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The original Clemenceau Avenue stretched between Newton Circus to the southern bank of the Singapore River. Today Clemenceau Avenue is cut by the roadways and tunnels of the Central Expressway (CTE). It is named after Monsieur Georges Clemenceau who was twice Premier of France and War Minister, (1917-1919). It was called Tank Road until 1919. At its junction between the current Tank Road and Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore's first railway track began, running from Tanjong Pagar to Pulau Saigon and then extending to Newton Circus.
Mon. Georges Clemenceau was on an eastern tour in the 1920s, when he visited Singapore, and was invited to witness the foundation stone laying of the Cenotaph. At that visit, he had the honor to mark the foundation of Clemenceau Avenue. The Clemenceau Bridge (1920s) was a crossing over the Singapore River. On this road, at the corner of Penang Road, the Chinese architectural building and historical "House of Tan Yeok Nee" has stood there since 1885. Until the 1980s, it was the Salvation Army Headquarters. Opposite the Singapore Shopping Centre (1980), the George Lee Chambers once stood here, and Metro Toyland and Bargain Centre took over premises until its demolition in 1975. Next to it, the Rediffusion (Cable) Broadcasting Studios at 182 Clemenceau Avenue had its beginnings here, and was a landmark from 1949 till mid-1980s at its peak of popularity. Today the Raffles Surgical Centre stands in its place. The avenue also runs along the left side of Istana Negara (what was Government House in Colonial Times) grounds at Orchard Road junction. Many people remember too, Singapore's first National Theatre (1963-1978) which was the scene of many cultural events especially in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Today being part of the vibrant Orchard Road belt, it has many prominent buildings of public interest.
Edwards, N., & Keys, P. (1988). Singapore: A guide to buildings, streets, places (p. 247) Singapore: Times Books International.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 EDW)
Ramachandra, S. (1961). Singapore landmarks, past and present (p. 21). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 RAM)
Tan, Bee Choo. (1976). Street names in selected areas of Singapore: A study in historical geography (p. 21). Singapore.
(Call no.: RSING 959.57 TAN)
The information in this article is valid as at 1999 and correct as far as we are able to 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.