Comments on article: InfopediaTalk
Amoy Street begins at the junction of McCallum Street and Telok Ayer Street and ends at Pekin Street. Developed in the 1830s, the street, probably named after Amoy in China, has many buildings of historical interest.
Amoy Street was developed in the 1830s as a part of the 1822 Raffles' plan of Chinatown. It is listed as "Amoi Street" in the 1836 Coleman's Map of Singapore. Construction of the street was completed in 1842. The street probably got its name from Amoy, a European term for Xiamen port in Fujian Province, China. At that time, many Hokkien immigrants from Amoy had made Singapore their home. The street was an early Hokkien settlement that also had their temples and huis (or "associations"). Being near the shoreline, Amoy Street had businesses that was catered to serve the sailors and the sea trade. The street was associated with opium-smoking dens during colonial times. Some of the oldest religious buildings in Singapore are located along this street. A few of these religious buildings, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Masjid Al-Abrar and the Nagore Durgha Shrine, are gazetted national monuments. A free school, Cui Ying School, was constructed along this street in 1854.
Starting at the junction of McCallum Street and Telok Ayer Street, Amoy Street takes a right turn to run parallel to Telok Ayer Street. The whole street measures around 500 m. Amoy Street is lined with old shophouses of architectural interest. The shophouses now function as business offices, commercial enterprises, eateries that make this street a popular food alley, and residences.
The Sian Chai Kang temple, with its fiery dragons on the roof, is located near the start of Amoy Street. The first Anglo-Chinese School in Singapore, which used to be located at shophouse number 70, was started by Methodist missionaries with just 13 pupils on 1 March 1886. Now called ACS House, this place has been classified as a historic site since the late 1990s. Opposite the school is the Al-Abrar Mosque which was constructed by Tamil Muslims known as the Chulias in 1827. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1974. The Thian Hock Keng Temple, flanked by Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street on each side of the temple, was constructed in 1842. It is one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples for the Hokkiens in Singapore and was gazetted as a national monument in 1973. The entrances to the temple as well as to Al-Abrar Mosque face Telok Ayer Street. Telok Ayer Green, a sprawling park, lies next to the temple. Across this park is the Nagore Durgha Shrine. Built in 1830, also by Tamil Muslims, this mosque was gazetted in 1974. The Ann Siang Hill park is located between Amoy Street and Ann Siang Road. A commercial property, Far East Square, occupies the whole stretch of Amoy street on one side from Cross Street to Pekin Street. Opposite this are a few shophouses and commercial units. The Fuk Tak Chi Temple and the Ying Fo Fui Kun museum are also located in the vicinity.
(1) Ma-cho-kiong au Hokkien meaning "Behind the temple of Ma-Cho", a reference to the Thian Hock Keng temple.
(2) Gi-oh khau Hokkien meaning "mouth of free school" or "entrance to free school", referring to the free school located there in the 1850s.
(3) Kun-am miu hau kai (Cantonese), meaning "the street behind the temple of Kun-Yam", a reference to the Thian Hock Keng temple.
(4) Ha mun kai (Cantonese), with Ha mun being the Cantonese pronunciation for Amoy.
Thulaja Naidu Ratnala
Dunlop, P. K. G. (2000). Street names of Singapore (p. 5). Singapore: Who's Who Publications.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 DUN)
Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1996). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places (pp. 437, 437, 438, 439, 457). Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 EDW)
Savage, V. R., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2003). Toponymics: A study of Singapore street names (pp. 36-37). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: RSING 915.9570014 SAV)
Tan, B. C. (1976-1977). Street names in selected areas of Singapore: A study in historical geography (pp. 11, 27). Singapore.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 TAN)
Firmstone, H. W. (1905, January). Chinese names of streets and places in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 4, 54-55.
(Call no.: RSING 959.5 FIR)
Facelift for two more parks in Chinatown; with the revamp at Telok Ayer Green now completed, the revitalising effort moves to Ann Siang Hill and Kreta Ayer Square. (2002, June 22). The Straits Times.
4 more hawker centres to get facelift. (2002, February 23). The Straits Times.
Soh, T. K. (1996, August 8). From opium den to insurance hub. The Business Times, p. 1.
Why ACS comes up aces. (2002, February 3). The Straits Times, Analysis.
Wong, A. Y. (2000, March 26). Just the cook's best dishes. The Straits Times, p. 10.
Lewis, M. (1995). Singapore: The rough guide. London: Penguin Books Limited.
(Call no.: RSING 915.95704 S)
Singapore and Malaysia (p. 83)(1997). New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc.
(Call no. RSING 915.950454 SIN)
Davie, S. (1998, March 2). He owns a piece of history. The Straits Times, p. 33.
The information in this article is valid as at 2003 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Architecture and Landscape>>Streets and Places
Architecture and Landscape>>Building Types>>Historic Buildings
Arts>>Architecture>>Public and commercial buildings
People and communities>>Social groups and communities