The Centrepoint, Orchard Point and Orchard Plaza shopping centres along Orchard Road

Prominent landmarks shown in this picture of Orchard Road include (from left to right): the Centrepoint shopping centre developed by the Cold Storage Group, which was opened in November 1983 by an English aristocrat, the Countess of Portarlington; the Orchard Point commercial-cum-residential complex developed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and opened in June 1983; and the Orchard Plaza shopping centre that was completed in 1981 by property tycoon Ng Teng Fong’s company, Far East Organization, with carved stone reliefs on the building’s facade that took after those of the Hilton Hotel, another of Fong’s property developments along Orchard Road.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.