Night-time view of Orchard Road at the Clemenceau Avenue end

Prominent landmarks shown in this picture of Orchard Road include (from left to right): the Hotel Phoenix and Specialists’ Centre, a joint hotel, medical and shopping complex owned by the Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and opened in 1972; the Mandarin Hotel with its distinctive saucer-shaped tower, the brainchild of former Overseas Union Bank chairman George Lien Ying that began operations in late 1971; and the Meridien Hotel and Shopping Centre, completed in late 1983 and owned by Indonesia investor Hendra Rahardja.Orchard Road, located in the central region of Singapore, began as a small country lane in the 1830s surrounded by nutmeg plantations, with spice gardens, pepper farms and fruit tree orchards later sprouting up in the area. Its name was thought to have been derived either from the orchards that once flanked either sides of the lane, or from a Mr. Orchid, who was a plantation owner in the area. By 1860, there were only a few nutmeg plantations left in the area following the worldwide drop in nutmeg prices. The areas surrounding Orchard Road were subsequently developed for residential purposes, with private houses and bungalows common along nearby Scotts and Tanglin Roads. One of the first major retailers to setup shop in the area was the Singapore Cold Storage, which opened a grocery shop along the street in 1905. However, major development of the area only began in the 1960s and by the 1970s, Orchard Road had been transformed into the tourist and shopping belt it is today.