Fast forward to 1972. Kuala Lumpur was conferred city status on 1 Feb, 1972. Two years later, on 1 Feb 1974, an agreement was reached between the State of Selangor and the Federal Government creating the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.
I'd like to give a loud 'shoutout' about some notable buildings that define Kuala Lumpur. So, in my trusty Toyota of 14 years, let's tour Kuala Lumpur. Hopefully, you'll want to discover more as there are many more gems that make up my city.
Masjid Jame is a fitting start to a KL tour as it was at this site, the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers where the early tin pioneers came ashore in 1857 and found tin overland.
Masjid Jame, 1909, is a replica of a north Indian mosque and was built on the site of the first Malay cemetery. The prayer hall is surmounted by 3 domes and opens out on to a walled 'sahn' or courtyard. Two minarets flank the composition while numerous smaller towers complete the look. It was designed by British architect, A.B. Hubbock. Masjid Jame was the main Friday mosque until 1967 when the National Mosque was built.
The first permanent railway station was built in 1892 by Governor Sir Cecil Clementi Smith. The present station along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin , on approximately the same site, was opened in August, 1910. It is one of the most architectually interesting railway stations in the world. Surmounted by minarets and cupolas and decorated with keyhole arches and scalloped eaves, the Moorish architecture is a popular image of Kuala Lumpur. The architect A B Hubbock worked for the PWD in India prior to being appointed acting architect for the FMS (Federation of Malay States).
The Royal Selangor Club, the mock Tudor style club house was built to serve the recreational needs of the large influx of westerners into KL. It faces the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The club became known as the' Spotted Dog' apparently because the wife of one of the members used to tie her two dalmatians at the club steps to sip her gin slings.
The Abdul Samad Building, the sprawling 'Moorish' style building was originally the State Secretariat. In 1894 the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Charles Mitchell, placed a yen note, several Straits coins, a hunk of tin and a copy of the Selangor Journal under the foundation stone. It was generally acknowledged that its design ws 'too far ahead of it's time' with the 140 feet Central Clock Tower, curving archways and the bulbous copper domes. The architect was A.G. Norman and C.E.Spooner was the State Engineer. It now houses the Supreme Court.
Muzium Negara, Jalan Damansara was built in 1963 by architect Ho Kok Hoe. The design was inspired by the Malay palaces and vernacular Malay architecture. On both sides of the entrance are two immense murals in Italian glass mosaic depicting history and culture.It replaced the earlier Selangor Museum which was destroyed during World war Two. Our first Prime Minister, Tunku mooted the idea for a National Museum to house the nation's historical and cultural treasure as well as specimens of flora and fauna.
Tugu Negara, National Monument , 1966 was built to commemorate Malaysian national heroes.. The bronze sculpture by American sculptor,Felix de Weldon, depicts the victory of the armed forces over the communists during the 12- year Emergency. The Cenotaph commemorates the war dead of WW1 and WW2.
Masjid Negara , located along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, was built in 1965 by Jabatan Kerja Raya (PWD). It is the centre of Islamic activities in Malaysia. Its 73 metre -high minaret looms into view towering over the 13 acre complex which comprises the Grand Hall, library, meeting hall, ceremonial rooms and a mausoleum. It was built to accommodate 8,000 worshippers. The marble mosque is surrounded by verandas screened by white grilles in traditional Islamic style.
Kuala Lumpur boasts of more architectural heritage. This quick tour for this blog serves to show the uniqueness of the buildings that also define our city. People over the world now realize that conservation of heritage reaps manifold - preserving for posterity, keeping historic values and as one of the tools of promoting tourism.
Likewise, Kuala Lumpur with its rich blend of architecture and history must do all it can to preserve its treasures to retain an awareness of our history and give continuity to our lifestyle.It is said that a city without visible heritage is like a man without a memory. Hence, it is our responsibility to balance development and conservation for our children, for the future .
So, come on - arm yourself with a camera. Be prepared to be surprised... there's more to discover in KL !
reference: Kuala Lumpur -100 years
Published by The Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council
Guide to Kuala Lumpur Notable Buildings
Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia
on the occasion of The Centenary Celebrations, June, 1959.