh Road.

If it is like those boutique hotels like 1929 or Majestic Hotel, then I don't really mind.

But if it is some Cape Inn kinda hotel, then I think they've got the wrong place to plant that hotel.

Whatever the case, time will tell what kinda hotel Tiong Bahru Estate will be inheriting.


Anonymous said...

First-time poster here. I really like your blog! I just moved to Tiong Bahru last month; I'm not Singaporean, and a lot of the things here are new to me. I'm curious as to what the red gourd actually is and what it symbolizes? I've seen it many times (before it was destroyed) and have always wondered.

KnightMeh said...

Thanks for your post.

The red gourd was actually an burner for offerings to the deities.

It was shaped like a gourd because to the Chinese people, it represent or rather symbolizes longevity and the ability to ward off evil spirits.

I recently visited rural part of China and their burners are also gourd shaped.

The only difference was that theirs was a slimmer one.

Jeremy said...

Yeah, pity about the gourd. And pity about the hotel too, cos i have a feeling it's not going to be like 1929 or Majestic - both of which incidentally were old buildings conserved and given new life. If they're building something new from scratch, it's probably going to be some horrid, insipid charge-by-the-hour type hotel. :o(

What about that old shophouse next to the plot of land though? What is it? I always walk by the place and imagine it'd be so nice as a conserved and converted restaurant/cafe/pub with the land space as an al fresco area.

KnightMeh said...

The immediate shophouse will be part of the hotel. Facade has to be conserved but the owner can build up to 5 storeys high at the back of the facade.

Just take a look at Kah Mee Optical and you will know what I mean.

The unit opposite Sin Hoi San (Now already part of Sin Hoi San) also has an extension at its back.

It looks like some hostel to me.

I really hope it will not be the charge by the hour kinda place.
It would be a shame to have that fronting the entrance into Tiong Bahru.

Jeremy said...

I agree, and am hoping for the best!

The photos that you just posted of the artist's impressions of the proposed hotel look fairly decent, though i still feel the exterior of the new building looks rather (starkly) modern when juxtaposed against the walk-ups at the back of it.

Victor said...

I have a photo of the red gourd burner taken in January last year.