Singapore: Preserving our heritage (including Armenian Church)

The Straits Times (Singapore)
July 13, 2008 Sunday

Preserving our heritage

These national monuments might benefit from the new National Monuments Fund, said Dr Kevin Tan, president of the Singapore Heritage Society.


Al-Abrar Mosque
Location: 192, Telok Ayer Street (gazetted on Nov 29, 1974)
Significance: Built between 1850 and 1855 as an Indian-Muslim
mosque. This building is shown in a 1856 painting by Percy Carpenter
titled ‘Telok Ayer Street as seen from Mount Wallich’. Major
renovations were made to the original architecture between 1986 and

Said Dr Tan: ‘This mosque is fairly old and has not undergone any
major renovations recently.’


Hajjah Fatimah Mosque
Location: 4001, Beach Road (gazetted on July 6, 1973)
Significance: Commissioned by a female philanthropist, Hajjah Fatimah,
in 1845. Aside from the steeple-like minaret tower, the mosque has
European Doric pilasters and a Moorish verandah.

Said Dr Tan: ‘It would be good…to ensure that with the Circle Line
construction near it, the structural integrity of the building is in
place and the steeple will remain standing.’


Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator
Location: 60, Hill Street (gazetted on July 6, 1973)
Significance: Built between 1835 and 1836, it is the oldest Christian
church here and was built by the early Armenian migrants – a small,
pious and wealthy community. Named after a 4th-century monk, the
church is sometimes used for Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox

Said Dr Tan: ‘With such an old building like this, you always want to
be careful. The materials used in the past have been subject to
weathering and might not hold up as well. ‘