Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Memories of the MPH Building

A month ago, I walked past the MPH Building and took several photographs of it. It brought back some memories.

About a decade ago, I used to play in an orchestra that was based somewhere along Waterloo Street. There were times when I was too early for rehearsals, so one of the places that I would spend time at was the MPH Building. Other favourites include the Central Library that used to be located along Stamford Rd, the Singapore Art Museum and then-Singapore History Museum.

One thing that I remember about the MPH Building was the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and waffle from the cafe that used to operate within the premises of the then-MPH bookshop. I am not a coffee-lover but the smell was very inviting. It was so inviting that I would usually feel an urge to go into the MPH bookshop whenever I passed by the building.

Other than the nice, inviting smell, I like the cosy manner in which the books were laid out and the nice piped music that was played. The then-MPH bookshop also had a fairly nice collection of greeting cards for sale. In those days, I used to enjoy browsing greeting cards so as to get inspirations to design my own greeting cards. It is also one of my favourite spots to buy presents for friends.

But things were no longer the same when the building became what I remember as a commercial educational institute. The building looked fairly similar like how it used to be a decade ago, but its entrances now no longer have the inviting appeal that they used to have. I beg your pardon that for the past few years, I no longer bother to find out what goes on inside the building. The doors simply look too cold to invite an inquisitive visitor to make any enquiry.

Anyway, I suppose it is no harm to recall my past memories of this building. It looks pretty in its own way, especially against the blue skies.

Its architectural style looks pretty unique. I sometimes wish that someone could conduct a walking architectural tour of the various buildings in Singapore.


For the fact-lovers, while I was trying to find out more about the MPH Building, I chanced upon this:

"The MPH Building, built in 1908, was originally known as the Methodist Publishing House but it was later renamed as Malaya Publishing House. Built in the Edwardian commercial street architecture style, it used to be well-known for the retail bookstore until in 2003 the building was sold to commercial educators."

If you have any memories of the MPH Building, please share. I would like to hear.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The angels at Sts Peter & Paul

While catching the exhibits that form part of the Singapore Biennale, I visited the Church of Sts Peter & Paul for the very first time.

I used to frequent Waterloo Street and had often been passing by the Church of Saints Peter & Paul, but I have never actually walked into it. A few weeks ago, in hope to catch the exhibits as mentioned above, I walked into this church for the first time in my life. I did not take any photo of the exhibits. However, I was particularly attracted to the sculptures of the many angels that one can find at the peripheral of this church.

Wishing you peace.