The Central Business District waterfront and the Tanjong Pagar Port

This postcard shows the Central Business District (CBD) skyline with its towering skyscrapers and the Tanjong Pagar Port in the distance. The CBD area on the south bank of the Singapore River underwent major redevelopment from the late 1960s to 1980s as part of the government’s urban renewal scheme for the old city centre. One of the most notable buildings to be erected during this period was the 63-storey Overseas Union Bank (OUB) Centre (first from right). Built at a cost of $500 million to house the bank’s headquarters, the 280-metre-high structure was then the tallest building in Asia and the eleventh highest in the world when it was completed in November 1986.Originally called Selintar, the financial and port district now known as Tanjong Pagar was once a fishing village along the southern coastline of Singapore. In the 1830s, various nutmeg and fruit plantations were established in the area by the Europeans. However, it was only in 1859 that the first dry dock was built along the coast by Captain William Cloughton. Following the founding of the Tanjong Pagar Dockyard Company in 1864 by a group of European and Asian private investors, various port facilities that were erected soon transformed the area into one of the main thoroughfares for the loading and unloading of sea cargo. The bustling port facilities at Tanjong Pagar are now managed by the Port of Singapore Authority, the present-day successor to the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company after the latter was bought over by the government in 1905.

Late 1980s
Object size: 10.5 x 14.9 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
National Museum of Singapore