The ever-charming Queenstown
Queenstown estate goes way back to the early days of Singapore’s independence. Many may only know it as an MRT station but tucked away are some fascinating facts that would make you go “Omg, I didn’t know that!”
With that, we have summarised a quick history of the estate as well as highlight a few iconic buildings that made Queenstown known and remarkable till today.
How Queenstown got its name
Singapore’s first satellite town, Queenstown, was named after Queen Elizabeth the II to mark her coronation in the year 1953. The idea of constructing a satellite town came about in the year 1947 to tackle the severe housing crunch in the central of Singapore.
The satellite town was then divided into five neighbourhoods:
Neighbourhood 1: Princess Estate (currently Dawson Road and Strathmore Avenue)
Neighbourhood 2: Duchess Estate (now Margaret Drive)
Neighbourhood 3:Commonwealth Estate
Neighbourhood 4: Tanglin Halt Estate
Neighbourhood 5: Queen’s Crescent and Queen’s Close Estate
Each neighbourhood came with its own set of amenities such as schools, places of worship, convenient stores, clinics and a place to work in.
These amenities comply with the term satellite town which aims to provide residents with excellent living accommodations without the need to travel elsewhere.
Queenstown Entertainment Complex
The former Queenstown Entertainment complex was the main hangout for locals back then. The 4-storey complex housed a cinema, karaoke lounge as well as Singapore’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet overseeing an 18-lane bowling alley with handwritten scoring boards.
With the emergence of videotapes and coloured televisions, eventually, the entertainment centre caved in. Currently, the land is being redeveloped under Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) for residents of Tanglin Halt as the estate is bound for demolishment in 2021.
*Museum @ my Queenstown features the original bowling pins and entertainment complex signage in an exhibit so feel free to visit them for a first-hand look!
Queenstown Public Library
Queenstown certainly was the town to many firsts, one of which being Singapore’s first public library.
Located at Margaret Drive, Queenstown library’s entire lattice facade is a charm to the estate surrounded with new developments. The two-storey library is famous for its kids’ corner, with occasional storytelling sessions.
Just a 10-minutes walk from Queenstown MRT, the library features books by local authors and honours the rich history of the town on a feature wall.
Also, a few of the librarians have worked in the library since its early days, so feel free to approach them for their personal stories of the estate!
Queenstown Sports Complex
Queenstown Sports complex was the premier location for National Day Parades (NDP) and regional sporting competitions. The swimming pool, one of which Olympic sized, was also the training ground for Singapore’s water polo team.
Today, the stadium and swimming pool remains to be a popular spot for daily workouts and sports training. Similar to that of the library, its main facade and facilities remain unchanged and had only undergone minimal renovations.
Whilst you are there, spot the mural that was drawn in honour of the water polo team just by the entrance to the stadium!
We hope you have acquired a little bit more knowledge about Queenstown and trust us, a visit to the estate takes you down memory lane. Put on your best walking shoes and start exploring this weekend!