Date of Construction: 1890-1894
Date of Gazette: 28 June 1973
Address: 18 Raffles Quay Singapore 048582
Architect: James MacRitchie, Municipal Engineer, Public Works Department
Engineer/Builder: Riley Hargreaves and Co
The first market in Singapore was located on the south bank of the Singapore River. The land there was soon required for commercial use, and Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles ordered the market to be moved to Telok Ayer. This area was then along the seafront, and a market on piles over the sea, was built by 1824. In the 1830s, there was a need for a bigger market. G.D. Coleman won the commission to build it, and his market was ready for use by 1838. But Coleman had failed to take into account the powerful surf at Telok Ayer Bay, and his market over the water was structurally weak. The ornamental columns at the entrance of this octagonally-shaped market were a small but necessary luxury according to Coleman because the market was going to be a landmark, and would face houses that were neat and respectable in appearance. Coleman’s market was used for some 40 years until it was encroached upon by land reclamation works at Telok Ayer. In 1894, a new market was built on reclaimed land. Also octagonal in shape, it was meant as a tribute to Coleman’s market. The designer was the Municipal Engineer, James MacRitchie, who has given his name to a reservoir. The ornamental cast work used in its construction was imported from Glasgow. Today the market is known as the Lau Pa Sat, a food centre popular with both tourists and locals alike.
Adapted from Edwin Lee’s Historic Buildings of Singapore (1990)
More information on this monument can be found in Singapore Infopedia, National Library Board.