Near mrt clark quay/raffles pl/chinatown/telok ayer boat quay finance
The area become the location for well-known retail stores in the 19th century. A retail store that would become Singapore's oldest department store John Little was established on 30 August 1842 on Commercial Square. Robinsons, another of the early department stores, was first established on Raffles Place in 1858 as a "family warehouse". Robinson's was then relocated elsewhere a few times before returning to Raffles Place in 1891. Whiteaway Laidlaw was first established on D'Almeida Street in 1900 before moving to Stamford House, then to Battery Road in 1910. The Alkaff Arcade, Singapore's first indoor shopping arcade that stretched from the waterfront of Collyer Quay to Raffles Place, was built in 1909. A Chinese store, the Oriental Emporium, was opened opposite Robinsons in 1966.
In the 1960s and 1970s, retailers began to moved away from Raffles Place area to locations such as High Street, North Bridge Road and Orchard Road, and were replaced by finance houses and major banks. The Whiteaway Laidlaw department store building on Battery Road was taken over by Malayan Bank in 1962, and then demolished to make way for the Maybank Tower in 1998. Robinsons moved to Orchard Road after its landmark building was destroyed in one of the worst fires in Singapore's history in 1972, and its neighbour Overseas Union Bank expanded into the site with the construction of a new tower in 1986. The John Little's Building was sold in 1973 and demolished.
Modern-day Raffles Place, the financial heart of Singapore.
The first underground car park in Singapore was constructed in 1965 under Raffles Place, but was replaced in the 1980s by the Raffles Place MRT Station, which opened in December 1987. entrance features detailings of the facade of 1911 of the old John Little building.
Raffles Place is now dominated by Skyscrapers, some of the tallest buildings in Singapore, which are the locations of flagship banks.