The History of the Golden Triangle of Jakarta
This map showed Batavia (former Jakarta) in 1920. Three regions were already quite crowded at that time, namely Batavia (Kota Tua), Weltevreden (Gambir), and Mester Cornelis (Jatinegara).
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Daendels (Dutch) government moved government activities to Weltevreden. After Daendels left, Raffles (British) briefly entered and created the large town square of Weltevreden (now Medan Merdeka Square), which was previously used for French military training. After the Dutch regained control of the Indies, the government built many government buildings around the vast field of Weltevreden. Buildings such as the National Palace, the Merdeka Palace, the Constitutional Court, the National Museum, the Vice President’s Palace, and the Pancasila Building were offices that were once the seat of the Indies government. Although the center of government was in Weltevreden, the business and financial center at that time remained in Batavia (around Kali Besar). When Japan occupied Indonesia, they continued to make Batavia the capital and changed its name to Jakarta.
Post-independence, First President Soekarno began to think about building a new business center in the south of the central government (Gambir). He suggested that to make Jakarta the world’s financial and commercial center, the Kali Besar region is no longer suitable. Instead of continuing developing the Weltevreden-Mester Cornelis (Kramat-Salemba-Matraman) district, he instead built a new axis connecting Weltevreden and Kebayoran. The district is full of unique characteristics, with a fountain roundabout in front of Hotel Indonesia. In 1966, the 14-story Sarinah department store was completed and marked the first skyscraper in Jakarta. Six years later, Wisma Nusantara was completed. The 117-meter-high building became the first tallest building in Southeast Asia.
During the Soeharto era, the second president of Indonesia, the axis which was later named Jalan Thamrin-Sudirman, was revamped. Under the command of Governor Ali Sadikin, the surrounding villages began to be cleaned up. He also widened Gatot Subroto Street and built a new axis between Menteng and Pasar Minggu (Jalan Rasuna Said).
In the 1980s, the Golden Triangle Region proposal was launched. This area includes Jalan Thamrin-Sudirman-Gatot Subroto-Rasuna Said. At the end of the decade, massive evictions were carried out in Setiabudi, Karet, Kuningan, and Senayan, Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), to make way for the new development and construction.
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Jakarta Post. “Sukarno’s Vision of a Modern Capital.” The Jakarta Post. Accessed December 8, 2019. https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/06/22/sukarno-s-vision-a-modern-capital.html.