Monday, May 7, 2012

Where are these Artisan Quarters?

I found a close up picture of the Princess Elizabeth Estate artisan quarters.
As far as I know, the only SIT development that had this kind of design was built only at PEE.
That is why I am sure that this row of houses is at Princess Elizabeth (but I could be wrong...details further on)

16 rows of this design were built as a result of the Princess Elizabeth Wedding Fund, catering to the housing needs of the low income people after the post war period. The SIT enlarged the development of Princess Elizabeth Estate by building the multi-storey blocks adjacent to these single storey units.

In other words, there were actually 2 different sections to Princess Elizabeth Estate. The single storey artisan quarters were built from the contributions and donations to the Princess Elizabeth Wedding. The multi-storey section were built with funding directly from SIT and not the Wedding Fund.

If you delve into the development history at that time, you'll find that there were disagreements and squabbles leading to delays and finger pointing among the colonial depts, the municipal commissioners, the Wedding Fund committee and the SIT over who should build, collect rent and even administer the estate. Eventually, the SIT was 'appointed' to lead the development, build and administer the estate.

In the above picture, I am unable to identify which block this is due to the lack of surrounding features. Even the tall Casaurina trees throw me off track as I can't recall any Casaurina trees behind any of those row of houses. Can anyone attempt to place these units?

Worse comes to worst, I may be totally wrong as this row of houses may not even be at PEE !
The reason I say this is that I do not recall that the front door of the artisan quarters being in a perpendicular position to the recessed windows. Or did some units have them?

By the way, the picture above was extracted from the National Archive of Singapore photo website.
This is their PICAS site. You can view lots of old pictures of Singapore at this site.
In fact, many years back I spotted a photo of the old shop market that was built at PEE in 1967.
However, I remembered it was mis-labelled and up to today I am still hunting for that particular picture amongst the many thousands. I hope to find it in the archive and put it up here.
Can you help to search as well?

This is a sketch of how that picture looked like....

1 comment:

  1. I found some unconfirmed information regarding the dwellings in the above photograph. These artisan quarters may actually have been located at Loring Limau instead of Princess Elizabeth estate. Can anyone confirm?