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Walk Through These 15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old

29 Aug 2022
Image Credit: @benjamin.koenig136, @vincentcplau, @sean__siew, @dominiqueacqua

 

Next week we will be the 65th year of us celebrating Merdeka. Since before Merdeka, Malaysia has been a melting pot of various cultures and religions. This can be seen in the form of the buildings left by our ancestors (and some colonisers). Let’s walk through these 15 historical buildings in the heart of KL and find out the significance of these buildings that are more than a 100-years-old.

 

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Kuala Lumpur City Gallerysuzura

I love KL, you love KL, everybody loves KL. Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is also known as the Insta-famous location with the huge "I ♥ KL sign". Besides the famous signage, it is also notable to know that this building used to be the Selangor Government Printing Office. Completed somewhere around the year 1899, the Neo-Renaissance-style building is more than 120 years old. However, the canopy roofs above the windows on level 1 were only added in the 1940s to protect against the harsh weather.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

yeo___wenky

 

This building was where all government reports were printed during the British occupation. Even the 🚂🎫train tickets were printed here! Today, this building has a gallery which showcases a brief history of Kuala Lumpur. Visitors can enjoy 🥐🥯yummy pastries at a cafe inside the building. Many people also come here for 📸Instagrammable spots.

 

Admission:

Free

 

⏰Hours: 9am - 6pm (Tues Closed)

📞Phone: 03-2698 3333

📍Address: Dataran Merdeka, 27, Jln Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Old Chartered Bank Building

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Old Chartered Bank Buildingnicelocal.my

Right next to the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is the old Chartered Bank building. Opened to the public on 27 December 1909, it was built complete with anti-burglar alarms and strong rooms. During the Japanese occupation, this historical building housed the Japanese Telecommunication Department. It was then occupied by many different government departments of Malaysia before hosting the 🎼🎷Music Museum. Unfortunately, this building is currently left vacant, and the public is 🚫not allowed to enter it.

 

📍Address: 29, Jln Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

 

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Sultan Abdul Samad Buildingvictoriabsze

Everybody knows the Sultan Abdul Samad Building but do you guys know what this building was for? This Moorish-style building was used as the secretariat by the British administration during its occupation of Malaya in 1897. Back then, it was simply called the Government Offices until 1974, when it was renamed Sultan Abdul Samad Building after the Sultan of Selangor who was reigning at the time of the building’s construction.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Sultan Abdul Samad Building

touringtripod

 

This historical building also features a 40m tall clock tower and used to serve as the superior courts of Malaysia. The 3 domes were originally made of wood and painted black before being painted with copper during a major renovation in 1978. This building is located just across the street from the Dataran Merdeka. 

 

⏰Hours: 24 Hours

📍Address: Jln Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

 

Old General Post Office

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Old General Post Officepucchin00

Located next to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, many people often mistake it as part of the building itself when it is in fact not. This is mainly because of the connecting walkway that connects both buildings in the middle and their similarities in architecture and colour. The old general post office building is also noticeable by the absence of a dome.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Old General Post Office

klcityscapes

 

Designed by Arthur Benison Hubback, the post office was opened in 1916, making this building 106 years old today! It continued to serve as a post office until 1984 or 1985 when the postal service office relocated to the Dayabumi building.

 

⏰Hours: 24 Hours

📍Address: Jln Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

 

Panggung Bandaraya 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Panggung Bandarayatraveler.wanna.be

This is another building that looks like the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (blame the architect LOL, they are the same guy). It is within walking distance from the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Panggung Bandaraya

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This theatre hall was completed in 1904 and is currently one of the 22 buildings gazetted as a heritage building under the antiquity act. Unfortunately today, this vintage theatre is rarely used as there are other bigger and newer theatres to accommodate a bigger audience size. 

 

📞Phone: 03-2602 3335

📍Address: Jln Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

National Textiles Museum

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: National Textiles Museumzzal22

Completed in 1905, this historical building originally housed the headquarters for the Federated Malay States Railways before housing the National Textiles Museum starting on 9 January 2010. It has up to 4 exhibition galleries, and the public is welcome to enter and explore. This building was designed by none other than Arthur Benison Hubback and is located close to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

 

Admission:

 

Malaysian Citizens

Adult: RM 2.00

Elderly and Disabled (OKU): RM 1.00

Children aged 12 years old and under: Free

High School Students Dressed In Uniform: Free

High School Students Not Dressed In Uniform: RM 2.00

International Council of Museums Members (ICOM): Free

 

Non-Malaysians     

Adult: RM 5.00

Children aged 6 to 12 years old: RM 2.00

Children younger than 6 years old: Free

 

P.s: We suggest taking the KL Hop On Hop Off bus tour to tour around the buildings built by Arthur Benison Hubback.

 

⏰Hours: 9am - 6pm 

📞Phone: 03-2694 3457

🌎Website: http://www.jmm.gov.my/en/museum/national-textile-museum

📍Address: 26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

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Jamek Mosque

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Jamek Mosquekesh.travels

Many of you may know Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque) as an 🚆LRT interchange station between the Kelana Jaya line and Putra Heights line. Many of you might also be able to guess that this station is named after the Jamek mosque, which is just a river across. In fact, this mosque can be easily seen from the station itself! It is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur and was officially opened to the public on 23 December 1909. The architect who designed this Indo-Saracenic style mosque was Arthur Benison Hubback who also designed the Kuala Lumpur railway station, Ubudiah Mosque, National Textile Museum and Panggung Bandaraya DBKL. The brick and plaster formation, also known as "blood and bandage" is similar to that of the Sultan Abdul Samad building which Hubback had also worked on.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Jamek Mosque

therookietripster

 

Unbeknownst to many, the official name for this mosque is actually Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque. The name change occurred in 2017 when it was renamed after the fourth Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Abdul Samad as it was originally built on Selangor land.

 

⏰Hours: 5:30am - 9:30pm 

📞Phone: 03-2691 2829

📍Address: Jalan Tun Perak, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Kuala Lumpur Railway Stationvincentcplau

This station still serves the public today, and currently, the 🚉KTM line of trains are running through it. Kuala Lumpur Railway Station began its operation on 1 August 1910.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

faizallens

 

It was an intercity station and train hub for the Federated Malay States Railways. Throughout the 100 years, this railway station has undergone many minor and major changes. However, most of its original designs still remain.

 

📍Address: Kampung Attap, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

 

Loke Chow Kit Mansion

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Loke Chow Kit Mansionsean__siew

Also known as the Loke hall, this mansion was the residence of Loke Chow Kit, a well-known entrepreneur in the early 20th century. This historical building is said to be inspired by the European buildings during his trip to Europe with Wong Loke Yew (another Chinese business magnate) in 1903. However, Mr Loke and his family stayed in this mansion for only about a year before leasing it to Empire Hotel Company Ltd. in 1909.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Loke Chow Kit Mansion

shahrilsuleiman

 

Then, in 1919, the son of Wong Loke Yew bought the hotel over and it became the Peninsular Hotel until 1970 (what a turn of events!). At one point, this mansion was even rented out to Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) as their office before being acquired by DBKL. In 2017, after extensive renovation and conservation work, it was renamed Rumah Tangsi and various events like bazaars, art exhibitions, etc have been held here.

 

📍Address: 10, Jalan Tangsi, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Loke Mansion

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Loke Mansionchristopherhwwong

Just now, we were talking about Loke Chow Kit’s mansion and now we will be talking about Wong Loke Yew’s mansion. Built in a span of 12 years from 1892 by a Chinese merchant named Cheow Ah Yeok, this historical building features a mixture of architecture with Chinese, Malay and European influences. There are even Qing Dynasty murals on the painted gate! Today, this mansion is 🚫not open to the public, so you can only enjoy the sight of this mansion from the outside.

 

📍Address: 39 Court @ Loke Mansion, No. 273A, Jalan Medan Tuanku, Wilayah Persekutuan, 50300 Kuala Lumpur

 

St Mary's Cathedral Kuala Lumpur

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: St Mary's Cathedral Kuala Lumpurspyros_vz

Consecrated on 13 February 1887, this historical building wasn’t built until 1895. This cathedral was built based on early English Gothic architecture. In 1958, the back of the main hall was extended to accommodate the Jubilee hall.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: St Mary's Cathedral Kuala Lumpur

angiesb67

 

Besides the building, do you know what else is more than 100 years old here? It’s a pipe organ built in 1895 by Henry Willis, a renowned English organ maker who also made the organ in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. This organ survived 2 major floods and a world war and was rebuilt by James A Riddell in 1927 and 1951.

 

📞Phone: 03-2692 8672

📍Address: Jln Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Ancestral Hall (陈氏书院)

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Ancestral Hall (陈氏书院)klcityscapes

One look at the exterior and you might think that this is a Chinese temple, but this historical building is in fact an ancestral hall of the Chan clan. Completed in 1906, this place was set up by Chan Sow Lin, Chin Choon, Chin Sin Hee, and Chan Choy Thin. It is the building of a clan association for people with the surname 陳 (Chan, Chen, Chin, Tan and its variation). If you have the previously mentioned surnames, chances are your ancestors are worshipped here. That is because this building was initially built to provide shelter and support for the people of its clan when they first arrived in the foreign land of Malaya. On top of that, it also serves as a place of meeting for Chinese religious ceremonies (basically like a club room but grander).

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Ancestral Hall (陈氏书院)

lawchang68

 

Today, you can enter and explore this more than 100 years old building with intricate Ling Nan-style architecture that is still intact. Besides the ancestral hall, there is also some information and old photographs of the history of this building on display. One can even apply for membership by submitting a form!

 

⏰Hours: 8am - 6pm 

📞Phone: 03-2078 1461

🌎Website: https://cssykl.com/

📍Address: 172, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Sin Sze Si Ya Templericiaciacia

Built by Yap Ah Loy in 1883, this temple also happens to be the oldest Taoist temple in KL. He built this temple as a sign of gratitude for Sin Sze Ya and Si Sze Ya. These two deities are believed to have helped him in defending Kuala Lumpur during the Selangor Civil War.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

oqba1970

 

During 🧧🍊🧨Chinese New Year or any other Chinese religious and cultural celebrations, this temple is usually busy with crowds. Worshippers like coming here to pray for good luck and blessings. On top of that, you can also get your fortune read by shaking the fortune sticks.

 

⏰Hours: 7am - 4pm 

📞Phone: 03-2078 9052

📍Address: 113A, Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Vivekananda Ashrama

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Vivekananda Ashramabajisvideo

Built in 1908, this place serves as the building for an institution that started in honour of Swami Vivekananda for his dedication to bringing education and spiritual development to the children. This piece of land currently holds the Ashrama building, a hostel and the Sangeetha Abivirithi Sabha auditorium, which is only partially completed for about 40 years due to financial constraints.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Vivekananda Ashrama

ben9gres

 

When you pass by the Vivekananda Ashrama you can easily notice a bronze statue of Swami Vivekananda. There had been talks about selling the land to fund the 4 Tamil schools under this institution. However, in 2016, this place was gazetted as a national heritage site as it serves as an important relic left by the Jaffna (Sri Lankan) Tamil immigrants.

 

⏰Hours: 9:30am - 5pm (Weekends Closed)

📞Phone: 03-2274 1885

📍Address: 220, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

 

Carcosa Seri Negara

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Carcosa Seri Negarazainphotofolio

You might recognise this building from the movie Crazy Rich Asians which also starred 2 Malaysians, Michelle Yeoh and Henry Golding. The Carcosa Seri Negara consists of 2 buildings, Carcosa (completed in 1897) and Seri Negara (completed in 1913). Carcosa was originally built as the official residence of Sir Frank Swettenham, a British High Commissioner of the Resident-General of the Federated Malay States of that time. It was designed by Arthur Benison Hubback (again). As for Seri Negara, it became the official guest house of the Governor of the Straits Settlement.

 

15 Historical Buildings in KL That Are More Than 100 Years Old: Carcosa Seri Negara

rinpocheinteriorsmy

 

These buildings have gone through many historical events throughout the century such as becoming the headquarters of the Imperial Japanese Army when they invaded Malaya, becoming the place where the Malaysian Federal Constitution was drafted & signed and hosting 👑Queen Elizabeth II & Prince Phillip. At some points, it even turned into a hotel and became a venue for many prestigious events and of course, the filming of Crazy Rich Asians. Sadly, these historical buildings are abandoned and left in a decaying state today. 

 

📍Address: Perdana Botanical Gardens, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur

 

Bet you’ve learned a lot from this blog post. All of these historical buildings serve as an important part of Malaysia’s history. In a blink of an eye, it’s been more than 100 years since they were built. A tiny fraction of them still serves as how they have been serving when they were built. However, some of them are left abandoned. On this patriotic month, let’s learn about the history of KL throughout the century by walking through these 15 historical buildings in KL.

 

Check Out These Blog Post About Other Historical Sites Too!

 

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