Kim Seng Road



Kim Seng Road was named after Peranakan philanthropist Tan Kim Seng.1

History
Kim Seng Bridge, the most westerly of the nine bridges crossing the Singapore River,2 carries Kim Seng Road from River Valley Road to Havelock Road,3 where Tan Kim Seng’s property used to be.4 It also marks the supposed source of the Singapore River, and its upper reaches flows as the Alexandra Canal.5

The landmarks on Kim Seng Road include Panglima Prang (Admiral of the Fleet), the early home of Tan Kim Seng’s grandson, Tan Jiak Kim (previously located on River Valley Road from the 1860s to 1982, when it was demolished).6 Great World City Complex is also a landmark on Kim Seng Road. It was once site of the Great World Amusement Park entertainment and recreation centre. Built in the 1960s, the recreation centre had two movie theatres: the Sky and Globe.7

Also built in the 1960s, Times House is another recognisable landmark on Kim Seng Road.8 It was demolished in April 2004 and the site was sold to Wheelock Properties previously known as Marco Polo Development, for S$118.8 million. The site is now occupied by a 36-storey condominium block, The Cosmopolitan.9 In the 1990s, new developments along Kim Seng Road include Tiara Condominium Apartments,10 Mirage Tower Apartments11 and King’s Centre.12

The street gained Tan Kim Seng’s name when he contributed financially to the building of the thoroughfare. He was known as the founder of the firm of Kim Seng & Co. and was a well-known public benefactor and businessman.13 The Kim Seng Constituency also takes its name after the person.14

Variant names
Chinese name: In Hokkien Hong Hin lo and its Cantonese variant Fung heng lo. which means “Hong Hin Road” where Hong Hin refers to the seal of philanthropist Tan Kim Seng.15



Author
Vernon Cornelius



References
1. Durai Raja Singam S. (1939). Malayan street names: What they mean and whom they commemorate. Ipoh: Mercantile Press, p. 116. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 RAJ); Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 214–215. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
2. Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 500. (Call no.: RSING 915.57 EDW-[TRA])
3. Durai Raja Singam S. (1939). Malayan street names: What they mean and whom they commemorate. Ipoh: Mercantile Press, p. 116. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 RAJ); Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 500. (Call no.: RSING 915.57 EDW-[TRA])
4. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 215. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
5. Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 510. (Call no.: RSING 915.57 EDW-[TRA])
6. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 215. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
7. Tan, T. (1997, October 11). Great World. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
8. Mulchand, A. (2004, April 5). Changing times. The Straits Times, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Teo, J. (2005, March 12). Luxury freehold condo at ex-Times House site. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Rashiwala, K. (1996, March 14). OCBC gets nod to develop site on Kim Seng Road. The Straits Times, p. 40. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Leow, A. J., & Sreenivasan, V. (1994, March 5). Mirage Tower condos set new benchmark prices. The Business Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. New theatre? (1997, October 29). The New Paper, p. 4. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
13. Durai Raja Singam S. (1939). Malayan street names: What they mean and whom they commemorate. Ipoh: Mercantile Press, p. 116. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 RAJ)
14. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press, p. 214. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
15. Firmstone, H. W. (1905, February). Chinese names of streets and places in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, (42), 53–208, pp. 102–103; Sheppard, M. (Ed.). (1982). Singapore 150 years. Singapore: Times Books International, p. 213. (Call no.: RSING 959.57 SIN-[HIS])



The information in this article is valid as at 1999 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
Street names--Singapore
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
Streets and Places
Singapore--History
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places