We all know how relatively new Kuala Lumpur is compared to other capital cities around the world (For those who doesn’t, Kuala Lumpur was established in 1857). But does that make you wonder how quick KL’s skyline has changed over the years?

I was browsing the web as usual on this quiet and lazy Sunday when I stumbled upon photos of Kuala Lumpur from the 60’s. As I continue to marvel at the rate of construction around KL’s city centre, I though it would be a good idea to share with you the photos I’ve found on the web (more info on the photos below).



Taken circa 1960. The middle left hand side of the photos is of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building next to Dataran Merdeka. Check out how green the city is back in those days.


This photo was believed to be taken in the late 1960’s showing KL’s 2 famous landmarks – the Kuala Lumpur Railway station and the National Mosque (Masjid Negara). When I looked closely at this photo, I can’t help to realise that the National Mosque roof was not cladded with the blue tiles it has today. The roof was simply left as a bold concrete structure. actually looks quite cool like that too!



This photo shows the area of Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tun Perak where the DBKL (KL City Council) is located today. A few more tall buildings started to spruce out in the background.


Just like its beginnings, the city centre was developed around the area next to the Dataran Merdeka and Chinatown. The huge dense patch of rainforest in the back is where KL Tower is located today.


Probably Kuala Lumpur’s most beautiful building to date. It surprises me how the skyline behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building has changed since. As for the boy, my dad always say that’s how he grew up back then – walking endlessly alone without a shirt nor slippers on. Imagine doing this today in KL πŸ˜‰


Kuala Lumpur’s Railway Station sporting a cool black painted domes. Loved the cars!


Anyone knows where this photo was taken from? The photo show’s KL’s skyline around Jalan Sultan Ismail or today’s Golden Triangle.


It seems like the Masjid Jamek area is teeming with people till today. Despite that, traffic back then is nowhere near today’s craziness.


The iconic National Mosque (Masjid Negara) back in those days. Again, the blue tiles of the umbrella-shaped dome didn’t appear yet back then. Did you know that the mosque was commissioned just after Malaysia gained its independence in 1957? The mosque was designed by a 3 person team comprising a British Architect and 2 Malaysian designers.



The 80’s were the period when the Malaysian economy really picked up upon. The city’s skyline started to change rapidly until the end of 90’s. This was the period when our economy grew more than 8% per year for more than a decade! In the foreground remains the lively area of Petaling Street and Chinatown.


The Masjid Jamek skyline started to change to a more familiar background you’ll see today. Masjid Jamek sits on the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers where the city was born.



Bukit Bintang and the luxury hotel area of Jalan Sultan Ismail. Photo was taken in 1991.Β The 1990’s were a significant decade to the country. Not only did Malaysia managed to sustain incredible growth, the country did also went into the Great Financial Crisis. This is also the decade where most of Malaysia’s significant developments were made. This includes the construction of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, The KL Tower and the Petronas Towers.


KL’s ever-changing skyline depicted in 1992. Yet still no KL tower nor the Petronas Towers to be seen (yet).


The site of the Petronas Towers and the new Kuala Lumpur City Centre project taken from a magazine. Also check out Kuala Lumpur Tower being built in the background! Photo taken in 1993.


Ah yes, there you go – the KL Tower is finally making a permanent sight on KL’s skyline. As you can see, this photo was taken in 1996, 2 years before Malaysia hosted its biggest ever international event yet – the 1998 Commonwealth Games.



Fast forward to 2012, this is the skyline you’ll see of Kuala Lumpur today. The starting of the year 2000 has been a bit slow. However, construction has picked up recently with the completion of many tall apartment buildings around the Petronas Towers.


Judging from these photos which period of KL do you prefer πŸ˜‰


These photos were taken from skyscrapercity.com forums. If you have time, please visit the respective websites where the photos has been obtained. FYI some of these images has been distributed randomly on the web that it is very hard to track the original photographers. If any of these photos are yours please do contact me.