The Taiping Municipal Gallery or Galeri Perbandaran Taiping is currently the main tourist information center for the city of Taiping, and is also an art gallery and historical museum. The gallery is located along Jalan Stesen (Station Road), beside the Telegraph Museum.
There is a small square outside the compound of the gallery that displays an old diesel locomotive named “Telok Chempedak” as well as a section of an old railway overhead crossing. The old signage for “Taiping” from Taiping’s old railway station is also preserved here. Inside the gallery is a showcase of the city’s rich history and popular attractions. There are several antiques, crafts, and a photo gallery of Taiping throughout the years.
The building was built in 1891, designed by Australian architect and chief surveyor, G. A. Lefroy, as the office of the Perak Trigonometrical and Survey Department. Its designation is PWD105, short for Public Works Department 105. The architecture of this building is based on 19th-century Anglo-Indian influences. The ground floor of the building is made up of concrete and wood, while the entire upper floor is made up of wood. In the years 1931 to 1935, the building became the office of the Taiping Sanitary Board. Beside the building was located the post and telegraph office. In the 1950s, the building became the office of the Taiping Health Department. Sometime later, it became a furniture shop.
Much of the interior of the building was renovated by the furniture shop operators, with some sections which were previously open spaces either being walled up or enclosed by windows. Some doorways, windows, and original walls of the building have been demolished without leaving behind any trace of remains. The building’s uniqueness called for preservation, and the National Heritage Department stepped in to restore the building. In 2010, the building became an art gallery for the first time, operating under the name First Galleria.
The First Galleria was a privately managed and curated museum, mainly showcasing the many historical firsts of Taiping. First Galleria closed to the public on August 30, 2015. The custodianship of the building reverted to the Taiping Municipal Council, which later decided to keep the art gallery theme, and the Taiping Municipal Gallery was born. Besides serving as a tourist information center, the Gallery is also a center for community and educational activities.
The Taiping Municipal Gallery is stop number 25 on the Taiping Heritage Trail.
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