Although Kuala Lumpur boasts stunning modern architecture that are most prominently seen in its soaring skyscrapers, the city has quite a number of impressive heritage buildings that are still standing tall. These heritage buildings are well preserved and are made into attractive tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur.
The building architecture of heritage buildings is mainly the traditional vernacular type that is heavily influenced by the Malay and Straits Chinese culture. Since Malaysia had been colonized by the British, Portuguese and Dutch between the 15th and 19th-century, there are certain heritage buildings that bear strong colonial influence that was inherited during the periods of British, Portuguese, and Dutch rule.
The following are the most prominent heritage buildings in Kuala Lumpur. Enjoy!
Sultan Abdul Samad Buildings
Located on the eastern side of the Merdeka Square, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building bears impressive Moorish-style architecture that served as the headquarter of colonial administration when it was built in 1897. Moreover, the building was named after the Sultan in honor of his Majestic as the ruler of the state at that time.
Kuala Lumpur Railway Stations
This magnificent building was constructed in 1911 which was then Malaya was under the British rule. As a result, the railway station bears the specification of railroad stations in England and included an iron roof capable of withstanding up to 3 feet of snow. The building is gleaming with white with Moorish arches, balustrades, minarets and cupolas.
Royal Selangor Club
Known as the Spotted Dog, the Royal Selangor Club was established in 1884 as a socializing place for the elite in Kuala Lumpur. Expatriates and officials gathered here to relax, play billiards, and watch cricket on the field which is now part of Merdeka Square.
National History Museum
The National History Museum was first built as the place for Kuala Lumpur first bank. Located in the southern end of the Merdeka Square, this grand Moorish-style building was completed in 1891 and has over 100 years of history.
Carcosa Seri Negara
The Carcosa Seri Negara is an exquisite pair of colonial mansions which was built between 1896 and 1904 on the edge of Lake Gardens. It consists of two buildings with the first being named as Carcosa while the second named as Seri Negara. Together the Carcosa and the Seri Negara buildings form one of Kuala Lumpur’s finest boutique hotels.
Malaysian Tourism Information Complex
The Malaysian Tourism Information Complex is housed in an impressive heritage building that was built during the colonial period in 1935. This massive colonial mansion was formerly owned by a wealthy Chinese tin and rubber businessman named Eu Tong Seng. Its architectural style is of British influence.
Coliseum Cinema and Coliseum Café and Hotel
The Coliseum Theatre is one of the oldest movie theaters in Malaysia. Built in 1921 by the Chua family led by Chua Cheng Bok, the Art Deco-style building is capable of seating 900 people and also features a balcony. The famed Coliseum Café and Hotel are located behind the theatre, just down the road. Most of the movies premiering in the building are Indian movies.
Badan Warisan is a non-government organization that runs regular projects to save historical buildings from neglect and destruction. The building in which it’s located is a 1920s British colonial style bungalow. Moreover, the site also incorporates a traditional Malay wooden house named as Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman.