The Padang & Surrounding Buildings

The Padang is the center of civic Singapore. the Padang (Malay word meaning ‘flat field’) – is an open field located within the downtown core at the heart of Singapore’s central business district. It is the city’s oldest untouched plot of land used since the 1830s for sport and recreational activities, and is surrounded by several important landmarks which include City Hall, old Supreme Court, Cricket Club, Esplanade Walk, Singapore Recreation Club, Raffles City and St Andrew’s Cathedral. Due to its prime location and historical significance, it has been used as a venue for a variety of events, including the National Day Parade for a good number of years.

Colonial City Hall – a national monument gazetted on 14 February 1992. Located in front of the historical Padang and next door to the old Supreme Court, it was designed and built by the architects of the municipal government from 1926 to 1929. It was first known as Municipal Building until 1951 when Singapore was granted city status by King George VI, and renamed to its present name to mark Singapore as a City. Many government events that took place at the City Hall included – the surrender of the Japanese to the British forces in 1945; the announcement of Singapore’s independence from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965; declaration of self-government by the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 09 August 1959; the playing of the new national anthem and the first time the people of Singapore saw the national flag; Mr Lee and his eight cabinet minister were sworn into political office in the chamber of the City Hall before the first Yang di-Pertuan Negara, the late Inchik Yusof bin Ishak, whose oath was taken at the City Hall as well; Mr Lee Kuan Yew read out the Malaysia Proclamation at the City Hall in 1963; declaration that Singapore was no longer under British rule; the first National Day Parade was held there; the place where Prime Minister Mr Goh Chok Tong had his inauguration ceremony and the swearing-in of the cabinet; it was used as a venue for the Singapore Biennale, and also for the IMF and World Bank Meetings when it was held in Singapore as a registration centre. A flight of stairs takes visitors from the Corinthian colonnade to the main building and the steps of the City Hall is used as a VIP seating area at National Day Parades held there. The City Hall, together with the adjacent old Supreme Court Building will be converted into the National Art Gallery of Singapore by 2015.

old Supreme Court – built in 1939, was the last colonial classical architecture structure to be built in Singapore under the former British Colony. Marvel at the massive Corinthian columns, classical design and spacious interiors with murals by the Italian artists. The building consists of four blocks surrounding a central courtyard which houses the circular law library with its significant dome and Travertine columns supporting two balconies on two levels. Behind the main dome is a smaller dome. and the large dome. Above the entrance of the building, the stately sculpture of Justice wields her scales. The historic signing of the treaty between Sir Stamford Raffles and Sultan Hussein, which established Singapore as a trading port in 1819, was also held here.

the Singapore Cricket Club – established in 1852, it is the 2nd oldest sports club in Singapore. The Club stands at the centre of the city’s colonial heart, a public space at the Padang that has witnessed many of Singapore’s triumphs and defeats, upheavals, independence and finally the annual National Day Parades on 09 August. Over the years, the club has had three clubhouse buildings. The first was erected in the 1860s, and the second in 1877. The third, which forms the core of the present-day clubhouse, was built in 1884. The SCC today has over 3,000 members. Cricket, rugby, soccer and field hockey are played on the Padang, and the club also has facilities for squash, tennis, lawn bowls, billiards and snooker.The club has played host to many international cricket events over the years. It also hosts the annual Singapore Cricket Club International Rugby Sevens tournament and an annual Soccer Sevens competition.

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