20 Apr This Road Did Not Even Exist Until The Mid 19th Century
Victoria Street in was originally not a part of the original George Town schematics when Francis Light first set foot here and proclaimed Penang as British Colonial Territory. In fact, this road did not even exist until the mid 19th century, where extensive land reclamation work began to expand George Town’s port towards deeper waters so that ships can dock more easily. Unfortunately, the resulting construction work destroyed much of the then-resident’s beautiful view of the sea from their residence at Beach Street.
Today, two thirds of the street lies within George Town’s historic core zone. The street houses old clanhouses such as the Boon San Tong Khoo Khongsi clanhouse, as well as refurbished Straits-style colonial houses into boutique restaurants and hotels, such as the Ruins of Victoria restaurant and winery, and the Singapore house. Numerous street art such as the Urban Exchange and Take Time to Sit With Your Pet art installations are also strewn in random places throughout the street. The Phantamania trick attraction is also located on this street.
In recent years, the street has been given new life since UNESCO’s World Heritage Site classification, having numerous buildings refurbished to their old structural glory, and even housing tourist facilities such as bike rides and tour guide services throughout random spots on the street. In a clash of old-vs.-new, some warehouses from the older days of George Town still lay on the street and continue their practices today, showcasing an endurance to survive alongside the young generation and present George Town’s rich heritage as one that will last.