The market square area has many Neo-Classical style buildings. Many of these building are pre-war shophouses and many are designated as heritage site and preserved. Although being very old, some of these shophouse have seen the ravages of time and other renovations that it has lost some of the old charm. But those that are preserved still remains. And then there are those that just too old, only the facade is preserved while the interior is completed reconstructed and modernised.

Pasar Seni (Central Market)

Located at Jalan Hang Kasturi, this building was designed by architect and engineer TY Lee, is a fine example of Art Deco style of the 1930s. Central Market (Pasar Seni) was used as the Kuala Lumpur town’s wholesale and retail wet market for fresh produce. Due to changing times and traffic congestion, the wet market has now been relocated to another location while the Central Market was renovated and reopened in 1986 to be preserved as a first example of heritage building adapted for different use. It is now a leading craft centre in the Kuala Lumpur city where you can find various kinds of handcrafts and woodcrafts. If you like, there are many street artist here who can draw your portrait for your souvenir collection!

Jalan Hang Kasturi Shophouses

This is located just a short walk away from Central Market. Jalan Hang Kasturi was the place where you get your provisions for dried fish and preserved vegetables. Many of the dried goods stores are still here doing business pretty much in the traditional way. The pre-war shop houses here are mostly of New-Classical style.

Medan Pasar (Market Square)

Medan Pasar is located between Lebuh Pasar Besar and Lebuh Ampang. Market Square refers to the spot once owned by Yap Ah Loy, the headman of the Chinese community, also considered the father of Kuala Lumpur.

The three-storey shophouses here are examples of ornate Neo-Classical designs, as characterised by the decorative plaster garlands, roor-top gables and balustrades.

It was designed in 1907 by AC Hubback, a government architect. The Maybank Finance Bhd and the Clock Tower were later additions, boasting classic Art Deco structures. The Tower was built in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George IV, features the distinctive Art Deco sunburst motif at its base.

Lebuh Ampang

This bristling street was the traditional preserve of the Chettiars, or South Indian moneylenders who were an economic force in the early days. The glazed ceramic tiles, peacock designs, traditional low benches and chests are some of the distinctive features of this community. Today, the street is still predominantly occupied by Indian traders, with restaurants, textile shops and sundry stores.

Jalan Tun H.S. Lee

Formerly known as High Street, the stretch of shophouses here are some of the oldest, dating back to the mid-1880s. This was one of the early streets in which the shophouses were rebuilt in brick and tiles. A unique feature here is that the five-foot ways are lower than the surface of the road. There is also a strong Chinese influence in this street.

Getting There

Pasar Seni (Central Market), Jalan Hang Kasturi, Market Square and Jalan Tun H.S. Lee are about 5 minutes walk from the Pasar Seni Station of the Putra LRT Line. While Lebuh Ampang is situated close to the Masjid Jamek Station which you can reach using either Putra or STAR LRT lines.

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