It's another calling to do a walkabout around one of Singapore’s older yet charmingly quaint neighbourhoods, Dakota Crescent. If you had read the news, you would know by now that this estate will be demolished by the end of this year to make way for new developments under the urban renewal plans. I am sure there are many fond memories of this place bore by the previous and current generations of Singaporeans.
What I have seen that day somehow draws me back to the warmth of Singapore’s nostalgic old-world charm. In a fast-paced bustling city of modern skyscrapers, these photos are amazingly therapeutic.
This photo documentary is a tribute to the soon-to-be demolished estate and serve as a resemblance to the early Singapore public housing history.
At Dakota Crescent, you will find 17 low-rise brick-clad flats that were built by the Singapore Improvement Trust in the British colonial days of 1950s and handed over to its successor, the Housing Development Board (HDB) in 1960.
The place has this really laid-back feeling. The cream and pink colour scheme, the peeling walls, the vintage playground...all these just add charm to the neighbourhood.
Large hardwood trees around the premises of Dakota provide natural shades and soften the surroundings.
Nostalgia kicks in at this retro playground of the 90s. Such playgrounds bring back many childhood memories for many people. I had done a separate blog story on this nostalgic Dove Playground some time ago. Feel free to browse my story at this link:
Along Dakota Crescent are only 3-storeys high blocks and they are a part of Singapore's history. All of them are rental flats and the government gave the older residents with a $15,000 relocation grant.
Sadly, some of the older residents who lives by themselves at Dakota Crescent all their lifetime couldn't bare to live a new home as if they have never lived before.
Along the stretch road of Dakota estates stands Blk 12 Dakota Crescent - shop houses that occupied by provision shop (now a cafe) and Chinese clinics and above storey of the shop where the owners lives. Many old residents would come to the shops to buy snacks and drinks at the bar and some residents would visit a Chinese doctor in the mornings.
These wooden doors were installed in oldest estates in early days. You can also still find old wooden doors, steel gate door and aluminium windows were found at Queenstown, Toa Payoh, to name a few which exist to this day.
Such elevators have long been obsoleted in Singapore. Unlike modern elevators, these old elevators serve alternate floors and passengers will feel a slight jerking motion during lifting and lowering of the cabin, a feeling similar when you are taking a roller coaster on a steep drop.
The sign reads "Please don't throw cats here".
Whether you’re young or old, there is always something about Dakota to appreciate.
Many of the old residents have lived at Dakota Crescent since 1950s and would miss the place only left with memories and soul to the estates that they had spent their livelihoods for decades. For the locals who are keen to visit Dakota Crescent, be sure to swing by soon before the whole place becomes part of Singapore's history.
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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