A Preservation: Historical Structures

Just recently, after the Art For Grabs event at Central Market, my friends and I took a walk from there to the Merdeka Square. Since we are near the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, I said, why not we make a visit. So we did.

Source: KL City Gallery Website

The gallery is a resourceful place for Kuala Lumpur’s historical structures portrayed in a creative way that awes visitors. With 3D models of historical structures made from wood veneer and precise and concise information, you just feel amazed and a sense of appreciation for architectural heritage is developed. You’ll start with learning about the history, then you know, how important it is to protect and preserve these treasures.

Jamek Mosque

Indeed it is an interesting place to learn about Kuala Lumpur’s history.

And then I thought, what if KK has something like this? A gallery dedicated to historical architecture/structure, the development of North Borneo.

Sadly, many of Sabah’s historical sites have been destroy and there are only a few left that are still visible. A clear example, the Atkinson Clock Tower.

Having a gallery like this would educate the citizens about the history and development what was once North Borneo. Aside from that it would raise a sense of appreciation among them, thus, having the awareness to protect and preserve these historical sites. It would make them understand and see the beauty of these historical architectures. Visual presentation always works!

Plus, it would be a good tourist attraction.

Here are some of the historical sites/architecture that I think should be included in the gallery.

1) Atkinson Clock Tower

 After surviving the second world for, this clock tower stands for 109 years. Built in 1903 in the memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first District Officer of Jesselton who dies from tropical disease.

2] Sabah Tourism Board

Did you know that this was once a post office?

3) St. Michael’s Church, Penampang.



St. Michael’s Church in Penampang was initiated by Fr. August Wachter. The Foundation stone was laid on 29th September 1936; nonetheless, the construction was postponed during the Second World War only to resume in 1947 – Sabah Tourism Board.

And I’m sure there’s more.

Since the restoration of some historical sites are impossible, they can still ‘live’ and be appreciated by the citizens if an effort like KL City Gallery is executed. Architectural historical remains can be ‘revived’ not in concrete, but in 3D wood veneer structure.

Now wouldn’t it be interesting if we can see see all the structures that once stood tall in North Borneo like,

1) Old Welfare Building.

Of course you have seen the ruins in front of Suria Sabah. With graffiti art, it’s not hard to notice. Before it became ruins, look at the picture above. That’s how it looks like. Click here for more info on the Old Welfare Building.

3) Kinarut Mansion

It’s in ruins and not many know about it. This mansion with a Greco-Roman architecture, built between 1910 and 1914, belonged to W.F.C. Asimont, the then Kinarut Plantation Manager. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can see how this mansion looks like?

3) Sacred Heart Cathedral

What? How did this cathedral made it in my list? Okay, before the current Sacred Heart building you see today, Sacred Heart looks different. Describing buildings is not my forte but, I would say it looks very English. I tried to search for a picture of the then Sacred Heart building on the net but couldn’t find any. So, if anyone of you who are reading this and happen to have a picture of the then Sacred Heart building, do share at the comment section below.

And I’m sure there a many other building structures out there that are destroyed/demolished that deserve to have this kind of treatment. Recognition and appreciation.

When the British came back in the days, of course, every aspect of Sabah is influenced. Be it administration to lifestyle, architecture is in the list as well. But many of those historical architectures are either destroyed by the war, demolished or replaced by more ‘current’ structure for the sake of development.

All these historical structures have  aesthetic values. Each of them has a story. It could be either from those who build them or from those who made memories with it. Carefully designed, where function meets beauty, these structures, as I have said, deserve the recognition and appreciation that they deserve.

Will a gallery like KL City in KK come true? With citizens who are having concerns about this matter, who know it will.

Any KK based site that’s dedicated to architectural heritage? Sure. Just visit Heritage Sabah. It is an NGO that’s dedicated to the architectural and cultural heritage conservation in Sabah Borneo, Malaysian

Or you can visit North Borneo Historical Society on Facebook, where efforts in archiving history of North Borneo are made via social networking and digital media.

Well that’s about it. I hope you readers gain some input from this article. Thanks for reading and, if you do have pictures or, structures that you think should be in the lists above, just leave your suggestions at the comment section.


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