Thursday, February 2, 2012

Seremban State Secretariat, Negeri Sembilan - 1912

During the recent Chinese New Year Festivities, I decided to journey down south, making a point to take photos of The Seremban State Secretariat (1912) of Negeri Sembilan, commonly known as The Negeri Sembilan State Library today, another building designed by A. B. Hubback. Driving up to the location, I was extremely gratified to find that the building was majestically nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Seremban Lake Gardens, it's character warm and persuading, reminiscent of Carcosa Seri Negara .....

View The Seremban State Secretariat - 1912 in a larger map.
[Author's note : Estimated location as the building was not marked on Google Maps]

Placed regally right in front of The Seremban State Secretariat was a monolith dedicated to the fallen heroes that had fought during World War I, World War II and the Communist Insurgency of Malaya. This Monolith looked extremely similar to the ones found at the beginning and end of Victory Avenue, Kuala Lumpur. Victory Avenue sound familiar? We'll leave that for another article ....

Walking up to the building, I see the familiar plaque by our Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, authenticating it's status as a building of National Heritage. I could not wait to preview another majestic colonial mansion by A. B. Hubback, whose signature favours the use of large window panels and wide interior open spaces ..... sounds like a green building doesn't it?

OMG! It's closed? Speaking to people nearby the vicinity, I found out that the Negeri Sembilan Public Library has moved from this location about 2-3 years ago, and the building has been left unused since then. Oh dear, looks like this is another case of, "What should we do with our Colonial Buildings from our Past?". There is, arguably, some sentiment that we should not look back at our colonial past but move on to be proud of our newer, 'Malaysiana' designed buildings ... I am all for modernization and such, but this is a piece of Malayan History, something that shaped our nation, through thick and thin. I believe that, "We cannot move to the future, nor appreciate the present, if we do not learn from the past .... ". Anyhow, I will leave you with more pictures of The Seremban State Secretariat of 1912 ......

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - Front Main 

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - Left is the Main Staircase, Right is the Office Proper

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - A Shot from outside the window into the ground floor

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - Main Staircase looking up from ground floor

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - Main Staircase looking down from 1st floor

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - 1st Floor, Empty Room

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - Exposed Ceiling - Rotting Wood?

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - An Arch leading to the middle section of the building

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912  - The Middle Section 1st Floor, Huge Open Spaces again. Notice the exposed roof again? I wonder what will become of this building...... abandoned like this ....  

The Seremban State Secretariat 1912 - 1st Floor - Looks very similar to the Ipoh Train Station which was also another Hubback Design.

Once again, we come across the wrong initials. The information board sitting outside this building by Tourism Malaysia say's the architect's name is B.P. Hubback. Virtual Malaysia has got it down as D.B. Hubback .... hope that these errors can be corrected ... an interesting read would be this article from The Thrifty Traveller!


Zain Abdullah said...

I was surprised that this handsome building is still left vacant until now. I remember shooting this building somewhere early 2009 when it was at the end of renovation work and I thought it would be utilised after the state library moved out.

I hope it will be put to good use and not to be left to rot naturally.

This architectural work by AB Hubback is, in my opinion, quite different from his usual Mughal architecture signature with domes and chhatris and arches. This building is more similar to Town Hall and City Hall in Penang as well as Carcosa inspired by Neoclassical architecture.

Do check out my photos of the State Scretariat Building here -->

The Lab Ratz said...

Hello Zain, as you already know, Hubback did not only 'specialise' in Mohgul architecture; but I think it was more an influence from C.E. Spooner and R.A.J. Bidewell as well to build this form of architecture as a landmark in Malaya. Hubback is also known for his Tudor / Victorian architecture that is also correct for that time period.

Thanks for dropping by and thanks for appreciating our National Heritage! Save our Buildings!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...