Timothy Tye
Leong Yin Kean Mansion (ThirtyTwo At The Mansion)


Leong Yin Kean Mansion, today housing Beach Blanket Babylon Penang (29 January 2005)


ThirtyTwo At The Mansion (GPS: 5.42363, 100.33265) is a fine-dining restaurant on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah in George Town, Penang. It occupies the Italian-style seaside villa that was built in 1926 by Leong Yin Kean, son of tin magnate Leong Fee (also known as Liang Pi Joo, ca. 1857-1911). The architect who designed the mansion was Charles Joseph Miller, and it was known back then as Leong Yin Kean's George Town Garden House.

Leong Yin Kean Mansion was modelled after the opulent villas in London's Regent's Park. The mansion has a splendid view of the north coast of Penang Island all the way to Tanjong Tokong.

Leong Yin Kean Mansion, architectural details (22 December, 2012)


Born with a silver spoon, Leong Yin Kean was privileged to further his studies at Cambridge University. While in Europe, he acquired a taste for European architecture, and began constructing European-style mansions for himself in Penang. Apart from the mansion at No. 32, which cost $250,000 to build, he also owned a few properties on Penang Hill including Tosari and Lausanne bungalows.

The Mansion, as the building is popularly called, underwent extensive restoration work in the year 2000 by the company of Datuk Nazir Ariff, a former president of the Penang Heritage Trust. Before the restoration, the mansion had fallen into a state of neglect similar to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, before its restoration. Like the latter, it harboured as many as 30 tenants before the mansion was given a full restoration. It housed the upscale restaurant 32 @ the Mansion before its present incarnation as Beach Blanket Babylon Penang.

Updates

January, 2014: Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic added the mural, Girl by the Sea on a sea wall behind the mansion.

Getting there

Take the Rapid Penang Free Shuttle Bus to Station No. 7 (Lebuh Muntri Station), located along Penang Road at the junction of Muntri Street. From there, walk north along Penang Road until junction of Northam Road. Turn left at Northam Road, walk a short distance and you will find Thirty Two at the Mansion on your right.

Another view of Leong Yin Kean Mansion (23 February 2009)
© Timothy Tye using this photo

Nearby Sights


Leong Yin Kean Mansion, as seen from across Northam Road (23 February 2009)

Uptown Bistro is on the map of Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (Northam Road)

List of Historic Buildings in Penang and Historic Buildings in Malaysia


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