Recently my life is taking on a whole slew of unexpected turn of events. From work to family to friends and more. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad one but I know I’m pretty exhausted. Still, some part of me is always excited to discover new places. Today I’ll be jetting off again so as usual, emails and replies will be a tad slower but I will eventually get to them when I find time to come online. Posts on my blog will continue to be scheduled so I can catch up on all the backdated photos I have on hand.
On the note of discovering new places, sometimes you just need to keep your eyes wide open! Sometimes the interesting things or places you find may not be the major tourist attractions but just a random occurrence along your journey.
When I was in Penang, this old abandon school caught my eye as we whizzed by George Town so the next day we decided to go do a little exploring. I was struck by it’s beautiful architecture and even though it must have been abandoned a long time back, it’s not hard to imagine how grand this build must have been a long time ago.
A little online digging of information on this Shih Chung Branch School brought about even more valuable insight. The colonial architectural building was constructed in the 1880s by a Chinese merchant, Cheah Tek Soon. It was a very grand home and the first 5 story building to be constructed in the Straits Settlement area.
It was passed down to their only daughter as part of her dowry. The young couple was an advocate for Chinese revolutionary leader Sun Yet Sen’s campaign and would host him in their home. Finally they decided to sell the place to help raise money for the liberation of China.
Through the years, this building took on many faces. It was once a hotel in the 1910s , a girls school then Shih Chung Branch School and finally it stands today abandoned in the middle of a bustling town.
I’m such a sucker for beautiful architecture with compelling histories and I was glad to have let my curiosities lead me to explore this building. It may not look like much in the photos but so many memories and lives have revolved around these walls… it’s such a pity they never preserved this building as a heritage site.