Sun Yat Sens Penang Base
at 120 Armenian Street,Penang, Malaysia
Street is one of a row of late 19th century shophouses
on Armenian Street. It was built by a Straits Chinese circa 1880.
It is a fine
example of a Penang shophouse, with an intimate courtyard garden,
a handsome timber staircase and an old-fashioned Nyonya kitchen.
the shophouse was bought by a Chinese merchant Chng Teong
Swee. His grand-daughter Khoo Salma Nasution maintains the shophouse
is currently the address of Areca
Books and Lestari
feature of the shophouse is the atrium around a central courtyard.
A shophouse may have one or more inner courtyards. They serve
as air-wells for ventilating the often long and narrow buildings.
courtyard is usually attractively decorated with plants, improving
the ambience of the living space.
courtyard, where the water tank and bathroom are located, serves
as a washing area.
is the domain of the womenfolk, the Nyonya. The kitchen in this
house retains its original 1920s firewood stove.
It also showcases
some cooking implements, including a pewter steamboat, a wooden
noodle press, a copper water boiler, two charcoal burners, wooden
rice tubs, clay curry pots and enamel tiffin carriers.
is by definition a terraced house that combines the functions
of a shop and house. However, in Penang, terraced houses are generically
called shophouses, even if, as in the case of 120
Armenian Street, they were designed chiefly for residential use.
shophouses in Malaysia and Singapore, the Penang shophouse is
typically a long, double-storey building with a narrow frontage.
The five-footway or front verandah of a row of such
houses join up to create a continuous arcade. Internally, timber
partitions and a largely timber upper floor span an otherwise
solid masonry building with thick party walls.
Street in George Town, Penang, runs between Chulia Street (named
after the South Indians) and Acheen Street.
community lived in Penang in the early 19th century. However,
they did not stay long in this neighbourhood, preferring to build
their church in Bishop Street, a few blocks north, in 1822. The
name Armenian Street remains, although the neighbourhood was already
overtaken by the Straits Chinese in the mid-19th century.
famous Armenians in Penang were the Sarkies brothers, who ran
the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, established 1885.
reading: Nadia H. Wright, Respected Citizens: The History of Armenians
in Malaysia and Singapore www.amassia.com.au
firewood stove and kitchen cupboard
house at 120 Armenian Street belonged to a Pitt Street trader
Lim Boon Yeow from 1900 to 1913.
Why was this
address chosen to be the premises of the Tung Meng Hui headquarters?
narrow shophouse provided an escape route should a raid
be staged from the front of the house, the back door led into
the Indian Muslim villages of Kampong Kaka and Kampong Kolam.
The urban villages were cleared for a road in the 1920s.
was located in a Straits Chinese residential enclave, away from
the main commercial streets.
On the adjoining
street was the Acheen Street Mosque and a neighbourhood of Arabs,
Sumatrans and Malays. The Tongmenghui branch chairman Wu Shirongs
house was also at 25 Acheen Street.