Travel photojournalist David Bowden found his interest in Penang and its heritage buildings rekindled by reading Andrew Barber’s informative new book, Colonial Penang 1786-1957. Charged and primed with Barber’s valuable insights, he headed north to relook at George Town’s historic enclave.
Rows of two-storeyed terraced houses dominate the streetscapes of George Town, with many having received a fresh coat of paint, but you can see that this is but one thin veneer covering centuries of history. Closer inspection also reveals ornate cornices and beautiful architectural elements and proportions in many of the terrace houses.
Time has not been so kind to many of these old houses in the historic heart of the island of Penang located just off western coastline of peninsular Malaysia. Many visitors must wonder why it took so long to protect this heritage zone.