😕🐦 Good-bye Jurong Bird Park? 8 Other Iconic Landmarks that are dearly missed in Singapore
Although Jurong Bird Park has ceased its operations on 3 January 2023, it is not ceasing operations forever (YAY!). JBP is just being relocated to Mandai. Not as lucky are 8 popular landmarks that we should not forget that ceased operations (😭 writing this article isn't easy). Reminisce the good old days with friends and family with this list below! 👇🏻
1. Escape Theme Park
📍Location: NTUC Downtown East, Pasir Ris
⏱️Year: May 2000 - Dec 2011
Escape Theme Park was one of the highlights for tourism in Singapore in the 2000s. Serving over 4 million people since its launch in 2000, it featured an equal mix of thrill rides and family rides. Some thrill rides included a pirate ship, 2 go kart tracks, 1 of which is catered to younger riders, fairground style rides, a walk-through haunted house, as well as the highest log flume in Asia. It also had many funfair-style games such as bumper boats, a family coaster and a Ferris Wheel.
It's bumpy ride (pun intended!) started when incidents occurred involving their Panasonic/ Alpha 8 in the 2005, and Singaporeans complaints on various rides safety. However, one thing was for sure. It literally provided visitors with "360 degrees of fun".😜
Photo credits: Flikr: rcdb.com
Photo credits: Flikr: sgcGo
Photo credits: Wikipedia - All the rides at Escape Theme Park
2. Geylang Serai Malay Village
⏱️Year: Built 1989 - Demolished 2011
In 1848, the Arabic Alsagoff family bought land in and around Geylang Kelapa. Spice trader Syed Abdul Rahman Alsagoff from Yemen, was the first of the Alsagoff family to settle in Singapore arriving here in 1824. The Alsagoff's estate named Perserverence Estate stretched from Geylang Serai to Jalan Eunos. The Alsagoffs switched the plantations from growing coconut to lemongrass and Geylang Kelapa was renamed Geylang Serai which remained to this day (serai is Malay for lemongrass).
The Malay Village of Geylang Serai built in 1989 housed Malay kampong houses which showcased the lifestyle of the local Malays before the sixties.
After 23 years of history, the museum was shut down in 26 September 2011. The structure was eventually demolished in 2012 to make way for a new complex known as Wisma Geylang Serai, which opened in May 2018.
Photo credits: State of Buildings SG
Photo credits: remembersingapore Wordpress, 2011
Photo credits: State of Buildings SG
Photo credits: People's Association
3. Funan Centre
📍Location: NTUC Downtown East, Pasir Ris
⏱️Year: Jan 1985 - June 2016
The mall opened in January 1985 as Funan Centre as a general shopping centre and attracted a critical mass of electronic and IT retailers over the years in the 1990s.
It's main and long-time anchor tenant was Challenger Superstore, a major homegrown IT store established in 1984. In 1992, the mall was refurbished and later adopted the name Funan The IT Mall in 1997 to reflect it's current focus on IT related outlets.
In 2005, the mall received minor upgrades, and was again renamed to Funan DigitaLife Mall.
Due to the popularity of online shopping, business at the mall had declined, forcing tenants to close down. All tenants have since relocated and the building was later demolished.
It was an upmarket competitor to Sim Lim Square the latter of which catered more to those seeking budget purchases.
Photo credits: Danny Loves Pasta
4. Rochor Centre
📍Location: Bugis, Rochor
⏱️Year: 1977 - May 2018
Rochor Centre was a group of buildings in Singapore built by the Housing Development Board of Singapore (HDB) to cater to the rising population of Singapore as well as an attempt to improve the slum-like conditions residents were living in during the 1960s. Rochor Centre was built and completed in 1977 to take in residents and businesses that was uprooted across the city.
It is no wonder that when its demolishment plan was announced, many flocked to the nostalgic place to take pictures of the colorful block of flats.
Photo credits: Munyen on Wikipedia
5. Shaw Tower
⏱️Year: 1975 - 2020
The Brutalist architectural styled Shaw Tower was home to two of the largest cinemas at that time in 1977, Prince and Jade opened in 1977. Prince and Jade were located at opposite ends and different floors of Shaw Towers. The cinemas operated separately as two discrete entities with a dedicated box office and foyer each. The smaller Jade cinema screened mainly new releases, while the larger 1,600-seat Prince cinema screened popular films.
Jade Theatre switched to screening Hindi films in early 2006 and was subsequently renamed Screens of Bombay Talkies. It was acquired by Indian cinema chain Carnival Cinemas in early 2017.
Prince Theatre ceased operations in late 2008, as their large halls could not compete with other large multiplexes and their smaller halls. It was then leased to Rock Productions, the business arm of New Creation Church in 2012, and subsequently refurbished as Shine Auditorium.
Photo credits: Roots Singapore
6. East Coast Park Chalets / HUDC Holiday Chalets / Costa Sands Resorts
📍Location: East Coast Park
⏱️Year: 1980 - 2015
From rumours of being haunted to the never ending memories of barbeque nights, East Coast Park Chalet has to be one of the more memorable places Singaporeans will remember (except for the memories of it being very dirty towards the end of its existence).
These chalets were first known as the HUDC (Housing and Urban Development Company) Holiday Chalets, which were subsequently known as the UDMC Holiday Chalets in the 1980s. In 2002, it was bought over by NTUC Club, and was operated by Resort Concept Pte Ltd. The chalets then became known as Costa Sands Resorts (East Coast). In 2006, following the expiry of the lease, the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) took over the chalets, and operated it under the name East Coast Resort. By then, occupancy rates have dwindled, with only 1/3 of its rooms filled up.
One year later, SLA awarded the tenancy of the chalets to Goldkist International (S) Pte Ltd, which initially planned to rename it Island Park Resort. However, the chalets eventually became known as GoldKist Beach Resort. Attempts by Goldkist to revitalise the resort failed to improve the dwindling visitor levels, and reports of poor maintenance further plagued the resort. It eventually closed down in 2015. Today, the cluster of red brick buildings remains vacant, awaiting plans for redevelopment.
Source: Lostnfiled SG
Photo credits: chingchongcheng84 on Reddit
Photo credits: Lostnfiled SG
7. Pearl Bank Apartments
📍Location: Chinatown, Outram
⏱️Year: Jun 1976 - Mar 2020
Another building with a Brutalist architectural design by prominent architect Tan Cheng Siong, it was the tallest and densest residential building in Singapore when completed in June 1976. Pearl Bank Apartments was one of Singapore's pioneers of high-rise high-density living and influenced urban development in Singapore and other cities across Southeast Asia.
On 4 August 2007, the Pearl Bank Apartments site was put up for an en bloc sale. The tender closed on 18 September 2007, but fetched no bids. Another tender closed on 19 February 2008, failing again, and the collective sale agreement lapsed on 1 August 2008. (Source: Wikipedia)
Finally on 13 February 2018, Pearl Bank Apartments was sold to CapitaLand for $728 million in a private treaty collective sale at the residents' reserved price. Owners received their payouts as well as a notice to move out of Pearl Bank Apartments by end-April 2019.
In May 2019, a 39-storey condominium to be named One Pearl Bank was unveiled by CapitaLand as its replacement by 2023. It features two curved towers at 178m, connected by a "halo" sky bridge that will lights up like a beacon at night.
Photo credits: Flikr @Choo Yut Shing
Photo credits: Jani Patokallio Archdaily
Hope this article brought back some good ol' memories. If we missed out on any you wish to have seen, or any experiences you might want to share, do leave a comment for the community to hear as well!