Timothy Tye

Limburg (30 January 2006)

Limburg is an elegant turn-of-the-century Straits-style bungalow that today houses the Larut Road KFC outlet. Despite its seemingly faux-German name, it is the home of prominent early 20th century Penang industrialist Lim Cheng Teik (1884-1978).

Lim Cheng Teik was the son of tycoon Phuah Hin Leong (who was born Lim Choo Guan to an impoverished family from the Lim clan, who were so poor that they had to give him up to be adopted by a Phuah family).

Like his father, Lim Cheng Teik entered the oil and rice milling business. He became successful early in life, and was elected at the age of 26 as the youngest Municipal Commissioner of Penang. At the age of 33, he became the Chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Lim's tenure as Municipal Rent Revision Board member as well as his position as Justice of the Peace came to an abrupt end when he resigned in protest over a miscarriage of justice by the British. Properties owned by him include not only Limburg, which was designed by the architectural firm of Neubronner's in 1917, but also various properties along Dato Kramat Road, Pangkor Road and Gurney Drive. Medan Lim Cheng Teik was a road named in his honor. Various buildings and properties bearing the name Elceetee (which is the transcribe of L.C.T, his initials) are connected to Lim Cheng Teik and the trust established by him.

Today Limburg has been readapted for use as a KFC outlet. The building was originally designed in 1915 by architect Henry Alfred Neubronner, whose work include the Royal Bank of Scotland Building.

Getting there

Limburg, along Jalan Larut, is more easily accessible by car. Nevertheless, Rapid Penang bus 104 does pass by on its way from Tanjung Bungah to Weld Quay.

What to see and do

Limburg's role as a fast-food outlet somewhat diminishes its significance as a heritage building. Though not a tourist sight, it is an example of a well-restored 20th century heritage building.

Location of Limburg on the map

List of Historic Buildings in Penang and Historic Buildings in Malaysia

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