“Rental was $60 a month, a bargain in the immediate post-war years with the shortage of housing. Each house had 3 bedrooms upstairs; and downstairs. a living room, dining room, a modern flush toilet (very rare for Ipoh at that time), a small kitchen and backyard. There was a built-in wood fired stove….A concrete stairway near the front door took you up to the first floor bedrooms and bathroom. There was an under-stairs storage area and next to it the toilet. All the windows were of the steel casement type…..The houses were built in 1937 by Loke Wan Yatt….The architect was the well known Berthol M. Iversen.”
The extract above is taken from the book “Ipoh – My Home Town”. Remember these houses (picture above)? It’s a pity they’re gone now – demolition began in 2009, around the same time the Fair Park shop houses (across the road) were knocked down.
For those of you who have been waiting patiently, well keep this Sunday 22nd March 2015 free!
The Iversen book is finally out and will be launched at:
Venue: Sarang Paloh Event Hall, No.16, Jalan Sultan Iskandar (Hugh Low Street), Ipoh
Time: 2.30 pm
Come meet the author – Ruth Iversen Rollitt – in person!
Special thanks to Ruth Rollitt for the one – yes, you read it right….this is none other than the Eastern Hotel. This was taken in the 1940s; according the Ruth, he father (Danish architect B M Iversen) had an office here. Today, the facade seems so different – and the hotel is now known as D’Eastern Hotel (last I checked)!
This is another landmark in Ipoh, designed by none other than B M Iversen. Yes, it is the Geological Survey department. Can you guess the year this picture was taken? Here’s a clue: the car facing the camera bears the number plate AA 3636.
Here’s a photograph of the foundation stone, sent to us by Ruth Rollitt.
Warned that something was “up” in Gopeng Road I dropped by this afternoon. But nothing was “up” however – quite the opposite – No 62 was on the way “down”.
Yes, the Ipoh demolition team were at it again. So I dropped in on the Chinese foreman who seemed to agree with me that it was a terrible shame, but a job is a job! Well, the front still looked pretty OK.
But the back is a different story, where work is well advanced, both inside and out.
Then I noticed the left hand end and from inside saw this beautiful round room with open air designs to the garden and wondered why they had left it intact. Could they be going to rebuild and not demolish after all?
And I wondered – is this the second Iversen building to be destroyed in less than one week or do the owners have some other plan? What do you think?
Thanks to Ruth Rollitt, we now have some interior pictures of the Lam Looking Bazaar.
For those of you who were curious to know what the interior looked like, feast you eyes on these! 🙂
the staircase inside the building
left to right: the top floor, which became a cinema hall; the corridor on the upper floor
….that THIS (picture above) was the ORIGINAL design of the Lam Looking Bazaar! (click image to enlarge)
Thanks to Ruth Rollitt (daughter of the late B M Iversen), we have here the drawing of this famous building. Ruth also had this to say in her email:
The firm of Keys & Dowdeswell left Singapore in the early 30’s in disgrace, after the Board of Architects had found them guilty of professional misconduct and struck them off the register. He took over the jobs that were under construction, but it was not an easy time. My father was 25 years old and for the first time in his life – his own master. He had to pay for the ‘goodwill’ and no longer received a monthly salary. But gradually things started to improve, he got more and more work and by 1932 he was well established, making a name for himself. From this period he really came into his own and started producing work that became landmark buildings.
Ruth also mentioned that her father wrote to his wife, way back in 1931, about this ‘big job’ being a ‘very smart business transaction’.
We are indeed very thankful to Ruth for sharing with us this gem. 🙂
Ruth Rollitt updated us about the moving of the golf club from Golf Club Road to Tiger Lane in a previous blog http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3056. She also sent the following photographs.
Her comment that went with these photos said:
“When my father (B M Iversen) arrived in Ipoh in 1930 he was working for the firm of architects:: Keys & Dowdeswell. One of the projects he was working on was the renovating of the Ipoh Golf Club. I attach a photo of the club as it was then – from one of my albums. The other photo? Not sure?
The following year the firm folded and my father started up his own: B M Iversen – architect.”
So it seems that the original post http://www.ipohworld.org/?p=3056 was correct and the buildings shown were at the Golf Club Road site and around 1931/1932 moved to Tiger Lane and rebuilt with significant improvements by Ruth’s father.
Does anyone recognise the second photo as being part of the Royal perak Golf Club today?
This is the house that was taken over by the church from the mining company French Tekka on Tambun Road for the original Novena. Designed by my father pre-war. It was demolished and a hotel stands where it once graced Tambun Road.
Such were the words of Ruth Iversen Rollitt (daughter of the famous Danish architech B M Iversen) in a recent email. The above picture was said to be taken sometime in the late 1930s (I’m making a rough guess, say 1938 perhaps?). Those of you who remember this building BEFORE it was demolished, do tell us more 🙂
We’re proud to annouce that we have another picture of this church, courtesy of generous parishioner 🙂
Seems like this picture was taken during the church’s annual Feast Day. Can anyone guess the year?
Ruth Rollitt was so incensed by the multicoloured Cathay that we featured, she sent us this photograph of how the Theatre looked when it first opened in those days of Movies and Mercedes. She included a newspaper article from 1958, the first part of which is inserted below. The whole article will appear on or database archive before too long. Unfortunately we received it to late to catch the movie! Did anyone out there see it?
“Special Cathay Supplement
A Milestone in Cinema Entertainment
Ipoh’s New Cathay Theatre
To build a luxury theatre in Ipoh has long been a wish of the Cathay Organisation. This is in keeping with their policy to provide the best that there is available in cinema comfort and entertainment.
Costing over $600,000 their new Cathay, Ipoh will be officially declared open by His Highness the Sultan of Perak, Raja Sir Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil, KCMG, OBE, before a distinguished and cosmopolitan gathering at 8 pm tonight, the eve of Chinese New Year.
Out of a piece of rubber estate land there has risen a handsome steel and concrete structure housing one of the best equipped theatres in the state of Perak.
Among the guests who will attend tonight’s opening ceremony will be State and Town Councillors, community leader, heads of Government and other personalities.
Cathay Organisation personalities include Mr Loke Wan Tho, Head of the Organisation, whose inspired leadership and farsightedness has provided Ipoh town with the handsome and imposing entertainment landmark.
Mrs Loke will accompany her husband and Mr John Ede, Director and General manager of the Cathay Organisation will also be present.
This new theatre – a worthy acquisition to the large number of theatres already controlled by the Organisation – was designed by Mr B M Iversen, the well-known Ipoh architect.”
More about the Cathay can be found here.
At that time, this $ 600,000 cinema was considered luxurious. It was declared open by His Highness Raja Sir Izzudin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil (the Sultan of Perak), on the eve of Chinese New Year. Designed by B M Iversen, this fully air-conditioned cinema (with its ‘colossal 75-foot tower of jade tiles’), stood proud along Cockman Street – the same area which was once ‘home’ to rubber trees!
This picture was taken on the opening night; after the grand ceremony, the patrons were treated to Darryl F Zanuck’s ‘CinemaScope 55’ production of – you guessed it – The King and I. How many of you out there were at the opening ceremony? How many of you ‘fell in love’ with the movie?
We’d like to thank Ruth Rollit (the daugther of B M Iversen) for sending us this precious photograph.
Those who frequently travel along Tiger Lane (Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah) would have noticed this building (see picture below).
This is the Freemason’s Lodge, which was built by B M Iversen in the 1930s. This was the second Lodge; the first one was at Maxwell Road (which was also used by Anderson School in the late 1920s).
This present building is still in use today – from what we know, the members meet here on the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
This art-deco styled cinema was designed by B M Iversen and built in the late 1940s. It was said to be a popular Chinese movie cinema, which later went on to show English, Malay, Hindi and Tamil movies in the 80s. The theatre finally closed in 1998. The elegent building now stands alone at Chamberlain Road.
This picture, of one of Iversen’s beauties, was taken in the 1970s – when the theatre was still in use.