At that time, Joo Chiat Road was a cart track and Onan Road was a sandy lane. The roads were taken over by the Rural Board, then by the Municipality. They were improved and four were named after Joo Chiat. Joo Chiat Avenue is the most recent. More roads were later laid out - Marshall Road after Captain H.T. Marshall, the Municipal Commission first chairman in 1856; Pennefather Road after John Pine Pennefather, a Government Surveyor, 1885-1945, Carpmael Road after H. Carpmael, Municipal Assessor; Crane Road after the original T. C. Crane who planted coconut trees in the area; Everitt Road after Sir Clementi Everitt of the legal firm of Sisson & Delay; Still Road after A.W. Still, Straits Times editor for 23 years; Koon Seng Road after Cheong Koon Seng of the firm of auctioneers and estate agents bearing his name.
Joo Chiat road was named after a man named Chew Joo Chiat. He bought the area from the wealthy Arab Alsagoff family. He laid out roads and consturcted rows of lovely terrace houses which still stand today.Joo chiat boasts some of the finest examples of the singapore eclectic style of architecture.
This happy marriage of chinese and western housing design is also called the Singapore Baroque. Doric columns, western-stly roofs, and brillantly coloured wall tiles from Italy with flowers in relief, were wedded to chinese fecade panels depicting dragons and chinese mythological animals which have no western equivalent. All these elegant touches and more are captured in The Little Island "Joo Chiat" series of Decorative Walls Plaques.