Another architectural gem that I would like to introduce to you is the elegant colonial building which is currently occupied by the Malaysian Industrial Court.
This building situated on the corner of Clarke Street (now Jalan Mahkamah) and Holland Road (now Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan) was opened in September 1905. In August of that year, The Malay Mail described the new block of three-storey buildings as “the handsomest edifice of its kind ever erected in Kuala Lumpur”.
This majestic building was designed with Neo-Gothic architectural style by an Anglo-Indian architect, Abdul Kadir Moosdeen or more popularly known as AK Moosdeen. One of the prominent features in AK Moosdeen’s architectural works is the Dutch gable or also called Flemish gable as shown in the picture above. This building was built in 1905 by Loke Yew, one of Kuala Lumpur’s first multimillionaires and philanthropists, and leased to Loke Chow Kit who opened Chow Kit & Co., a department store, in September 1905. It is said to be the first department store in Kuala Lumpur catering mostly to the customers comprising British expatriates and members of the high society in the then British Malaya.
Chow Kit & Co was a large general store in Kuala Lumpur selling a wide range of products.
A short passage in the book entitled ‘Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya…’, published in colonial times (1908), describes Messrs Chow Kit & Co as follows:
‘Messrs. Chow Kit & Co. are the largest storekeepers in Kuala Lumpur. Their commodious premises at the corner of Holland Road and Clarke Street are easily noticeable. From the small store which, on its establishment in 1892, had a staff of six, the business has grown until to-day its numerous branches give employment to about one hundred assistants. The business is that of a general store, with agencies for many London firms and life and fire insurance companies. The proprietors are Messrs. Loke Chow Kit (Kuala Lumpur), Ho Kim Kee (Pinang), Lim Chin Guan (Pinang), and Teh Seow Teng (Kuala Lumpur). The tailoring department was opened by the last named, and the wholesale and millinery by Mr. Lim Chin Guan. The printing department, first known as the Malayan Supply Company, was amalgamated with Chow Kit & Co. when Mr. Khoo Keng Hooi became their manager. The tailoring and millinery departments are under European supervision, the former having become famous owing to its creation of a new dress of a semi-European style, which has been adopted by practically all the better-class Chinese in Kuala Lumpur.’ …
This handsome building was renovated in 1982 and restored by Hajeedar bin Abdul Majid. It currently houses the Industrial Court of Malaysia.
Please check out my website to view more photos of this building.
If you are interested in other heritage buildings of Kuala Lumpur, please feel free to check out my earlier blog entries as follows:
- Heritage building of Kuala Lumpur | the former Chartered Bank Building
- Heritage building of Kuala Lumpur | Central Market
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | Masjid Jamek of Kuala Lumpur
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | KTM Headquarters
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | City Theatre
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | the Old High Court Building
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | the National Textile Museum
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | The Old General Post Office
- Heritage Building of Kuala Lumpur | The Sultan Abdul Samad Building