Named after the orchards and plantations that once dominated the locality, the area was eventually transformed into an affluent enclave where wealthy Europeans built their homes. Today Orchard Road still represents wealth even though colonial homesteads have been replaced with glitzy malls and high-rise hotels and it still has one of the highest concentrations of Western expatriate residences on the island. Relative to the other neighbourhoods, there are few sites of historical interest along Orchard Road.
However, the area is still home to the enormous Istana, once the official residence of the colonial governor and now that of the president of the republic. On the other side of Orchard Road and a few steps down Clemenceau Avenue is Tan Yeok Nee House. Built in 1885 for a wealthy Chinese merchant, the house has served various purposes, including headquarters for the Salvation Army. It is now the Asian campus for the University of Chicago’s graduate business school.