Saturday, June 23, 2007

That old building

Ever since I saw this old picture of the old building some months back, I have been following its progress. I have blogged some of what I saw, my impressions and what I thought about that building.

Refer to my blogs

And more recently I took a closer look at the building. It became more interesting.

In my last blog on that building I was not able to see what the upstairs looked like. This time I was able to go upstairs (by the staircase, photo looking down)and to take some photographs.

The old windows fascinated me. They were old and they were most likely the original and they were made of wood and with real iron bolts.

Unlike some of the newer windows with glass panellings, either fully or semi.

And the old ceiling, I did not take a very close look at it. Most of the ceiling area is now covered with soft board (maybe asbestos board) with flourescent fittings installed. But some part of the ceiling are still not replaced and seemed dirty.

And one can see how the beams of the heavy ceilings were supported.

One can compare the older part of the building with the newer parts.

I was also interested in the old (probably original) tiles they have on the floor, as was photographed in my previous blog. This time I saw the most probably parts where they did the cooking, i.e right under where the chimney is. (Note that the chimney is not connected anymore to this part of the building).

The tiles seemed dirty. It is where the Manager of the existing establishment has his office now. One can see clearly that the tiles had been trampled on, seeing how dirty the tiles had become.

But the tiles at the main entrance seemed well kept, but used. Probably with the goings in and out then and now.

And the roof eves, probably they are original.

At the side of the building one can see where the small gate leading to the side garden was. One can still imagine those small iron cast side gate, swinging and opening into the garden (this can be seen clearly in the very old photo).

Just inside the entrance is where the present occupier has put his prayer house now, for good luck I suppose. And going inside the side garden, one can see the small house, probably servant’s quarters, if not the bathroom. Not sure really.

Most like servants quarters, but that building is too close to the bucket type toilet, in those days collected by the night soil collector, and the trap doors of the toilets opening into the back drain.

And one can still imagine the ventilation that they had for the basement area. Probably these have been modified since then, but there must have been ventilation holes or even windows.

Walking further back one can see an old house, not sure what that house was for, cannot guess really, maybe a horses stable or may even be a guest house where they had guests sleeping over or may be where they rested in the hot afternoons to catch the fresh air from the nearby Kuantan River.

And one can detect that they probably had a beautifully manicured lawn, wide and opening on to the river’s edge. Its not maintained anymore now.

There is a very tall and large (old) casuarina tree at the back of the house, close to the gazebo and about at the edge of the lawn. That tree must be nearly a hundred years old, now, all covered up by climbers. One can hardly see the tree trunk and its leaves, unless one looks up.

And by the front garden gate one can see a tree that must have been planted quite recently, probably in the last 30-40 years, with climbers climbing it. Some call that tree ‘pancut pacut’, (some time probably wrongly called ‘dedap hutan’), the technical name being "Bignoniaceae". It seems to be a part of the house scenery.

Now that the building is being usefully used, lets pray that it will not be demolished for a long time. It’s a pity that the present society do not make that building a heritage building.

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