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Life by Design


Imperial Manila (part 3)

Posted by Carren |

[continued from previous post]

Manila Central Post Office

Built in 1926 and completed in 1931 for P1,000,000, the Manila Central Post Office is considered Juan Arellano’s magnum opus. The Post Office’s location fulfills Burnham’s vision of a post office strategically placed near the Pasig River, thereby facilitating easy transportation of mail via water. Now fronted by Liwasang Bonifacio, its five storeys stand dignified in pink, white, and light yellow. Fourteen Ionic columns support its central portion. On each end protrudes a semi-circular drum replete with an atrium that provides ventilation and light.

While the outside remains majestic and imposing, even across the Pasig River on the banks of Binondo, inside the space sadly becomes cramped, bearing the marks of continued use as Manila’s central post office.

More than the construction of shelter, these structures were an expression of an ideal. Like a well-made dress and tasteful accessories are to a woman, these edifices are symbols of an American government rising in global consequence and of a Filipino nation aspiring for independence and democracy.


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