By the early 1970s the largest textile market of Indonesia was still housed in a single storey building that dated back to 1927. The market was too small and many sellers used the surrounding streets to set up their textile stalls. There was usually non-stop traffic chaos around Pasar Tanah Abang during the day. In 1973 Jakarta’s Governor Ali Sadikin (1927-2008) gave the green light to demolish the old pasar and to build a new four storey concrete market complex with a parking deck on the roof.
Nightmare for market traders
The two years between the demolition and the re-opening of the new pasar were a real nightmare for the market traders. As there was no alternative space, the city council had approved that textile sellers could set up their kiosks in the surrounding streets, with the result that Jalan Wahid Hasyim and Jalan Fachrudin were two open air markets for nearly two years. When the new Pasar Tanah Abang opened in 1975 it had room for more than 4,300 kiosks.
The new Tanah Abang market complex suffered from serious fires on several occasions. One block of the pasar complex burnt down on 30 December 1978, a second block went up in flames on 13 August 1979. In both cases the sections were able to be rebuilt, but a destructive fire in 2003 meant the end of the four-storey market building. Between 2005 and 2010 the two new 18-floors Blok A and Blok B were constructed, and Pasar Tanah Abang is now the largest textile market in southeast Asia. On this photo from 1973, taken by Kartono Ryadi for Kompas, the demolition of the 1927 pasar has commenced.
source: Kompas, 250 Years in Old Jakarta