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Cathay Building


Cathay Building


Structure in General

high-rise building
demolished [destroyed]


residential commercial office


  • In 1954 a 60-room hotel was opened in the building, and expanded to 170 rooms later.
  • It was the first air-conditioned public building in Singapore.
  • At the end of the war, the building served for two years until 1946 as the headquarters for Admiral Lord Mountbatten, the South-East Asian Supreme Allied Commander.
  • The building was originally designed as a hotel, but was converted into offices due to the sudden upsurge in available hotel rooms at that time.
  • This building was the first skyscraper to be built in Singapore.
  • At its completion, it was the tallest building on the island, as well as in the entire South-east Asia.
  • During the war, the Japanese used it as the office of the Japanese Broadcasting Department, the Military Propaganda Department and the Military Information Bureau, broadcasting propaganda as well as programs in Japanese from the building in a bid to impose the language on the local population.
  • In addition, a 1,300-seat cinema was opened in 1939 at the outbreak of war, showing the Zoltán Korda's war adventure, "The Four Feathers" (1939).
  • But by 1970, costly plans to renovate the hotel were abandoned and the hotel reverted back to office space up until today.
  • 32 luxurious apartments were added by August 1941.
  • It housed the British Malaya Broadcasting Corporation, serving as the radio transmitting station for the island until the Japanese occupation.
  • In recognition of the historical importance of this building, the National Heritage Board of Singapore designated the building as a "Historical Site" on 30th of July 1995.

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2 Handy Road
2 Handy Road
Central Region

Technical Data

229.66 ft
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