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Intramuros Restoration

Makati, Philippines
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Intramuros Restoration

I haven't heard much about it until I stumbled upon some photos and articles.

ttgasia.com/article.php?article_id=20366

Apparently, lot of restoration and reconstruction work has begun for some structures in Intramuros severely damaged during WWII. Among those that are about to be completed or opened soon are the following:

Ayuntamiento de Manila - the original seat of government of the city of Manila in the 16th century. I must say that I am quite impressed with the interiors which wouldn't look out of place in Europe.

www.facebook.com/media/set/…

…tumblr.com/post/24115231719/i-was-a-bad-boy…

Maestranza park

www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Currently undergoing reconstruction is San Ignacio Church originally built in the 17th century.

…imageshack.us/img703/7798/manilacity2013030…

So far, I liked what I see and hoping that more structures would be rebuilt. It's also nice to know that illegal settlers within the walls are being relocated elsewhere (partnership with Gawad kalinga) and will be given tourism related jobs inside Intramuros. I also hope that the historic center will likewise be pedestrianized soon.

Edited: 5:59 am, March 14, 2013
Makati, Philippines
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1. Re: Intramuros Restoration

erratum: this is the correct link to the photos of Maestranza Park

www.facebook.com/media/set/…

Edited: 6:07 am, March 14, 2013
Luzon, Philippines
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2. Re: Intramuros Restoration

I have no plans to visit Intramuros soon but I would love to explore again the walled city after all this restoration project.

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3. Re: Intramuros Restoration

oh yes. there is plenty going on in intramuros..plenty! maestranza, ayuntamiento, the ecclesiastical museum , andmany others...just driving past some streets that not too long ago was vastly overrrun by informal settlers ..are now seeing a fresh new coat of paint and invigorated..lots of renovation , big and small..im talking about small places and medium sized projects that collectively will create something spectacular and in the not s distant future.. a very good vibe is forming in the walled city..i hear that with the involvement of some NGOs, the informal settler community is going to benefit in terms of jobs and new settlements outside the walled city .

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4. Re: Intramuros Restoration

In contrast, i live in the los angeles area and we have Olivera Street, which is the historical district with a few distinct Spanish inspired architecture..It is a popular tourist spot with cafes and restos..but i tell you, Olivera Street will not be able to hold a candle to Intramuros, now and even more, once everything is completed...

Edited: 1:04 pm, March 14, 2013
Makati, Philippines
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5. Re: Intramuros Restoration

Nice to hear that misglovin. I've likewise read that the Rizal museum at Fort Santiago will be closed soon for renovation. There are also plans of rebuilding the Ateneo University, the Intendencia, among others. I should probably take a peek at what's going on one of these days. It really would be nice for Manila to finally have a proper historic center, much like cities in Italy and Spain.

If my memory serves me right, the DOT rep during the last TA meet-up mentioned to me that the department has taken jurisdiction over Intramuros and recently, the stretch of Roxas Blvd. from the city government. So perhaps the same can be expected for Roxas Blvd.

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6. Re: Intramuros Restoration

@ Bryant park...

First of all, ALL teh buildings we see today in Intramuros are restored. The only original strctures are - San Agustin church (but then, that has been restored / broken / rebuilt 7 times in the past 300 years!), the walls, and parts of Fort Santiago

Everything else was built after 1950.

It is an interesting,but not so well known fact, that the Americans bombed all of Intramuros durign teh battle of Manila in 195 - apparently dear General Mac Arthur (who was paid pretty well in USD for all that he did and did'nt do in the 1930s and 40s) decided that the Japs needed to be flushed out asap, irrespective of the collateral damage. So he gave the orders to bomb Intramuros. At the rate of 100 bombs per day. And after the annihilation, they bulldozed their way to reduce all of it to fine dust.

All those Spanish looking buildings in Intramuros, especially the ones in and around White knight hotel was built in the 70s.

If you get a chance, do read some of the works by the Army Historian Robert R. Smith - they are revealing of how much role the Americans had in destroying Manila.

Carlos Celdran talks abut this in his "Walk this way" tour.

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7. Re: Intramuros Restoration

There was a lot of construction, repainting and other renovation activities that i saw on several side streets while driving from the Bayleaf Hotel last January..the activity was quite encouraging.

There are also plenty of economic and historic preservation projects going on around the area--such as re- adapting the old Escolta business district into a BPO center and some sort of 'incubator' for art and cultural projects including weekend farmer's market. The massive neo-classical Manila Main Post Office building being re-adapted to become a hotel by a Singaporean group I believe.

Makati, Philippines
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8. Re: Intramuros Restoration

@YLOO...I know what you mean. There are actual videos of the Battle of Manila on youtube where you can see American soldiers with flame throwers and American tanks bombing the city hall, post office, Intramuros, etc. My grandfather fought under the US Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) during the war and as a veteran, was issued several photo books by the US government narrating the war in the Pacific. I was lucky enough to be in possession of these books and have photos, some even graphic, during the war and just after the liberation of Manila and you can see not only Intramuros, but even the city hall, post office, what is now the National Museum, DOT and Dept. of Finance Bldg., port area, Binondo/Escolta, Ermita, etc. all bombed out and almost completely razed to the ground. It's just unfortunate that a lot of colonial structures were just outright demolished and never rebuilt. What I particularly appreciate with the reconstruction of the Ayuntamiento is how they kept what was left of the ruins and incorporated it into the architecture of the new structure. You'll see this in one of the photos on their FB page.

@misglovin...I believe you're referring to the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore. Sounds logical considering that both structures have similar architecture. I believe the Fullerton Hotel also used to house the Singapore Post Office. I have doubts about the viability of transforming the post office into a luxury hotel though, not a this time at least. Perhaps in the near future.

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9. Re: Intramuros Restoration

@ Bryant park,

Exactly. In my naivete, I had actually thought that the beautiful Spanish style buildings in Intramuros were all remnants of the original structures. I was actually awe struck at how well preserved / restored they were - especially Casa manila!

It was only later that I learnt that these were all built from scratch, barely 3 decades ago!

Of course, the buildings still look equally beautiful. Perhaps with this twist in the retelling of history, they become even more poignant.

Makati, Philippines
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10. Re: Intramuros Restoration

@YLOO...we must remember that Manila was the 2nd most devastated city during WWII, next only to Warsaw and was witness to the biggest urban battle in the Pacific.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnwAC7PD7hk