Dunlop Street



Believed to be named after Colonel Samuel Dunlop, Dunlop Street in Little India is a one-way road connecting Jalan Besar to Serangoon Road. The most significant landmark along this street is the Abdul Gaffoor Mosque.1

History
The street was probably named after Colonel Samuel Dunlop who served in Singapore as the Inspector-General of Police of the Straits Settlements in 1875 and as a member of the Municipal Commission in 1887. It is also likely that this street was named after A. E. Dunlop, Secretary of the Race Course Committee of the Serangoon area. Before the 1870s, this street was known as Rangasamy Road.2 Dunlop Street is a part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s conservation area of Little India.3

Key features
Predominantly lined with modest two-storey shophouses, which are good examples of terrace shophouse architecture, Dunlop Street also features a few decorative houses. The eateries on the bylanes of this street, serving a wide variety of food, continue to be frequented by tourists and locals.4

Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, one of Singapore’s oldest mosques, was originally built with timber partitions and a tiled roof in 1881. In 1910, the old mosque building was demolished when a new brick mosque building (which had started construction in 1907) was partially built with Saracenic architectural features.5 Abdul Gaffoor, a trustee of the mosque in the late 1880s, was instrumental in constructing eight shophouses and nine sheds in the 1880s and using the rent collected from them to build the new mosque, as well as to provide financial assistance for the mosque’s maintenance.6 The mosque was gazetted as a national monument in July 1979.7 The mosque went through restoration work in the early 2000s and won the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Architectural Heritage Award in 2003.8

Variant names
Chinese names:
(1) In Hokkien, Kam-kong ka-poh hua koi or Kam-kong ka-poh tua koi.9
(2) In Cantonese, Kam-pong ka-pok wang kai or Kam-pong ka-pok tai kai.10
Both meaning “Kampong Kapor Cross (or big) street”.11 It is only presumed that this was the biggest street in Kampong Kapor as no specific Chinese names were given to streets in Kampong Kapor.12



Author
Thulaja Naidu



References
1. Bracken, B. G. (2014). Singapore: Sketches of the country's architectural treasures... journey through Singapore's urban landscape (4th ed.). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 100. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 BYR-[TRA]); Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, pp. 104–105. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
2. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 104. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
3. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1995). Little India: Historic district. Singapore: Urban Redevelopment Authority, p. 21. (Call no.: RSING q363.69095957 LIT)
4. Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places. Singapore: Times Books International, pp. 115, 129, 136. (Call no.: RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
5. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1991). Abdul Gaffoor Mosque preservation guidelines (Vol. 1). Singapore: The Board, p. 4. (Call no.: RSING 363.69095957 ABD)
6. Bachtiar, I. (1994, September 11). Help wanted: Funds to restore a little mosque. The Straits Times, p. 24. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Urban Redevelopment Authority. (1991). Abdul Gaffoor Mosque preservation guidelines (Vol. 1). Singapore: The Board, p. 4. (Call no.: RSING 363.69095957 ABD)
8. Ho, K. (2003, October 17). Awards laud fusion. The Straits Times, p. L3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
9. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 105. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
10. 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, p. 86. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 JMBRAS)
11. Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2013). Singapore street names: A study of toponymics. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, p. 105. (Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA]); 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, p. 87. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 JMBRAS)
12. 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, p. 87. (Call no.: RQUIK 959.5 JMBRAS)



The information in this article is valid as at 2003 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
Arts>>Architecture>>Religious buildings
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
History>>Asia>>Southeast Asia>>Singapore