This picture was taken from the Padang (Malay for ‘flat field’) and shows City Hall (centre) and Peninsula Hotel (background) lighted up at night. 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. It has been earmarked, together with the adjacent Old Supreme Court Building, to house the new National Art Gallery of Singapore. Located a short distance behind City Hall, at the corner of Coleman Street and North Bridge Road, is the 22-storey Peninsula Hotel. Opened in 1974, the 315-room luxury hotel was mounted on top of a six-storey podium that housed shops selling various merchandise. The hotel’s opening marked the completion of the final phase of development for the Peninsula hotel and shopping complex.