The MICA Building, home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), is a colonial landmark located at the junction of River Valley Road and Hill Street. It was officially opened in 1934 and proved to be the largest government building in Singapore during the 1930s. It used to house the Hill Street Police Station and Barracks and is thus now also known as the Old Hill Street Police Station (OHSPS).
In 1915, a reorganisation in the Singapore Police Force led to the construction of the Hill Street Police Station building. The architect was Major J. F. A. McNair from the Public Works Department. The building occupied the site of Singapore's first prison and the old Assembly Rooms of the Town Hall. It became the only police station in the pre-war years to have its own living quarters besides the Pearl's Hill Station. On the 25th anniversary of the reign of King George, the building was renamed the Silver Jubilee Building to commemorate the occasion.
It was officially opened in 1934 by G. Sturrock, Director of Public Works and Advisor of Malay States, and occupied in 1935. Built at a cost of $634,236, it housed a police station with a charge room, offices and garages. It also had quarters for 125 married men, 144 single policemen, 4 clerks, 5 sub-inspectors; and flats for 5 Asian and 5 European Inspectors.
An interesting fact is that the surrounding area including the location where the building stands today was said to resemble the peh toh, a Chinese New Year fish that symbolises good fortune. However, when the building was erected, the Chinese who used to live in there believed that it disrupted the good feng shui of the area.
By 1980, the police vacated the building and from 1983, the National Archives and Oral History Department, Official Trustees, the Official Assignees and Public Receiver, and the Board of Film Censors became its new tenants. With this change the building was renamed the Hill Street Building. The National Archives, its last occupant, moved out in March 1997 and occupied their new home, next to the Singapore Philatelic Museum along Canning Rise, on 1 April 1997.
On 18 December 1998, the Old Hill Street Police Station building was gazetted as a national monument by the Preservation of Monuments Board. The Old Hill Street Police Station and Barracks was officially re-opened as the new headquarters for the Ministry of Information and the Arts (MITA) by Lee Yock Suan, the then Minister for Information and the Arts, on 1 November 2000.