Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Which is Singapore’s oldest building?

The 104-yr-old Parochial House of St Joseph’s Church was in the news recently for being gazetted for conservation. This raises the question: Which is Singapore’s oldest building that is still standing? TODAY file photo

With the 104-yr-old Parochial House of St Joseph’s Church in the news recently for being gazetted for conservation, it raises the question: Which is Singapore’s oldest building that is still standing?

I believe that this has not been settled definitively -- a gap in our heritage knowledge that deserves to be plugged.

The Old Parliament House, widely regarded to be the oldest existing government or colonial building here, is known to have been built in 1827 for Scottish merchant John Argyle Maxwell as his private residence.

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Parochial house of St Joseph’s Church marked for conservation
The 3-storey Parochial House was the headquarters of the Portugese Mission until 1981 as well as the residence of the Bishop of Macau until 1999

A 104-year old church building will be designated for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), said St Joseph’s Church on Friday (30 June).

Built in 1912, the church’s Parochial House once served as the headquarters of the Portuguese Mission in Singapore and was also the residence of the Bishop of Macau until 1999.

Minister for National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong, who was at the church’s celebration event, said that the Parochial House has proven itself worthy of conservation.

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Victoria St landmark added to conserved building list

A 104-yr-old church building in Victoria Street, which once served as the headquarters of the Portuguese Mission in Singapore, is the latest addition to the list of conserved buildings here.

The 3-storey Parochial House of St Joseph's Church, which now houses the church offices and the lodgings of its rector, will be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Speaking at the church's celebration yesterday to mark the milestone, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development, said: "(The Parochial House) is a building that fully deserves its conservation status. It's also a good complement to the main church building which is, in itself, a national monument.

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104-yr-old Parochial House of St Joseph's Church to be gazetted for conservation
St Joseph's Church located along Victoria Street.PHOTO: ST FILE

A 104-year-old church building along Victoria Street which once served as the headquarters of the Portuguese Mission in Singapore will be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The 3-storey Parochial House of St Joseph's Church, which is currently the lodgings of the church's rector, was inspired by mediaeval Gothic architecture.

Speaking at the church's celebration on Thursday (Jun 30) to mark the milestone, Mr Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development said: "(The Parochial House) is a building that fully deserves its conservation status. It's also a good complement to the main church building which is in itself a national monument

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104-yr-old church building to be gazetted for conservation
The view of Parochial House along Victoria Street in 1965. (Foto: URA)

A 104-yr-old church building belonging to St Joseph’s Church, Victoria Street, will be gazetted for conservation by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), St Joseph’s Church announced on Thursday (Jun 30).

Built in 1912, the Parochial House of St Joseph’s Church served as the headquarters of the Portuguese Mission till 1981, and later as the residence of the Bishop of Macau until 1999, when the Portuguese Mission ceased its presence in Singapore.

The building’s Portuguese Baroque style architecture showcases distinctive features such as pointed Gothic arches at the facade and pinnacles decorated with crockets on the roof. The building also features nine sets of Portuguese-style painted ceramic tiles, which can also be found in palaces, churches and public buildings in Portugal.

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