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Old Hill Street Police Station

Old Hill Street Police Station

The Old Hill Street Police Station is a heritage building that pays tribute to Singapore’s police force.

It’s best known for its unique rainbow-coloured windows, which are a sight to see – especially at night.

Old Hill Street Police Station, History, Windows, Museum & Map, Singapore

The building’s long history dates back to 1934 when it was initially built with the intention of housing around a thousand members of the police force, as well as their families. At the time, it was the largest government building in the country. By 1935, it was temporarily renamed as the Silver Jubilee Building, in honour of the 25th anniversary of the rule of King George V.

During the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, the Japanese Military Police took over the site and used it for interrogating suspects. They had it painted a sober shade of grey with camouflage patterns, but after the war, Singapore’s police successfully reclaimed the building.

In 1984, it was renamed the Hill Street Building and new tenants moved in; including the Board of Film Censors, the Public Trustees, and the Oral History and Archives Department.

In 1997, it underwent a massive restoration project worth $82 million to upgrade the building and convert it into office spaces that would serve the Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA). Some of the changes included adding floor space and installing a glass roof in the central atrium.

It was gazetted a national monument the year after, and by 2000, MITA moved into their new building, which was now known as the MITA building. By 2012, several ministries, including the MITA, underwent restructuring and it was then renamed the Old Hill Street Police Station.

Today, the stunning 6-storey structure is one of the key heritage attractions in the Museum area within Singapore’s central business district. Its Neoclassical architecture is reminiscent of 1930’s Europe, while its symmetrical facade features arcades, balconies, and columns.

The 927 windows were painted in rainbow colours, while its courtyard was transformed into an air-conditioned atrium which is used for performing arts and exhibitions. Several art galleries are also found inside the atrium.

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