Ipoh’s “Hidden” Old Architectural Buildings

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By Jerry Francis

Just like any other century-old city, Ipoh has its share of old architectural buildings constructed according to various era and cultures.

Some of these buildings may be near where we are staying or where we would pass daily on our way to the markets or work. But, most of us are taking them for granted and fail to notice them.

It is not until some owners decided to demolish their buildings that we begin to realise and appreciate them and make an outcry over their demolition.

Despite many being demolished to make way for redevelopment, there are still over 100 of such beautiful buildings in the city,” said Ang Heng Swan, who has compiled a collection of photographs of the old architectural buildings.

Apart from Railway Station, Town Hall, Hongkong & Shanghai Bank and High Court, which are well-known landmarks of the city, there are other notable architectural buildings. Among them are mosques, churches, temples, schools, commercial buildings, mansions and residential houses.

They include Straits Trading Building, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, Darul Ridzuan Museum, Dato Panglima Kinta Mosque, Old Fire Station, Old State Secretariat Building, Perak River Hydro Building, Perak Chinese Mining Association, Foong Seong Building and shops and residential houses along Jalan Bijih Timah, Jalan Dato Cheang Lee, Jalan Raja Ekram and Jalan Lau Ek Ching.

Ang feels that such buildings need to be highlighted and to get the authorities and owners interested in preserving them.

“They are our heritage and need to be spruced up as part of the beautification of the city,” he added.

In an effort to get the residents of Ipoh to be aware of such buildings, the Ipoh Barat MCA Youth together with Gerakan Belia Malaysia and Pertubuhan Foto Imej Perak is organising “1Malaysia Perak Heritage Buildings 2010” photography competition.

“We feel the best way to get Ipoh residents to notice these beautiful buildings in their midst is to publicise them, perhaps even publish the photographs in a book,” added Ang, a committee member of the competition.

The closing date of the competition is on August 14 and prize-giving and exhibition will be held at Glamour Square in Bercham on August 31.

Closing date is August 14. Entries to be sent to: Poon Foto, 26 Jalan Laxamana. Tel: 05-2559491.

3 thoughts on “Ipoh’s “Hidden” Old Architectural Buildings

  1. My father, the Danish architect B M Iversen, spent almost 40 years in Ipoh building many wonderful buildings. Remember that Heritage does not only mean the old colonial buildings but the prewar and postwar cinemas, houses, shop houses and business premises too. On my last visit to Ipoh in 2009 I was saddened to see how much has been demolished and replaced by hideous modern monsters. Ipoh should be ashamed of losing so many wonderful buildings. How one can even contemplate that Ipoh might become a World Heritage City – is a joke.

    Preserve the old, clean up the mess, be proud of what used to be the most wonderful place in Malaysia. I was born there, love it and weep when I see what has happened.

  2. We do take our buildings for granted.

    It is a sad thing that many people do not appreciate architecture, the mother of all arts. We spend so much time being inside and driving past buildings, but we do not insist on good architecture to improve the quality of our lives. It is terrible that shopfronts are obliterated by big signboards, now more loud and gaudy in plastic colours. What good are architectural facades?

    We spend thousands just to be in other towns and countries. Do you realise that these populated places and their culture are identifiable by its architecture? Not just old buildings but new ones, too. We need to appreciate old buildings for they are repository of our history. We need to appreciate new buildings, but how many of these will become heritage if and when they become venerably aged?

    Learn about architecture and change your perceptions on our built environment. Then you’ll also learn to appreciate nature, the natural environment we also take for granted.

  3. My heart oozes with nostalgia, whenever I came across on heritage articles or buildings. As such,
    I wish to suggest to Ipoh Echo to dedicate an article on heritage matters every issue. For further informations on heritage matters and understandings, Ipoh Echo could contact the various heritage organizations or the Perak Heritage Society (perakheritage36@gmail.com). The passion for heritage can only be understood if one has interest in rejuvenating and preserving old buildings. Thank you Mr.Jerry Francis.

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