Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Asia Insurance Building

Chun See asked me this question some time ago and I shall pose the question to everyone here: "Did you know that across the road to Clifford Pier used to be a famous landmark. It was often featured in our geography books. It was the tallest building in Spore in the old days. Do you know the name of this building?"

Chun See's question had set me on a mini journey to try to answer that question. (Though I have obviously gave away the answer on the title of this post.)

Thank goodness that I have managed to get some help. Victor shared with me a photo of the skyline of Singapore in the 1970s that he had came across.

Doing a search on a2o has also helped me in my search for the answer. If you would like to see how the Asia Insurance Building looked like in the past, you can do a search at a2o. Enter "Asia Insurance Building". Next, enter the date (I suggest that you key in from 1970 to 1980), then select photographs, then press the "Search" button. View the results. has a post about the Asia Insurance Building being Singapore's first tallest building. The post can be found here.

Try to decipher what is written on this plaque found on the ground level of the Asia Insurance Building.

According to some other sources, the Asia Insurance Building may have once been the tallest building in Singapore in the 1950s but it was not the first tallest building. Check out this link for some revelation:

Back to the Asia Insurance Building, Dr Tan Wee Kiat came by and pointed me to the stamp below. It shows the 1971 Singapore Skyline. See if you can find the Asia Insurance Building? And if you look carefully, you will also see Clifford Pier on the stamp below.

I was told that the stamp above (of the 1987 Central Business District) also shows the Asia Insurance Building.

The stamp above shows the 2004 Singapore Skyline. I have found myself requiring more effort of the eye to identify the Asia Insurance Building from this skyline.

The stamps seem to tell me of the building's glorious past, and how it has now took a step back to pass the glory to newer and taller buildings.


Before Chun See posed that question to me, I was still ignorant that the building that stands at the corner of Finlayson Green was once the tallest building in this part of the world. Now there are taller buildings in Singapore and in comparison, the Asia Insurance Building somehow may seem not much of a significance. Will the Asia Insurance Building be forgotten? Or will it have a place in our history?

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