Travellers staying at Singapore’s Fullerton Hotel will now be sleeping inside an official National Monument

EVERYTHING about Singapore screams prosperity, modernism and progress, but the country’s history is one of its greatest sources of pride.

On December 7, 2015, Singapore’s National Heritage Board gazetted the Fullerton Building as its 71st National Monument, one of three gazettes to celebrate the country’s golden jubilee last year. Delving into the 20th century and more recent history of Singapore reveals that the significance of the Fullerton to Singaporeans goes beyond the building’s design and age.

Now a magnificent luxury hotel, the Fullerton Building has been at the centre of events that shaped this island nation.


The Fullerton was built at the mouth of the Singapore River on a site once occupied by Fort Fullerton and opened as multipurpose building in 1928. It housed the General Post Office, the Chamber of Commerce, the marine office and other government offices, and became known as “mile zero” being the point from which all mile markers in Singapore are measured.

Its imposing design reflected Singapore’s role as a prime postal unit in British Malaya at the time. The building was named in remembrance of Sir Robert Fullerton, the first Governor of the Straits from 1826-1830.


Not long after the Fullerton was built, Singapore was plunged into World War II. The building served as a hospital for wounded British soldiers in the days leading up to the fall of Singapore. It was in the Singapore Club, within the Fullerton Building, that the British Commander of Malaya informed the Governor of the British command’s intention to surrender Singapore to the Japanese. In the years following, the Fullerton Building became the headquarters of the Japanese military command.


The building reverted to the British government and The Singapore Club. Many of the key figures in Singapore’s political history including presidents and prime ministers started their working lives in this building.

From the 1950s to the 1980s many of the most influential political rallies that were the genesis of today’s Singapore took place in the shadow of the Fullerton Building in Fullerton Square. This included famous stirring speeches by Singapore’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew.


The Fullerton Building is close to the Central Business District and the newly renovated Civic District. A short walk across the river within the manicured Civic District is the National Gallery of Singapore.

This building is a result of a worldwide architectural competition and the fusion of two national monuments; the former Supreme Court and City Hall. At a renovation and development cost of more than $500 million, the museum is the largest of its kind in Asia and is dedicated to highlighting the global importance of Asian art.


The Fullerton Building is now the luxurious Fullerton Hotel with 400 rooms and suites.

It makes its dramatic presence felt on the otherwise ultra-modern Singapore skyline.

Opened in 2001, its beautifully preserved neoclassical architecture underwent a sensitive $400 million restoration. The imposing pentagonal building’s facade is dominated by enormous Doric columns and inside the sense of scale continues with open atriums to the skylights above.

The painstaking preservation of heritage is obvious throughout the hotel. Although replete with all the bells and whistles to be expected in a modern lodge in the most modern of cities, the original coffered ceiling and cornices and restored Italian marble floors show deference to the past. (…)


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