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New Government Offices: Spatial Usage in 1897

Updated: May 21, 2020

If you've ever wondered how the 'New Government Offices' (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad) was used when it was just completed in April 1897, we've mapped it out for you. Tadaa! The building fitted in 9 Government Departments; Government Secretary's Office (Secretariat), Federal Offices, Treasury Department, Audit Department, Land Office, Survey Department, Mines Department, Public Works Department (State & District) and the General Post Office. AB Hubback was promoted from Chief Draughtsman to Assistant Architect in May 1897, so we're guessing his office would have been in the PWD Drawing Office on the first floor (No. 13), with a view towards the river and town centre. He resigned from the post in December 1897 though. We reckon the spatial arrangement would have differed slightly when he returned to Federal services in 1901.

As the State Engineer, C.E Spooner's office was at No. 12 (first floor). A.C Norman was appointed as Kuala Lumpur's District Engineer in June 1896, so his office would have been in No.10 PWD's District Office (ground floor).

  • Estimation for No. 16 is based on floor area and old photographs.

Spatial Tabulation for the 'New Government Offices' in 1897

AB Hubback's probable work place in 1897 - the PWD Drawing Office, and the roof top promenade that you may be wondering about (today renovated).


References: i. Gullick, JM, Selections from the Selangor Journal 1892-1897 (reprint No.26), MBRAS, 2007, pp.186-187. ii. TSFPMA, 6 April 1897, p2, The New Government Offices, Kuala Lumpur

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