The National Heritage Board (NHB) intends to gazette the Singapore River Bridges and the Padang as national monuments, announced Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday (3 August).
The announcement was made to commemorate the city-state’s “bicentennial this year, in light of the significance that the Singapore River Bridges and the Padang have to our growth and development as a nation”, said NHB in a release.
It noted that the upcoming gazettes will accord the sites with “the highest level of preservation in view of their national significance”.
The Singapore River Bridges – comprising the Cavenagh, Anderson and Elgrin Bridges – are the three most architecturally impressive and historic bridges spanning the Singapore River.
Aside from playing a vital role in Singapore’s growth as a city and a trading port, the Singapore River Bridges also “represent the progression of engineering technology in bridge construction from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries”.
One of the oldest open spaces in Singapore for public recreation, the Padang, on the other hand, has been a commemorative space for people to gather and participate in key historic milestones of Singapore, said NHB.
It has borne witness to key historic events such as the swearing-in of Yusof Ishak as head-of-state in 1959; announcement of the merger with Malaysia in 1963; and the first National Day Parade in 1966.
The Padang is bordered by various national monuments like the Cenotaph, Tan Kim Seng fountain, Lim Bo Seng Memorial, former Supreme Court, Civilian War Memorial as well as Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
“The Padang and the Singapore River Bridges have been pivotal to Singapore’s early years,” said NHB director of the preservation of sites and monuments division Jean Wee.
“Both these impending gazettes will contribute to the architectural and cultural diversity of our nation’s built heritage, and together with our 72 other National Moshe added.
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