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House of Tan Teng Niah

House of Tan Teng Niah

Tan Tang Niah, Little India. THIS VIVIDLY COLORFUL HOUSE WAS constructed in 1900 by a local businessman named Tan Teng Niah. At the time, the neighborhood was an industrial zone (Tan’s candy and rubber factories were located nearby) and many of Singapore’s ethnic-Chinese businessmen lived in similar villas.

Amid Singapore’s rapid economic growth and social change during the 20th century, the neighborhood evolved into what is now known as Little India. Most of the old merchant houses were razed to make way for modern commercial buildings and sleek skyscrapers. However, the Tan Teng Niah house survived, and during the 1980s, it underwent a full restoration to what people see today. Believed to be the last such house in existence, it’s now preserved under landmark status from the National Heritage Board.


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