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Thread: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

  1. #41
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by projectdzaki View Post
    Hi guys... I went there before to recce the place with another friend. My friend did a short film there before (a girl dancing her way in and out of the building in a white dress, if I am not wrong) and this was before the fire. The place had a roof and there were no broken tiles everywhere. The staircase was still intact, and the flooring was still 'untouched'. I guess this short film can be a part of this house's history of how it looked before the fire.

    When I went there with him, I saw the difference.

    It's sad to see him going on and on about how the place has turned from something beautiful into something that's falling apart and going into beyond recognition. The grand staircase has some steps stomped down/burnt down by the fire, and the place reeks of urine. The roof that covers most of the second floor is gone too.

    Where did the fire come from? It's sad to see some people don't appreciate such places with such a rustic charm to it. Singapore is severely lacking such places. All we have are boring looking HDB blocks. I live in one by the way...

    Is there any way where we can get the authorities to preserve this place, but let it look the way it does now? Perhaps installing safety-enhancing structures and restoring critical foundation blocks would be good.

    I urge all those who come to this place to do shoot to please take care of yourself, your models (if any) and your equipment. Respect the place, respect its occupants, and all will be at peace.

    By the way, please be careful when you're near the backdoor (if I'm not wrong the servant's chambers are there) especially when you're alone. It gets very slippery in the rain.

    Take away photos and memories, but leave only footprints on the path that leads in and out

    Are you guys gonna organise anymore outings to such abandoned places? I'd be glad to come along... I heard about the Song Sisters house. Did some research on it and learnt that it's in Grange Road, and that there are 3 houses in the vicinity. Satellite images from Google actually come in handy but I can't seem to find the place.

    You might want to contact the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Preservation Of Monuments Board.

    Woodneuk was a victim of obvious arson. Fire started at various points of building, where electricity had been cut off for many years.

    The houses at Grange are also in need of rehabillation. The Chee Guan Chiang House, built in 1938. Now under private ownership. The unnamed white coloured smaller house is crumbling.

    My email is redstone.st@gmail.com
    Last edited by redstone; 23rd September 2006 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #42

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Would a signed petition help? I'm sure we can pool in all the Clubsnap people in What do you think? Perhaps, only when they are aware that a lot of people are looking forward to its restoration (well, not full restoration but somewhat to make it less dangerous for photographers) they will take action.

    However, we must also take into consideration that they might just use this petition as a gauge to see how many people have 'trespassed' into this territory, and worse, maybe seal up the place or destroy it...

    I dunno... I'm just dishing out the pros and cons of my idea so you guys maybe can come up with better ones?

  3. #43
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Write letter or email to the two bodies.

    PMD gazettes buildings as National Monuments, Woodneuk deserves being a Monument
    URA protects the buildings as Conservation Areas.

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    My two cents, don't drag any authority into this mess, you know how they can mess up the show..

    If you are a responsible photographer, help to clear up the garbage left behind if you see any trash, and practise self-discipline and don't physically "modify" the place when you use it for shoots etc..

    Something like a code of ethics, but I'm none too optimistic..
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  5. #45

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by LazerLordz View Post
    My two cents, don't drag any authority into this mess, you know how they can mess up the show..

    If you are a responsible photographer, help to clear up the garbage left behind if you see any trash, and practise self-discipline and don't physically "modify" the place when you use it for shoots etc..

    Something like a code of ethics, but I'm none too optimistic..
    I agree... I think there should be a code of ethics everyone can agree on and adhere to to maintain such places. My main concern with telling the authorities about this place is that they might just seal up the place for good.

    And I can foresee them coming up with reasons such as: Public safety, prevention of criminal activity, etc.

  6. #46
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Most important is that Woodneuk is a priceless historical building.

    Being not only a mansion, but also a royal residence and of interesting architecture style.
    Not many people know that another sultan istana exist beside Istana Kampong Glam. It's a small piece of Singapore history absence from history textbooks that ties us with our neighbour.

    If it was sealed up, it would be protected from vandals, and people up to know good. Illegal stayers, satanic rituals, vandals, etc. Then comes the process of rehabillation and restoration. From what I see, the outhouse might not be gazetted for preservation, but the mansion should be. The north facade of the 2nd floor is on the verge of crumbling, the roof caved in. The floor is bearing all the weight of the debris. The parquet caught fire. Although the floor isn't wood, I dare not think it would suffer damage. Now subject to the pouring rain...

    Those who would like Woodneuk to be saved, do write letters/email to Urban Redevelopment Authority and Preservation Of Monuments Board.

    A part of our history is at stake.

  7. #47

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Hi guys,

    I don't mean to be rude, but I am surprise by the amount of optimism that you guys have.

    If the URA and PMB have enough authority over this sort of matter, the walls of the Cathedral of the Good Shepard would not have been TORN DOWN FIRST by LTA before they asked PMB. Look at the Cathay cinema and what's left of it. If you recall, only the front wall is left and conserved (according to our conservation guidelines), I'd rather they tear the whole thing down. It's almost an insult to the original.

    It's all about economics and power and conservation here is only a convenience. If you have seen some of the conditions of buildings that were supposedly to be conserved, then you know were we stand at our cultural heritage.

    And do you they are not aware of the burnt down Istana? I think the whole issue is a joke.
    Last edited by insanne; 25th September 2006 at 10:33 AM.

  8. #48
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    I'll say I was terrbiliy saddened by their decision about Cathay and Changi Prison.

    Sadly yes commercialisation...
    But there are more examples of buildings saved from demolition. Like Tou Mu Kung (Jiu Huang Ye) temple, originally slated for demolition. Now a National Monument. Masjid Hajjah Fatimah, is surrounded by the park and HDB estate. All the shophouses surrounded it had been cleared for redevelopment.

    Although we can't guarantee it's preservation, we can try our best to do our part as citizens to save it. To stop another monument from disappearing like Changi Prison. The istana sits in the (formerly) biggest private estate in Singapore only smaller than Istana Negara.

    Sadly not many people even know there's a (former) Johor royal palace smack right in the city. Even being called repeatedly by the wrong name, wrong history (being hospital and bombed, etc) even by the press.

    People we should do our part to save the Istana Woodneuk. In worse case scenario (touch wood) the weak portion would be torn down and rebuilt in exactly the same way it was, at least externally. It could be converted into other uses. The land is now SLA land, so action can be taken to save it.

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by insanne View Post
    Hi guys,

    I don't mean to be rude, but I am surprise by the amount of optimism that you guys have.

    If the URA and PMB have enough authority over this sort of matter, the walls of the Cathedral of the Good Shepard would not have been TORN DOWN FIRST by LTA before they asked PMB. Look at the Cathay cinema and what's left of it. If you recall, only the front wall is left and conserved (according to our conservation guidelines), I'd rather they tear the whole thing down. It's almost an insult to the original.

    It's all about economics and power and conservation here is only a convenience. If you have seen some of the conditions of buildings that were supposedly to be conserved, then you know were we stand at our cultural heritage.

    And do you they are not aware of the burnt down Istana? I think the whole issue is a joke.

    Precisely, economics rules the roost here. Which makes it more worthwhile for people to internalise within themselves, a sense of responsibility when they use such places for shoots.

    Do in your own way what you can, and leave it as you see it.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  10. #50
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Anyone wants to write a letter to PMB and URA?

  11. #51

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    if it is historically important or has aesthetic or architectural values, National Heritage Board, URA and the other relevant authorities would have done something about it

    there is nothing left there to conserve or preserve
    if you point gets across, they will have to rebuild and restore the place, and thereafter, what do you wanna do wiht it?

  12. #52
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    I'm also suprised that Tou Mu Kung, Changi Prison and Cathay were only conserved when they are threatened.

    Even the old Kallang Airport is not a conserved building. Being of historical and architectural importance (to Singapore at least). Another one is Chee Guan Chiang House.

    Woodneuk, Chee Guan Chiang House, Old Kallang Airport, Asia Insurance Building, Bank Of China Building, Afro Asia Building are examples. Sigh... it's really sad. Even Alexandra Hospital, Old KK Hospital and Old Changi Hospital are not listed as conserved.

    A building like Woodneuk might be adapted to other uses, like a museum, country club, etc. Like how Sun Yat Sen Villa and Istana Kampong Glam were readapted.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    And readapting it for use is another nail in the coffin of true conservation.

    This is repeated so much around this island and it has transformed many of our "heritage" landmarks into artificial constructs with a shallow core.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    qUITe disappointed at what extend URA have allowed for conservation for new cathay.
    URA have been pretty strict on conserving art-deco houses along Mountbatten road which have same history age as cathay. To me, consistency is not done.

    Are there any letters to ST forum highlighting buildings like Woodneuk to be conserved? Other than writing a letter to the relevant boards, ST forum might work(provided ST publish ur letter. *sigh)

    Anyway, what's the chinese word for Chee Guan Chiang hse? Name sounds weird for a building. I read it as machine gun in chinese...(not tryin to b funny)

    Redstone, u can write a book on historical buildings in sg.
    Don't cry because its over,:)Smile because it happened.
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  15. #55

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    same historical age does not equate same artistic/architectural or historical values



    pardon my ignorance or poor memory.... I used to live near Cathay (5 mins walk) for more than 25 years, I cannot remember what's so nice about it to be conserved or preserved.
    anyone has any old image to refresh this old man's memory?

  16. #56
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by grumpy View Post
    same historical age does not equate same artistic/architectural or historical values



    pardon my ignorance or poor memory.... I used to live near Cathay (5 mins walk) for more than 25 years, I cannot remember what's so nice about it to be conserved or preserved.
    anyone has any old image to refresh this old man's memory?
    Cathay Building was the first tall building in Singapore and a great entertainment landmark. Singapore's first air conditioned cinema. Didn't have the chance to go in before, have no idea what the inside looks like. Must be quite grand.

  17. #57
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by hASHbrown_kopitiam View Post
    qUITe disappointed at what extend URA have allowed for conservation for new cathay.
    URA have been pretty strict on conserving art-deco houses along Mountbatten road which have same history age as cathay. To me, consistency is not done.

    Are there any letters to ST forum highlighting buildings like Woodneuk to be conserved? Other than writing a letter to the relevant boards, ST forum might work(provided ST publish ur letter. *sigh)

    Anyway, what's the chinese word for Chee Guan Chiang hse? Name sounds weird for a building. I read it as machine gun in chinese...(not tryin to b funny)

    Redstone, u can write a book on historical buildings in sg.
    PMB's move to conserve only the facade of Cathay and the wall of Changi Prison is saddening. I don't know what they are thinking.

  18. #58

    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Quote Originally Posted by redstone View Post
    PMB's move to conserve only the facade of Cathay and the wall of Changi Prison is saddening. I don't know what they are thinking.
    if you have not been into Cathay, why u think it was grand? Nope, it was not grand
    I have not been inside Changi Prison, so no comment on whether inside is nice, or worth preserving... maybe u can share your experience??

  19. #59
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Changi Prison is about history. Even former soldiers in UK and Australia objected to it's demolition, heritage groups appealed to saved it, butm govt was adamant to redevelope it sacrificing a very important part of history.

  20. #60
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    Default Re: Istana Woodneuk Anyone@16/9/06?

    Changi Prison and Istana Woodneuk are as different as apples and oranges.
    We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities. - Oscar Wilde

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