Sunday, November 26, 2006

A corner of treasures...but not a scrap of information!

Wandering around Ermita on Saturday afternoon I found a treasure trove of beautiful buildings, being used, but not being loved! All of them in one area on Padre Faura Street

Institute of X-ray and Radium therapy (I am assuming this is part of the UP campus)

the Supreme Court

Department of Justice

University of the Philippines, Manila

The Oblation

The buildings were spectacular and I imagine their surroundings were also at one stage, but now the area looks very sad and forlorn and it would be wonderful if it could all be given a good sprucing up including moving on all those street food carts. There are so many incredibly grand buildings in Manila which are still used (unlike a certain 'World' city not too far away from here that has destroyed most of it's architectural heritage and replaced it with monstrosities such as this; I just wish that the areas around these buildings could be kept in the manner to which they should be accustomed, and within the buildings' perimeters if they could just clean up all the junk lying around...

And one more thing (actually a few more things!)...these buildings are all definitely worthy of an explanatory sign outside giving the history of the building, architect's information etc etc, I wandered around and couldn't find any information about any of the buildings...even researching their history on the web is a challenge (or maybe my research skills are deserting me!). I am guessing that Daniel Burnham's hand is present in all these buildings..and if so...why shouldn't this exhibition of Manila become a permanent fixture somewhere in the city? And points to ponder...Blueprint for a City's Soul

Finally, this is such a great idea....the legal version of Meals on Wheels!!

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Blogger Dave and Stefan said...

Dear Madame Chiang,

It appears Ermita is some kind of neoclassical nature reserve! I do hope Manila gets its act together and invests in its old buildings before they become too expensive to maintain.

It's sad back here in Hong Kong, people waxing lyrical over a Star Ferry pier in Central that never really was much to look at. While I do hope they can keep the clock tower it seems unlikely. But people wouldn't be so cheesed off about it if some of the more impressive buildings had been kept as well. More philosophically, because Hong Kong simply doesn't have a proper historical narrative, people here are prisoners of the visual. It seems to be all they have left to hang on to.

All the Best!


PS That AirPort gadget does look rather nifty!

10:58 am  

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