Short Street

Singapore Infopedia


Short Street begins at the junction where it meets Middle Road, Selegie Road and Wilkie Road.1 It connects Selegie Road to Rochor Canal Road.2 Although some suggest that the road might be named after Septimus Short, who spoke on public issues related to railways and docks,3 others posit that it was named thus because the road was short.4 Buildings that line this street include the David Elias Building, Tamil Methodist Church and Golden Wall Centre.

Key features
The David Elias Building, completed in 1928,5 is a Jewish landmark situated at the corner of Short Street and Middle Road.6 The Tamil Methodist Church was built in 1926 to serve the religious needs of the south Indian Methodists.7 Between Short Street and Prinsep Street is McNally Street where the Lasalle College of the Arts building stands.8 Golden Wall Centre, a commercial property, is located at the junction of Short Street and Rochor Canal Road.9

Cantonments used to be located in the vicinity of Short Street.10 The second campus of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts second campus was also situated on Short Street11 until its move to Bencoolen Street.12

Variant names
Hokkien: tek kha so si tek hang, meaning “short lane in tek kha”.13 So si tek means “short” and tek kha refers to the Selegie Road area.14


Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

1. Victor R. Savage and Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Singapore Street Names: A Study of Toponymics (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2013), 345. (Call no. RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
2. Land Transport Authority, OneMap, n.d.
3. Peter K. G. Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore (Singapore: Who’s Who Publishing, 2000), 280. (Call no. RSING 959.57 DUN-[HIS])
4. Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 345.
5. “Little Bits of History,” Straits Times, 5 November 1992, 2. (From NewspaperSG)
6. Norman Edwards and Peter Keys, Singapore: A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places (Singapore: Times Books International, 1988), 261. (Call no. RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
7. “New Methodist Church,” Straits Times, 11 January 1926, 10. (From NewspaperSG)
8. Ho Ai Li, “New Road Named Lasalle’s Late Founder,” Straits Times, 14 July 2007, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
9. Land Transport Authority, OneMap.
10. Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 345.
11. “Nafa Still Looking for Permanent Home,” Straits Times, 19 September 1996, 41. (From NewspaperSG)
12. Clara Chow, “Home at Last for Nafa,” Straits Times, 5 March 2005, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
13. H. W. Firmstone, “Chinese Names of Streets and Places in Singapore and the Malay Peninsula,” Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 42 (February 1905): 128. (Call no. RQUIK 959.5 JMBRAS)
14. Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 345.

The information in this article is valid as of 2016 and correct as far as we can ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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