|It was a hot hot day today. I wanted to cool off with a kopi-c peng (iced coffee with evaporated milk) when I spotted this old spot along Dunlop Street with its beautiful contrast of dark and light. I hope I did it justice...|
The street was probably named after Colonel Samuel Dunlop who served in Singapore as the Inspector-General of Police of the Straits Settlements in 1875 and as a member of the Municipal Commission in 1887. It is also probable that this street was named after A.E. Dunlop, Secretary of the Race Course Committee of the Serangoon area. Before the 1870s, this street was known as Rangasamy Road. This street is a part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's conservation area of Little India.
The street is mostly lined with modest two-storey shophouses, selling anything from textiles to terracotta pots. They are good examples of terrace shophouse architecture. A few decorative houses are also present. The last charcoal shop in Little India was located on this street. The eateries on the bylanes of this street serving a wide variety, continue to be frequented by tourists and locals. Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, one of Singapore's oldest mosques, was originally built in 1881. The old mosque was demolished and a new mosque with architecture in Saracenic and Roman themes was erected at the same site in 1910.
Renovated in 2001, the mosque used to serve the religious needs of South Indian Muslims, mostly the Tamils. Abdul Gaffoor, a trustee of the mosque in the late 1880s, was instrumental in constructing shophouses along Dunlop Street to financially assist in the mosque's maintenance. It was gazetted as a national monument in 1979.
Another endearing landmark that used to be on the street was the P. Govindasamy Pillai (PGP) building. Pillai was a wealthy Indian businessman who also donated generously for the good of his fellow Indian community in Singapore. By late 1998, the PGP store had closed, much to the sadness of many Indians in Singapore who remembered the man, his store and kind deeds fondly. Other buildings situated on this street are the Madras Hotel and Jothi's Building.