North Bridge Road (centre) was one of the first roads to be laid in colonial Singapore. The road was completed in the mid 1830s on the north bank of the Singapore River by architect George D. Coleman, and was linked to South Bridge Road on the south bank by Presentment Bridge (now called Elgin Bridge). Middle Road (right) was another of Singapore’s early thoroughfares, first appearing in Coleman’s 1836 map of the city. In the 1920s and 1930s, North Bridge Road, Middle Road and neighbouring Bras Basah Road (left) were popular locations for Chinese book retailers such as the Popular Book Company and the Shanghai Book Company. Many of these stores relocated to the nearby Bras Basah Complex (centre) in the 1980s, which is known as Book City, or ‘Shu Cheng’ in Mandarin. The open space next to Brash Basah Complex (right centre) between North Bridge Road and Victoria Street is now the site of the new National Library Building, which was opened in 2005 as a replacement for the demolished library building at Stamford Road. The tall structure along Bras Basah Road is the Carlton Hotel (left centre), which was completed in 1988 at the site of the red shophouse of Baker’s Bakery.