Thursday, April 22, 2010

Singapore 360 - Day 32: Old Hill Police Station

The building with colorful windows on Hill Street has an equally colorful history. For starters, the lot it occupies used to house a school and a theater. When it was built in 1934, it served as a police station, which also held Singapore's first jail, and was then regarded as a skyscraper. During the Japanese Occupation, it was used as a holding area and torture ground for prisoners. After that, it resumed its use under the police department for over three decades before being closed and renovated to house other various government departments. It was declared a national monument in 1998.

The structure is now called MICA Building as it is primarily being occupied by – aptly so I think due to it's appeal — the Ministry of Information, Communications and The Arts. This doesn't stop cab drivers from calling it the Old Hill Police Station though, and I can guarantee you'll be inviting questions that aim to clarify where you want to go if you use the new name. Well, you can get there too — and I dare you — by saying you want to go the building with colorful windows in Clarke Quay.

If anyone's looking for more reason why it should remain being called Old Hill Police Station, it has 911 windows. And oh, for clarity's sake, the emergency number for Singapore is 999.


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