City Hall, Old Supreme Court Building, and High Street Centre

This picture was taken from the Padang (Malay for ‘flat field’) and shows the Old Supreme Court Building (left centre) and City Hall (right centre). The former structure was designed by Frank Dorrington-Ward, chief architect of the Public Works Department, and officially opened in 1939. It was to be the last classical-style structure erected in colonial Singapore. The building housed the Supreme Court until 2005, when the Court moved to the new Supreme Court Building located just behind the old building. City Hall was initially called the Municipal Building when it opened in 1929 to house various government offices, but was later renamed when Singapore was proclaimed a city by a Royal Charter issued in 1951. The building was the site of many historic events, notably the Japanese surrender ceremony to the British in 1945 and the declaration of Singapore’s independence in 1963. The building underwent renovations in 1987 and was subsequently used by the judiciary to house courtrooms and the Academy of Law. Both buildings have been earmarked to house the new National Art Gallery of Singapore. Towering behind City Hall in the distance is the 31-storey High Street Centre (right background) residential, office and shopping complex, which was completed in 1974 as part of urban renewal plans for the city centre.