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Museum @ My Queenstown

Museum @ My Queenstown is a tiny museum located in the Tanglin halt neighbourhood. It pays tribute and houses a selection of trinket memories of Queenstown estate. Queenstown was Singapore’s first satellite town conceived in 1953. The museum tells the stores of the people living and working in the town.

Museum @ My Queenstown The front of the small cozy museum in a HDB heartland in commonwealth drive
The front of the small cozy Museum @ My Queenstown in a HDB heartland in commonwealth drive.

Additionally, this is brought through a collective history stories that brought life to the now defunct town during the yesteryears. Let’s check it out with a walk-in.

Moreover, the museum opened on June 2018. It sits in a lower floored shop house in Block 46-3 at Commonwealth Drive (Unit #01-388). It is located right beside the hawker center which is home to the Popular Chef Western Western Food I wrote about a year ago.

What is old queenstown?

Notably, old Queenstown is Singapore’s first satellite town. Think of it as a housing development board “Central”. Here you have government subsidised housing built with a nucleus shopping, dining and entertainment facilities within the neighbourhood with the intention of serving residents within the immediate area.

Notably, the estate was conceived on 27th September 1953, named after Queen Elizabeth II to make her coronation for that year. Also, it was designed by the Singapore improvement trust (SIT), the predecessor to the Housing development board (HDB). Sadly, the estate was demolished in early 2000s to make way for a new BTO HDB estate which now resides on the very same grounds.

Coincidentally, in the same light of things, this Commonwealth Drive neighbourhood where the museum is located is similarly slatted for redevelopment and SERs en-bloc.

A pioneer in town centers

Also, a thing worth notable about Queenstown is that the Queen of England herself was invited to view the neighbourhood when she visited Singapore in 1953. Henceforth, the success of Queenstown was then replicated to produce following town centers. We see examples such as Ang Mo Kio and Toh Payoh, with their respective cinemas and shop combinations.

Preserved signboards
Classic anchor bottle
Retro Serving plate

What makes up the town?

Back then Queentown town central featured an entertainment center, an oriental shopping center with several ground floor coffee shop eateries, a wet market. Also, the entertainment center has with a KFC and bowling alley. As a child, I remembered the neighbourhood was always jammed packed with people in the early nineties.

Life in Queenstown
A vintage TV, a mainstay of early life in Queenstown estate in the era.

Furthermore, there is even an NTUC fair price supermarket located inside a multi-story carpark. It is one of the first few of its time in an estate. If you had not been to Queenstown before, it would be purely be up to your imagination to determine how it was like.

Entertainment center

Moreover, the entertainment center cinema is call the Queenstown cinema. The cinema entertainment center building was built in 1977. Also, it has a cinema equipped with two screen cinema hall with a multi-purpose stage in one of them. Additionally, you might remember it as the location of the Palace KTV building. It was a large pink painted 6 storey building which was later painted white.

Also, the lower floors is home to a bowling alley known as the Queenstown Bowl, and a KFC with an overlooking view of the bowling lanes. The place closed in 1999 following development plans in the region for a new HDB estate. Historically symbolising the memories of Queenstown bowl are a couple of Bowling pins and KTV neon signboards. These signboards (which used to sit on the building facade), and street signs are all preserved in the museum.

Savaged bowling pins from the entertainment centerSavaged bowling pins from the entertainment center which closed and was demolished int he late 90s.
Savaged bowling pins from the entertainment center which closed and was demolished int he late 90s.

Additionally, there is also a cash register and even the spare paint buckets which used for the estate. Some of the more quirky items here at the Museum includes and Old Hong Guan biscuit tins

Got biscuit?
Cash register
Got paint?

Today, the only building left of the estate today is the central wet market building, as well as a couple of old church buildings by the main road. Also, the wet market building has an iconic rounded top like cylinder. It is repurposed to a central activity area for the new estate.

A memorabilia showcase

Moreover, a display which caught my eye is an early estate planner maps of the vicinity. Much of the roads back in the 70s are still preserved till today. However, all the roundabouts then replaced with signalised junctions, probably due to the fact that Singaporean drivers are notorious for handling roundabouts.

Early map of Queenstown in the 1958
Early map of Queenstown in the 1958.

Interestingly, much of the surrounding areas were actually cemeteries and plantations. Additionally, these used to sit north of where Queenstown was and it was also situated beside a state prison (now decommissioned).

A journey back in time, some of these items are almost 50 years old
A journey back in time, some of these items are almost 50 years old.

Share a thought!

However, the museum is not merely a place to house whatever artifacts which could be salvaged from the demolition of the town central. Moreover, the museum also regularly runs group events and sharing sessions on the yesteryears.

Leave a post-it note
Leave a post-it note!

Take a break sitting down at a marble table and fill up notes of your visit on the wall. Also, if you wish to listen to more stores, lined along a wall houses several Audio players allowing you to hear audio recollections and sound recordings.

Take a break in a recreated home setting, complete with a marble table
Take a break in a recreated home setting, complete with a marble table.

Museum @ My Queenstown is not a big one in size to begin with. Moreover, I felt that that museum need more photos to capture more of what was once one of the busiest town estates in Singapore. Maybe a collaboration with the national archives or residents to showcase photographs of the estate could suffice.

All in all, you are good for the memories of Queentown museum attraction for about 15 minute’s tops. Also, it teaches of how Queenstown Central was a successful experiment of Singapore’s first attempt by the government at a satellite town. It paved the way for the modern ones we see today.

Museum @ My Queenstown

Museum Locality Map
463 Commonwealth Dr, Singapore 140463
Opening Hours:
Daily, 9am–6pm
Closed on Mondays.


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