Thursday, 25 November 2010

Dakota Estate, fragments of a past era

One day, I was checking out one condominium establishment, Dakota Residences, which my friend was eyeing. It is located somewhere near the Old Airport Hawker Centre. Instead I discovered another old estate near the condominium. So I went for a stroll and captured some shots.  

This is the small neighbourhood at Dakota Crescent, which I have never been before. It is a quiet estate which has housing blocks of a few different designs. Obviously, although the old blocks of flats is circa 1960-70s, they have been properly maintained and upgraded, with new windows grills, neat and freshly painted walls and walkways. This unusual block is not just U-shape but slanted at the 2 sides as well.

Notice the grills of all the ground floor units have different designs, from symmetrical to flowery. And again like the old neighbourhood in Bendemeer which I blogged recently, outside each unit, they have old school fixed poles for hanging laundry.

All fenced up to prevent break-ins?

Old unwanted stuff neatly lined the exterior compound. 

And it is interesting to observe how each unit utilise their small balconies at the upper floors; some cluttered, some neat, some empty. 

Strangely, the many stray cats I discovered here are all beautiful looking. They do not look dirty or fierce. Instead they look relaxed and comfortable in this idyllic neighbourhood.

I still do not understand the design and structure of these flats in those days.

Another good looking cat at the stairways of a deserted block of old shops.

A closed shop of what used to be a chinese clinic on the first floor and an unit on the second floor.

Old school antique looking signboard of a shop.

An old dirty deserted unit. I do not know why this pussy is facing the door.

She is another pretty pussy with blue eyes.

At the junction of Dakota Crescent and Dakota Close. The highest floor in those days is only 7-storey high.

Someone napping at the small park cum playground. It is a funny feeling that when you are here, in addition to being transported to the older days, you also feel a certain calmness and solitude with the surroundings.

The old school playground, with real sand! There are so few of these left in Singapore.

Another old rugged dirty looking fixture at the playground in those days. 

The design of this block of flat looks very different from the rest. It is longish with flowery wall tiles and looks like a pigeon hole.

I thought the wall tiles look so retro and vintage.

In old estates, you find many lonely-looking old folks as well.

On the first floor of a flat. I remember an old relative of mine used to stay in those 2 room units in Tiong Bahru which looks like this.

These days, the older flats are mostly rented out to foreign workers, who adorn the windows and ledges and balconies with their laundry.

A nice stroll it was in this old estate in Dakota Crescent. I hope to discover and capture more of these gems, remnants of a bygone era. Can you recommend some old estates for me to check out?


  1. I am familiar with the area when I was serving my nation at the camp across the road from the Dakota Estate !

    Lots of changes around the area over the years, some of the Dakota Estate still left untouched though, brought back many memories.

    Must plan an outing to take photographs there & eat at Old Airport Road Mkt (my favourite !!)

    Thanks for sharing !


  2. Hi shifu!
    I didn't know there was camp there. Yes many people like to eat at Old Airport Road Market. Please organise soon! :)


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