Fullerton Hotel, former site of general post office, declared 71st national monument

The gorgeous and expensive Fullerton Hotel’s building was declared Singapore’s 71st national monument by the National Heritage Board on Monday. This means it has been deemed to be of special historic, traditional, archaeological, architectural or artistic value — and must be preserved at all cost. It now joins the exclusive club of CHIJMES Hall, Goodwood Park Hotel, St James Power Station, Lau Pa Sat and the former Tanjong Pagar Railway Station, among others.

Formerly known as Fullerton Building, one of Singapore’s most beautiful colonial buildings was built between 1924 and 1928 by architect Major Percy H. Keys (whose firm also designed Capitol Theatre and Singapore General Hospital). It was originally intended to house the general post office on the basement and ground level, while the upper floors were reserved for the Singapore Club’s facilities, which included dining room, lounge, billiard room and sleeping quarters. It also housed the Chamber of Commerce, Marine Office and other government departments.

The Fullerton Building served as the GPO until the 1990s. Between 1997 and 2000, it was retrofitted to become a 400-room luxury hotel. It was declared open at the stroke of midnight on Jan 1, 2001 by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Design details worth noticing are the building’s Neoclasscial façad, the five frontages with a colossal two-storey Doric colonnade, and ornate classical decorations crafted by Swiss sculptor Rudolf Wening and Italian sculptor Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli. Outside the building, along Fullerton Road, stand two bronze tablets commemorating the commencement of the construction under Sir Laurence N. Guillemard and its completion under Sir Hugh Clifford.

Photos of the old Fullerton Building are on permanent display at the underground passage between the hotel and One Fullerton commercial area across the hotel.

Photo: National Heritage Board


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