Sunday, March 8, 2015

Old Tanglin Barracks becoming a spanking new Artisan zone in Dempsey!

Tanglin Barracks is undergoing a serious make-over! Back in the early days of Ghost Club SG, we went for a little exploration there, the long hallways, high roof and big quarters is filled with intrigue and history. Tales of supernatural occurance in Tanglin Barracks is also aplenty, from the various accounts online of officers who were attached there when the SAF was still operating there (see below).
Read more here:
In the early days of the 19th century, the Tanglin Barracks area was actually a nutmeg plantation. It was only in the mid 19th century that Colonel George Chancellor Collyer gave the approval for the construction of Tanglin Barracks in 1861 for the accommodation for the European troops, which gave way to how Tanglin Barracks looked today.

Above: Tanglin Barracks (1900s) and below (1930s).
Credit: Pictures from National Archives of Singapore Photography data bank
In the most recent years, CMPB and Mindef were located here from 1972 -1989. The camp was also home to military facilities such as The Medical Classification Centre, Officers’ Personnel Centre, Naval Training Department and SAF Careers Centre.
One such military staff who was attached there, Maj Low Wye Mun, described an interesting history that few knew about Tanglin Barracks. He mentoned:
"Even the original "Dead House", where the bodies of deceased soldiers were kept prior to despatch and burial, finds a medical use today. But I doubt if the SAF's Psychiatric Branch would want its patients to be made aware of this little-known historical fact."
Read more here:
By the early 90s, Tanglin Camp was decommissioned and handed over to the former Land Office before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over in 2001. It was handed over to SLA which subsequently used it as an area to rent out for commercial spaces. However, the main Tanglin Barracks was left mainly untouched and in slight ruins, until early this year, renovations started to transform this place as an extension to the Dempsey flavor. Check out the transformation in progress here:

The majestic high roof and undoubted colonial feel remains.

The long doors and passageways aplenty at each block around Tanglin Barracks. 

Being given a new coat of white paint, it makes the place look new yet with a touch of ghostly feel. It is as if the place is brought back in time in the 1800s when it was just built. Can imagine it probably looked as grand as it is now with the new white coat of paint!

While the place is being renovated in batches, some parts still remain old and still works in progress. Remnants of the past, the wooden doors and broken parts of the high roof still stands, for now...

Below: a small room that looks a little like a store, with different shelves on different levels, still made out of wood from the past. We believe they will soon be gone too. Glad to capture some of these before it is really gone.

Another small room with a green backdrop, could be some sort of an admin area or office with the back drop. in ruins and decay.

A nicely renovated new shop already in operation in one of the small blocks. We wonder if the owners have any experiences of wierd noises as they operate at night.

Vandalism from recent years? or words from the dead?

In one of the blocks, we managed to enter the building, the tall wooden roof gives a very airy and cooling, almost haunting feel to the place, whereas the tall pillars that hold the roof together are majestic and grand. the block is being partitioned into several parts, to allow different businesses to operate out of that 1 block.

Common long corridor - block 73 here. And below, beds shifted outside. It looks like the old military beds that we used to sleep on.

We will provide a update soon when the place is completed to share with interested parties on what are some interesting businesses setting up space here!

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