The Fullerton Hotel, situated at Fullerton Square next to Raffles Place, was originally a public institution known as the Fullerton Building. Named after Robert Fullerton, the governor of Singapore from 1826 to 1830, the original building was located at the site of Fort Fullerton, built at the mouth of the Singapore River to defend the island.
The building was constructed during the period 1925 to 1928 in a neoclassical design by Keyes and Dowdeswell, a Shanghai-based architectural firm that won the architectural competition for the project. Its first occupants were the Exchange, Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore Club; now called the Singapore Town Club. In 1942, various government departments, which included the agriculture, fisheries and forest departments, were housed there. The building was then used as a hospital just before the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. The Income Tax Department (starting late 1948), Ministry of Finance and the Economic Development Board later occupied it. The General Post Office (GPO) was its last occupant until March 1996.
In 1997, the 72-year-old building, along with a piece of the waterfront, was acquired by Sino Land, the Hong Kong arm of the Far East Organisation, at a cost of S$110 million for development into a hotel. Renovation works costing a total of S$400 million were carried out over three years, with only minor alterations to the exterior as stipulated by Urban Redevelopment Authority's conservation guidelines. The acquired waterfront parcel was developed into a two-storey commercial complex called One Fullerton which is linked via a subway to Fullerton Hotel.
Interesting features found during work on the Fullerton Building include an old postal tunnel that led all the way out to the sea for postal boats to deliver and collect mail and the partially water-submerged raft foundation under the building that rendered it effectively floating. The building's old lighthouse that used to guide ships out in the harbour has been converted into a food and beverage outlet.
The eight-storey, 399-room six-star hotel was designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates. Works were completed on 8 December 2000 and The Fullerton Hotel was officially opened by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on 1 January 2001 after the Fullerton's New Year's Eve party countdown.
The historic building was gazetted as a national monument on 7 December 2015.
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