The Star Pitt Street (GPS: 5.41873, 100.33931) is a historic three-storey building along Pitt Street, in George Town, Penang. It served as the head office of The Star newspaper from the 1970s to 2002, when the newspaper moved to its Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas. Until it was taken over by the Star, it belonged to the late Tan Sri Loh Boon Siew.
Updates on The Star Pitt Street Building
7 September, 2014: The Star Pitt Street reopens after a refurbishing exercise. The opening was officiated by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Badawi. The building now provides space for publisher Areca Books, PAPA (Penang Apprenticeship Programme for Artisans), Penang Philharmonic, and office of ThinkCity on the first floorfor its technical and working teams, , a resource centre maintained by the Penang Reading Room in collaboration with The Star, and a permanent exhibition featuring highlights from the Penang Story. The building is also open on both ends now, so one may cross from Pitt Street to Queen Street.
Another view of The Star Pitt Street Building (22 July, 2012)
15 July, 2012: The Star announced that its former Pitt Street office is to be rebranded as The Star Pitt Street, as part of a project to celebrate the diverse culture and heritage of Penang. While the daily will operate a city office on the ground floor, the top floor will be given over to the Penang Philharmonic for use over five years.
An accompanying report about The Star Pitt Street described it incorrectly as an opium den. The building was not an opium den (see excerpt above). Built in 1906 by the Straits Settlements Public Works Department, it housed the Opium and Spirits Farm Offices. This is the office where the operating of opium dens were licensed, as were other activities such as gambling and the sale of liquor and spirits. It did have facilities for the processing of raw opium, but it was not an opium den as described in the newspaper.
The Queen Street façade of The Star Pitt Street Building (15 September, 2012)
Clarification to The Star (published 20 July 2012)
Announcing The Star Pitt Street Project (22 July, 2012)
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