Adelphi Hotel


Some of the earliest mentions of Adelphi Hotel can be found in newspaper advertisements published in 1850. The proprietor of the hotel, C. Goymour, announced in the 7 May 1850 issue of The Straits Times newspaper that the hotel had moved to High Street. Subsequently, Adelphi Hotel moved to Coleman Street.1 It became one of the principal hotels in Singapore in the late 19th century, together with Raffles Hotel, Hotel de l’Europe and Hotel de la Paix.2 The hotel officially closed on 25 June 1973 and was later demolished. Adelphi Complex (now known as The Adelphi) opened on its site in 1985 and the building is now known as The Adelphi.

History
From High Street, Adelphi Hotel moved from High Street to No. 3 Coleman Street, the residence of Singapore’s pioneer colonial architect, George Dromgold Coleman. The hotel was still housed at this location in the 1870s. During the following decade, however, it moved to Nos. 1 and 2 Coleman Street, at the corner of North Bridge Road.3

Around 1903, Messrs Sarkies, Johannes & Co. purchased the property and improved the small hotel beyond recognition.4 It was entirely rebuilt with a dining hall that could seat 400. There were 100 bedrooms with bathrooms attached and even a tennis court. The Billiard Room and the Reading Room on the ground floor were paved with white marble.5 The three-storey Adelphi Hotel became one of the eight major hotels at the turn of the century, placing it in the same league as Raffles Hotel, which had opened in 1887.6 Adelphi Hotel was also where General Tomoyuki Yamashita of the Japanese army met with Singapore’s 400 community leaders, the first direct contact with Singaporeans after the fall of Singapore.7 During the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), Adelphi Hotel was renamed Nanto Hotel.8

Closure
With a history spanning more than a century, Adelphi Hotel was the oldest hotel in Singapore before its closure in 1973.9 On 24 June that year, the hotel held a dinner and dance to mark its last day and was officially closed at the stroke of midnight, on 25 June 1973.10 Proceeds from the dinner were donated to the Singapore Cheshire Home for the handicapped.11 Demolition began in 1979 and construction of a new building on its site started in 1980.12 Adelphi Complex, a 10-storey hotel, retail and office block completed in 1985, now stands on the site of the old Adelphi Hotel.13 The building is currently known as The Adelphi, which specialises in high-end audio equipment.14



Author

Marsita Omar



References
1. Adelphi Hotel. (1850, May 7). The Straits Times, p. 7. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then and now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
2. Liu, G. (1999). Singapore: A pictorial history 1819–2000. Singapore: Archipelago Press in association with the National Heritage Board, p. 123. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 LIU-[HIS])
3. Our lost treasures. (1990, April 1). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then and now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS]); Beamish, J., & Ferguson, J. (1985). A history of Singapore architecture. Singapore: Graham Brash, p. 36. (Call no.: RSING 722.4095957 BEA)
4. Sale of the Adelphi Hotel. (1903, March 30). The Straits Times, p. 5. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
5. Our lost treasures. (1990, April 1). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Liu, G. (1999). Singapore: A pictorial history 1819–2000. Singapore: Archipelago Press; National Heritage Board, p. 123. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 LIU-[HIS])
7. Turnbull, C. M. (1989). A history of Singapore, 1819–1988. Singapore: Oxford University Press, p. 197. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TUR-[HIS])
8. Lenaga, S. (1978). The Pacific War, 1931–1945: A critical perspective on Japan’s role in World War II. New York: Pantheon Books, p. 173. (Call no.: RCLOS 940.5352 IEN-[GH])
9. Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then and now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
10. Chimes sound Adelphi’s death knell. (1973, June 25). New Nation, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. The last dinner and dance at the Adelphi. (1973, June 25). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Teo, T. W. (1979, April 7). The Adelphi makes way for the ’80s. The Business Times, p. 14.; Rebuilding of hotel begins today. (1980, March 11). The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Tyers, R. K. (1993). Ray Tyers’ Singapore: Then and now. Singapore: Landmark Books, p. 48. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 TYE-[HIS])
14. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, p. 11. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV)



Further resources
Galstaun, A. C. (1906). Adelphi Hotel, Singapore [Image of Photograph] [Online] Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline


Galstaun, A. C. (1906). The Bar room at Adelphi Hotel, Singapore [Image of Photograph] [Online]. Retrieved from National Archives of Singapore website: www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline



The information in this article is valid as at 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Hotels--Singapore
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Historic Buildings
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Historic buildings