The Singapore Handicraft Centre at Tanglin Road

The Singapore Handicraft Centre was officially opened in September 1976 at the junction of Tanglin and Grange Roads on the outskirts of the Orchard Road shopping and tourist belt. The centre was developed by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board (STPB) to preserve and promote the culture of neighbouring regions while ensuring a livelihood for skilled craftsmen. The centre initially housed 26 stores selling the arts and crafts of more than 16 countries in Asia, the Middle East and West Africa. Other facilities at the centre included a beer garden, a large hall and an internal plaza for art exhibitions. A cultural theatre was subsequently added to the centre for staging cultural shows that catered to the tourists. In an attempt to attract the crowds, the STPB opened the Rasa Singapura hawker centre in June 1978 in a location adjoining the centre. Following a nationwide search for the best hawker food in Singapore, 29 hawkers were picked by the STPB to open stalls in the hawker centre. Both centres were closed down in 1990 to make way for the redevelopment of the site into the Tanglin Mall shopping centre and Traders Hotel. The Singapore Handicraft Centre was relocated to one of the podium blocks of the Chinatown Point complex in 1991 while the former stallholders at Rasa Singapura dispersed to places such as the Bukit Turf Club, a coffee shop in Bishan, and a food court in the Lucky Chinatown shopping centre.