The development of Georgetown has attracted many tourists flocking here to scan the place. However, the increased new openings of shop lots have given the town a new lease of life in addition to its tonnes of heritage buildings.
By chance Wu Han Ren, Ru Zhi Xing and Lee Wu Xin talked about the town and what was missing from it. That brought 14 Living Story back to life, to showcase the day-to-day living of Old Georgetown.
Since Ru and Lee have been working in Shanghai, China, they have to travel to various places regularly and have visited the fabled Xin Tian Di, a place that holds the historical and cultural legacies of the Chinese metropolis. The enclave also gave the duo an idea that Penang could actually become some place like that.
"Along the road in many tourist attractions in other countries, we would see stalls selling local delicacies and souvenirs which make the place all the more vibrant."
"However, tourists visiting Penang will only be greeted by rows of listless shophouses, warehouses and empty residences, many of which are uninhabited and locked."
It was August 2009 when Wu, Ru and Lee decided to set up a living museum in town. They had looked at many different locations and finally decided on the shophouse beside Seh Tek Tong Cheah Kongsi on Armenian Street.
"The tenancy contract of the house was about to expire when we contacted the owner. We picked the house because it exuded the feelings of an old building.
"It has been found that the house could have been built in the 1850s and is at least 150 years old today!"
Wu said the house was formerly used to accommodate foreign workers. Despite its location in the heart of Old Georgetown, the house has never been put to proper use.
Since the original house was quite shabby, they requested the owner to do some renovation and they later tore down the room partitions to make the old house more spacious.