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Presgrave Street, George Town, Penang

Presgrave Street is a narrow two-way street within the George Town city centre. Located within the city's Seven Streets Precint (Chit Tiau Lor in Penang Hokkien), it is the third street from the north after Magazine Road and Noordin Street. It connects Brick Kiln Road to the west with Bridge Street to the east.

Named after a British solicitor-general who founded a law firm in George Town in the late 19th. century, the area was developed as part of an urban residential precint that mainly catered for the Chinese. The world's oldest surviving Chinese newspaper, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, also has its main bureau here.

To this day, Straits Chinese Eclectic-style houses still line the street. In addition, Presgrave Street is also famous amongst local Penangites for its Hokkien mee stall.

Presgrave Street sign, George Town, Penang

Presgrave Street sign

Etymology

Presgrave Street was named after Edward Presgrave, the solicitor-general in Penang in the late 19th. century. An alumni of the Edinburgh Academy and University, he founded Presgrave and Matthews, the oldest law firm within the Straits Settlements, at Beach Street in 1898.

Presgrave Street sign, George Town, Penang (old)

A colonial-era Presgrave Street sign

When Presgrave Street was laid out, it was the third street south of the Prangin Canal - after Magazine Road and Noordin Street. As such, the Chinese called it Snar3 Tiau3 Lor3, meaning 'the third street' in Hokkien.

History

Presgrave Street, George Town, Penang (2)

Straits Chinese Eclectic-style double storey houses along Presgrave Street.

Presgrave Street came into existence at the end of the 19th. century, as George Town was expanding south past the Prangin Canal. Together with eight other parallel streets, the area south of the canal became known as the Seven Streets Precint (Chit Tiau Lor) and was earmarked for the development of an urban residential area.

Between the late 19th. century and the 1930s, Straits Chinese Eclectic-style double storey terrace houses were built within the Precint, catering mostly to the Chinese of the working and middle classes. Notably, some have ornate floral decorations, befitting the higher income of their inhabitants.

These houses remain standing along Presgrave Street to this day; some have been converted into cafes and budget hostels. The higher proportion of Chinese inhabitants here was also reflected in the Taoist temples along the street.

After Presgrave Street had been laid out, land reclamation off the eastern end of the street led to the creation of a seaward extension named Presgrave Street Ghaut.

Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Presgrave Street, George Town, Penang

Kwong Wah Yit Poh's main bureau

In 1992, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, the world's oldest surviving Chinese newspaper, shifted its head office to the eastern end of Presgrave Street.

Notable Landmarks

  • Kwong Wah Yit Poh head office
Hotel Neo+, George Town, Penang

Hotel Neo+ is situated at the western junction with Brick Kiln Road.

Hotel

  • Hotel Neo+
Presgrave Street Hokkien mee stall, George Town, Penang

888 Presgrave Street Hokkien Mee stall comes highly recommended for those looking for Penang Hokkien mee.

Food

Presgrave Street is one of the more famous places to have a bowl of Penang Hokkien mee. 888 Presgrave Street stall, immediately east of the intersection with McNair Street, opens every night, between 1700 hours and 2300 hours.

Religion

From west to east :

  • Kim Leng Tuah Temple
  • Tong Ling Kong Temple

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books, Penang.
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/presgrave-street.htm
  3. http://wongchunwai.com/category/penang-history-my-story/page/5/
  4. http://www.timeout.com/penang/restaurants-and-cafes/presgrave-street-hawker-centre#tab_panel_3

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