Friday, June 11, 2010
Refurbishing Old (Heritage) Houses
I have always taken a great interest in heritage houses. Some heritage or old houses in the old quarters of Bangkok and Penang are being converted into trendy homes. One such home in Bangkok located in Yaowarat China Town was converted from an old rice mill. The owner has now put a price tag on the house with a ten-fold increase from the original value.
Lately old houses are being snapped up in the KL city center and converted into Back-packer Inns, pubs and many were demolished so their land can make way for taller commercial lots. In the Bukit Bintang area, especially around Changkat Bukit Bintang, these houses were priced just below RM1million 5 years ago and recently climbed close to RM2.5million today.
While it is heartbreaking to see some of these beautiful solid and historical houses being pulled down, it is equally sad that some new owners have no appreciation for heritage houses at all when they renovated the facade beyond recognition. Examples are those in Tengkat Tong Shin. The row of houses opposite Mutiara Villa have been turned into massage joints and the owners turned the front of the houses into something totally ugly. One such house was torn down and converted into a Mamak restaurant!
Luckily, albeit in a minority, there are some owners who still have taste (and conscience!). Below picture shows 2 such charming refurbished houses (OK, these are not quite heritage houses, but they were built in the 60s and pretty run down before being refurbished).