This landmark along Selegie Road is as iconic as the rainbow-coloured Rochor Complex in the vicinity. I remember seeing it with the mamak shop at one corner on my bus rides home.
The building was constructed in 1924 and it got its name from Issac Ellison (1864 - 1928), a Jewish community leader in Singapore who once owned the building. The building is home to a number of well-known eateries, some goes back to the 1920s such as Ananda Bhavan Vegetarian Restaurant, Ju Chun Yuan (聚春園), Soh Mang Chen/ Goh Mang Chin Restaurant and Milk Bar (吴茗珍餐室), the former Colonial Bar and Restaurant (高德里酒店餐室) and the contemporary Nasi Lemak Kukus.
Some of these eateries such as the Soh Mang Chen Restaurant and Milk Bar with 70 years of history have since closed. The original grills of the former Ju Chun Yuan restaurant still remains.
Across the street from Ellison Building used to be rows of shophouses that were demolished some time before the 1970s and later developed into the present day Albert Court. One of the shophouses housed a bar of some sorts and the signboard uses a kind of Interim Simplified Chinese character -> "厛" (but with a dian above), Singapore went through 3 successive rounds of character simplification from Traditional Chinese writing from 1969 till 1986 to the current Simplified Chinese writing used in Mainland Chinese. "厛" represents 舞厅 or 酒厅 and is no longer in use.
Also next to the Ellison Building is the Rex Theatre, which first opened in 1964. Like the current Ellison Building (and Rochor Complex), the tenants have been vacated and operations have ceased July this year for the construction of the North-South Corridor. Portions of the conserved Ellison Building will be taken down and reconstructed in the future.
Special thanks to Dr. Lai Chee Kien for helping me to recognise some of the Chinese wordings on the signboards!" - Lee Xin Li
A3 print: 29.7cm (H) x 42cm (W)
Frame: 42.3cm (H) x 52.2cm (W)
Printed on archival paper
Each print is individually autographed by the artist.
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