Dover Road Estate

There was a period of time when a wave of nostalgia consisting of old animal-themed playgrounds hit Singaporeans. The most famous of them all was none other than the Pelican playground at Dover Vista Park. Once again, I was lucky enough to be able to pay a visit to the area just months before the playground was demolished.

Dover Road 01
Dover Road Estate

The Pelican playground was located at a small housing estate along Dover Road. There are 10 HDB flats and 1 market & food centre.

Dover Road 02
Dover Road 03
The flats were already vacated

Dover is named after a town of the same name in South East England. “Dover” is derived from the Celtic word meaning “The Waters” referring to the English Channel.

Dover Road 07
Dover Road 08
Provision shops that used to operate at the ground floors

The estate was selected for SERS in 2004, and was more or less vacated by 2010.

Dover Road 04
Dover Road 05
Dover Road 06
Dover Road Estate

Blk 29 was the first block to be demolished, some time around 2006 or 2007. However, it was not listed in the SERS announcement.

Dover Road 12
Void deck
Dover Road 09
A fitness club located at Blk 31

By the time I visited, the place was almost completely empty except for a few passers-by cutting through to reach AYE or NUS from Dover Road. There was a chilling sensation despite being under the hot sun.

Dover Road 10
Dover Road Estate
Dover Road 15
The covered walkway was in service for only 10 years
Dover Road 14
Chess tables located at the void decks

In early 2012, the adjacent Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD) decided to use a few of the vacated flats as make-shift school hostels for the students while its hostel facilities were being constructed.

Dover Road 11
Dover Road 13
Dover Road Estate

Blk 33 Market & Food Centre
Constructed: 1977
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2011

Dover Road Block 33
The empty plot of land where the Market and Food Centre once stood

A single-storey market & food centre used to stand at the area between blocks 32, 34 and 35. It was opened in 1977 as Dover Road Hawker and Market Centre. By 2011, all the residents in the estate have moved out, and the market was demolished.

Dover Vista Park
Designed by Khor Ean Ghee
Constructed: 1980s
Status: Lost
Demolished: 2012

Dover Vista Park 01
Dover Vista Park

The Dover Vista Park, or Pelican Playground, was built in 1974. It was tucked at the deepest end of the estate, next to Blk 39.

Dover Vista Park 02
More commonly known as the “Pelican Playground”

Other than the pelican, it also housed a concrete hare and a concrete tortoise, clearly derived from the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare. There was also a swing over a sand pit, but the swing has been removed by the time I visited.

Dover Vista Park 05
The tortoise and the hare
Dover Vista Park 06
The swing was removed, probably for safety reasons

Circles and semicircles were a common feature in the playground. Openings were present at various parts of the animals to allow children to climb into them.

Dover Vista Park 04
The swing

Mr Khor was an interior designer in HDB, who was tasked to design numerous playgrounds. However, by 1993, HDB stopped designing its own playgrounds, as importing overseas design proved to be easier to meet international safety standards.

Dover Vista Park 03
The pelican

The playground was demolished in mid 2012.

Dover Road 16
The other newer playground

There was also another playground next to Blk 36. It seemed slightly newer but still featured the sand pit from that era.

File Last Updated: October 16, 2015

9 responses to “Dover Road Estate

  1. Hi there, I am working on a school project, and was wondering if you would allow me to borrow some of your excellent pictures for my report. Full acknowledgement will be given to you. Thank you, and looking forward to your reply!

  2. simplyatrocious

    Preparation works have started for demolition of the dover road flats. Hoardings are coming up around perimeter of the site, but one can still ‘sneak’ in via the metal fence near to the overhead bridge leading up to point block Blk 39…but this route is expected to be sealed off pretty soon. =(

  3. what’s gonna happen to this place?

  4. Thank you dearly for this post. I grew up here in my grandparents home and made many first memories here. Those pictures brought comfort.

  5. Yep, the flats at Dover estate are being demolished now. About 10 years ago, I often took bus 166 or 14 back home from work, would pass by Fairfield Methodist School, those flats and Anglo-Chinese School. Recently I took bus 166, and the entire place is now barricaded.

    Side note: Blk 436 to 438 Clementi Ave 3 (now demolished), not far from where I live, shared a very similar design to those Dover flats. That distinctive ‘protruding box’ corridors for certain floors which could directly access the lift. Back then lifts didn’t stop on every single floor.

    Extra note: Normanton Park, another vintage dwelling place, has also been barricaded and in the process of being demolished. Another victim of en bloc. Though I never lived there, at least I had played tennis with my former co-workers there.

  6. blk 29 was a 2 room rental blk i think

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