File pic of the historical mansion of philantropist and contractor Wong Ah Fook before it was demolished.
JOHOR BARU: A 150-year-old mansion here that once belonged to philanthropist and contractor Wong Ah Fook has been demolished.
Wong, whose name is even used at the city's main street, was the chief government contractor and built some of the most recognisable heritage buildings in Johor, including Istana Besar, Balai Zaharah, the residence of first mentri besar Datuk Jaafar Mohamed at Bukit Senyum and the Johor Baru prison in the Jalan Ayer Molek.
His mansion along Jalan Lumba Kuda here was demolished around 11pm Wednesday.
Historian Bak Jia How, 30, said it was heartbreaking to see a heap of debris where the building once stood.
"It was a one-of-a-kind mansion which we will never be able to get back," he said, adding that more should have been done by the authorities to preserve the historical building.
It was previously reported that residents and associations here were upset over news that the owners of the land wanted to demolish the building to make way for a new project.
Wong was born in 1837 and died in 1918 at the age of 81.