Having abandoned for more than a 100 years, what we saw it however in half its glory, as the bulldozers razed it for a yet-unknown development.
With sun overhead and air crackling dry, we slipped past the giant gates at Tyersall Avenue, entering a mysterious leaf-strewn path leading seemingly to nowhere. We walked for ten minutes along the longest driveway we had ever come across, and stumbled upon what we would later find out to be Istana Woodneuk, an uninhabited palace of genuine intrigue – and a powerful metaphor for the green awakening of Singapore.
For the little history, this house was first built in 1854, and was known as “Tyersall House”. In 1860, a Malay sultan took over the property and the house was demolished. The new house, Istana Woodneuk (“istana” means “palace” in Malay) was built in 1890 and completed 2 years later. In 1905, it was badly burnt because of faulty electrical wiring. This house has been abandoned since 1907.