A garden pavilion at Whampoa House

In 1840, prominent Chinese businessman and community leader Hoo Ah Kay, popularly known as Whampoa, had a mansion built off what is now Serangoon Road. Commonly referred to as Whampoa House, it had beautiful gardens situated amid fruit-tree plantations. Open to the public during Chinese New Year, various festivities were held within the vast grounds of the Whampoa Gardens. Following Hoo’s death in 1880, the estate was bought over by Seah Liang Seah, another prominent Chinese businessman, and renamed Bendemeer House. The building was eventually demolished in the 1960s to make way for the development of the Kallang Basin housing and industrial project.