Time Out Singapore: History of Queenstown

We dug up our history textbooks and found out some Queenstown ‘firsts’.

Old photo of Block 39 Princess Estate - aka Forfar House.

Old photo of Block 39 Princess Estate – aka Forfar House.

10 Sep 2013:

First HDB blocks

Built in 1956, Block 39 of the Princess Estate – also known as Forfar House – featured 106 units across 14 floors. It was the tallest public housing block at the time (until a 20-storey block was built in Selegie in 1963).The iconic building was designed to look pretty as well as reduce wind pressure at the same time. It was demolished in 1996 and Forfar Heights now stands in its place. Queenstown was also home to the first multi-coloured ‘aesthetic’ HDB blocks, built in 1973.

First branch library

Queenstown Public Library officially opened in 1970 and was the first full-time branchlibraryinthecountry.Eightyears later,itwasthefirstlibrarytobefullyair- conditioned, and in 1987, it also became the first library to have an online service. The two-storey standalone building was refurbished in 2003, expanding the building’s area by almost three times.

First school for students with special needs

The Lee Kong Chian Gardens School evolved from an institute set up by the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS), and was officially founded in 1970 for students with special needs. Today,the school provides all four Special Education (SPED) programmes for its 350 pupils.

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