The MacAlister Terrace, situated at MacAlister Road in the Singapore General Hospital (SGH), displays rich colonial flavour in its architectural design.
The pre-WWII terrace is uninhabited currently, whereas the nearby MacAlister Flats still function as a hostel. All three landmarks are named after George Hugh K. MacAlister, the principal of King Edward VII College of Medicine from 1918 to 1929.
Visible from the Central Expressway (CTE) after the Chin Swee Tunnel, the pale blue two-storey building with red roof seems to be a forgotten place in SGH, receiving little attention and maintenance as compared to SGH’s national monuments such as the Bowyer Block, the College of Medicine Building and the Tan Teck Guan Building (see last picture).
As Singapore’s first general hospital and the oldest medical institution, SGH was founded in 1821 but moved to its current site in Outram on 29 March 1926.
As the hospital expanded throughout the years, many buildings within the compound were torn down and replaced by modern ones. Only Bowyer Block of the original SGH (1926) remains today, after Stanley and Norris Blocks were demolished in the 1970s. The names of the three blocks were named after the doctors who lost their lives during the Japanese Occupation (1942 – 1945).
In 2010, a new multi-storey carpark was built near the MacAlister Terrace, and MacAlister Road was lengthened and linked to the main road of Jalan Bukit Merah.
As SGH continues to modernise, one can only wonder if the terrace will also suffer the fate of demolition in the future.
Published: 17 January 2011
Updated: 08 February 2011