Jurong Town Hall a national monument

Jurong Town Hall has become the first conserved building to be gazetted a national monument.

The National Heritage Board (NHB) said in a statement yesterday that Jurong Town Hall's national monument status ensures its historical features will be accorded the highest level of legal protection.

In 2005, the hall was awarded conservation status by the Urban Redevelopment Authority in recognition of the historical significance that it had played in Singapore's economic and industrial progress.

Located in Jurong East, it was once the headquarters for Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), which was formed in 1968 to develop Jurong.

JTC played a leading role in developing Singapore's first industrial estate and spearheaded Singapore's industrialisation drive.

Built based on the winning entry submitted by local firm Architects Team 3 in an architectural design competition, the futuristic building consists of two elongated parallel blocks of unequal length connected by bridges, reminiscent of a ship, with a 50m-high digital clock tower serving as the "mast". It was completed in 1974.

There are more than 7,000 conserved buildings here chosen for their historical and architectural value, but Jurong Town Hall is the first to be elevated to the ranks of national monuments, and in the same league as the Cathay Building, MacDonald House and City Hall.

NHB said the hall's change in status to national monument ensures that it will be protected.

"(The hall) will undergo a regular cycle of inspections to ensure its proper upkeep," said the board.

Ms Jean Wee, director of NHB's preservation of sites and monuments division, said the board had made a conscious decision to preserve landmarks other than colonial buildings.

"After 50 years, what helps define us is our heritage and our attitude towards wanting to discover it and preserve it," she added.


This article was first published on June 02, 2015.
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