Gimme a Lift

October 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm | Posted in itchy backside | 3 Comments
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Following news that another of Singapore’s old building will be demolished to give way to the new Bugis MRT station for the Downtown Line, Itchyfingers decided that we should pay it a visit while we had the time, before it’s gone by end of this year…:(

The New 7th Storey Hotel was built in 1953, and was the tallest hotel built at that time. According to reports, there are actually nine storey, including a rooftop garden space and a tiny shed to house its lift engine. What makes it really unique is this single old lift. It is the only surviving lift with a gate that requires someone to manually open and close it. Itchyfingers only saw such lifts in Hong Kong dramas, where residents of old flats often had to pull and push the gate to go in and outta of the lift. A pity when we went Hong Kong last year, we didn’t see any of these old lifts, even our dodgy hostel and our friend’s studio that was converted from an old industrial building did not have any of these.

The hotel facade

We were surprised how readily the staff at the hotel lobby agreed to letting us take picture of the old lift. I guessed there were already many other people with the same request before us.

The metal door of the lift

Er, I thought it looked not as old as I imagined. Not before long, the lift sounded a ‘ding’ and soon ‘opened’ up…er, I should say, someone opened up the gate of the lift…

See! Manually operated by an old staff in nice orchid uniform…:p

They didn’t seemed surprise seeing two Itchyfingers standing curiously outside, aiming our camera at them…:p

Hmmm, it looked not as old probably due to recent reburbishment of
the hotel…must had given the old lady a little face lift too…

This old metal gate looked just like those in old buildings…heee…
if it got rusty, dunnu people inside will get trapped or not…:p

We had the itch to take the lift up to the highest floor but felt too shy to ask for permission, had wished that the staff would offer us a lift as we were hanging around for at least 10 minutes looking and taking pictures. The narrow exit/entrance space of the lift where we were standing was a little over a metre wide, so it was a bit cramp to stay there too long and hindering their work. So we thanked the staff and left. Would really love to take a lift up and look down from one of the windows to experience how it was like to stay in the tallest hotel in Singapore in the 50s! :p Well, I took consolation from this site with its interesting 360 degree panaromic shots of the hotel.

As we walked out of the hotel, we stopped by and shoot a photo of the DHL Balloon. It was due to be relocated as it is coming towards the end of its lease period. At the time when we were there, it was not flying though it wasn’t a windy day.

The DHL helium balloon

Incidentally, the Balloon had stopped its operation just this Tuesday, 30 September, after failing to secure other location for leasing. The helium balloon started looming over the Bugis area since May 2006, soaring about 48 storeys or 180meter high. I have always wanted to be on a hot air balloon since I visited and then later stayed in Australia, but never had a chance cos of the price. But the DHL balloon is a tethered helium balloon, and I always wondered if it was worth paying the price to see the city, especially when I was about to take another tethered helium balloon in another country soon…(stay tuned to Itchyfingers!) But now that it is gone, I wished I had taken a ride in it. 😦  By next Friday, the DHL balloon will be gone and no longer in Singapore.

Such is a common sight in Singapore. One moment things that are always there you may not notice or taken the time to notice it, until it is too late and the next moment it will be gone. So by the end of the year, when you pass by the Bugis area, you will not be able to see two of the landmarks there.

Residing side by side next to each other, the two landmarks will no longer
be there by end of the year…

Also see related post:
> Growing Up in a One-Room Flat
> Heartbreak Hotel in the Lost World 



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  1. I am honored to have been linked from your blog. Thank you for viewing my panos and sharing it on your blog.

  2. I hope you dun mind me linking to your site without asking first. Nice pic. Would love to be able to do a panaromic shots.

  3. of course i do not mind! no worries, thanks again.

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