Supreme Court and City Hall
Frank Dorrington WArd was the Chief Architect of the Public Works Department when he designed this classical building with its monumental facade facing the Padang; it was to be the last classical building to be built in Singapore. The Supreme Court opened in 1939. The building consists of four blocks surrounding a central courtyard which houses the circular law library with its white dome and travertime columns supporting two balconies on two levels. The pediment sculpture (an allegory of justice) and the Corinthian columns were executed by Cavalieri Rodolfo Nolli, one of a group of Italian artists who had come to Bangkok in 1913 to build a new throne room for the King of Siam. He was a sculptor and contractor who carried out general building, pre-cast works, imitation stone, sculptures, artistic decorations, special plastering, and smooth and bush-hammered facing works. The site has been occupied in ture by Edward Boustead's house of 1823 (designed by Coleman), later remodelled to become the London Hotel. Subsequently, it became the Hotel de l'Esperance, then the Hotel de l'Europe. It was demolished in 1900 to be rebuilt as the Grand Hotel de l'Europe (or the Adis Building, after its owner). This latter building was fine and delicate in architectural quality and commanded good views over the Padang from its verandah. Sadly, but inevitably, it gave way in 1936 to the present Court building. Dorrington Ward's original plans for the Padang area were interrupted by World War Two. They involved demolition of Parliament House, the Victoria Theatre and the Singapore Cricket Club, to make way for a grand government scheme. Neighbouring City Hall was the scene of Japanese surrender to Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1945.