District 03 - Alexandra, Queenstown, Tiong Bahru
District 03 contains a hodgepodge of modern and historical elements. It consists of Alexandra Road, Queenstown and Tiong Bahru – some of Singapore’s earliest housing estates. Now given a new face with a contemporary twist, these early Singaporean landmarks are the ideal residence for people who want to enjoy a modern living environment that is also rich in heritage.
Alexandra Road was originally a plantation area back in the 1950s. In the 1930s, Alexandra Hospital was built for military purposes. The Alexandra Park is one of the few historical military places left from the colonial times. Most of the buildings are built from 1935 to 1940 by the Far East Land, Air and Sea Forces for the army. Today Alexandra Road is a renowned place with businesses such as Sime Darby Business Centre and IKEA. Several other industrial estates such as Alexandra Distripark and Alexandra Technopark are located in the area.
The first satellite town in Singapore, Queenstown was named to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953. It was one of the earliest housing estates, built before Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio. The Town Centre and the Swimming and Sports Complex are some of the facilities and amenities developed. The Town Centre was completed in 1969 with three cinemas, a shopping complex, a fresh food market, a maternity and child care centre, a bowling alley and clubs and restaurants. In the 1970s, the success of Queenstown led to the development of the nearby Buona Vista Estate and Holland Village with Queenstown held as a model. Towards the 1980s, the estate became more populated by senior citizens as the gradual migration of the younger generation to more upscale places.
Tiong Bahru estate is also another one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore. It is the first project undertaken by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT), a government body administered by the British colonial authority. The construction style of the estate is inspired by art deco and local Straits Settlements’ shophouse architecture. A distinguishing feature of the Tiong Bahru estate is that all the streets are named after Chinese pioneers of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Just like Queenstown, the next generation of Singaporeans moved out of Tiong Bahru during the economic boom of the 1970s and 1980s, leaving behind Tiong Bahru as an estate mostly populated by the older generations.
Tiong Bahru is the ultimate food destination, offering the best quality local food. In fact, Tiong Bahru’s hawker stalls are so widely-known that they constantly top the country’s eatery charts. It is common for patrons to come from different places in Singapore to dine at Tiong Bahru, relishing simple yet tasty meals of Char Siew (roasted pork) rice, stir-fried prawn noodles and other local favourites.
Attractions/Places of Interest
A tourist attraction, the Alexandra Arch is an 80-metre long bridge with a curved deck and tilted arch. It is designed to look like an open fig leaf. The bridge is connected to HortPark via the Flora Walk. At night between 7pm to 12am daily, the bridge will be lit up by a dazzling display of colour-changing LED lights. Bird lovers would be thrilled with the bird-singing aviaries in Tiong Bahru. Every morning, bird lovers commune with their songbirds to discuss about birds over coffee and tea. Popular shopping spots in the districts are Queensway Shopping Centre, IKEA and Anchorpoint Shopping Centre.
The CBD is easily accessible via Tiong Bahru MRT Station, Redhill MRT Station and Queenstown MRT Station.