On River Valley Road is one of Singapore’s two remaining traditional Chinese-style mansions; the other is the House of Tan Yeok Nee located at the junction of Penang Road and Clemenceau Avenue.
Surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants, it is difficult to imagine that the River House has existed since the late 1800s – making this the oldest building in Clarke Quay today.
For decades, the building was believed to have been built by the early Teochew businessman Tan Yeok Nee. However, recent research revealed that ownership of the site is more complex than previously thought, and may have even been the unofficial headquarters of a secret society.
Over 100 years after initial construction, the River House was faithfully restored in 1993; special care was taken to preserve its original architecture and, for this, the River House was granted the Architecture Heritage Award by Urban Redevelopment Authority in 1995.
Following its restoration, the building served many purposes. It was first converted into an art gallery and Chinese Restaurant. Several restaurants have since leased this venue.
This is a conserved building(s) by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), please visit URA’s Conservation Portal for more details.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of October 2019 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.