Manila City Hall

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Manila City Hall
Manila city hall - front.jpg
The Manila City Hall as seen from Padre Burgos Avenue
General information
Status Existing
Type Government Office
Location Corners of Taft Avenue, Padre Burgos Avenue and Villegas Street, Ermita, Manila, Philippines
Coordinates 14°35′23″N 120°58′54″E / 14.589793°N 120.981617°E / 14.589793; 120.981617Coordinates: 14°35′23″N 120°58′54″E / 14.589793°N 120.981617°E / 14.589793; 120.981617
Opening 1939
Owner City government of Manila
Management City government of Manila
Design and construction
Developer City government of Manila
References
[1]

Manila City Hall is located in the historic center of Ermita, Manila bounded by Natividad Almeda López Street to the north, Mayor Antonio Villegas Road to the east, and by Taft Avenue and Padre Burgos Avenue to the west. Originally, it was a part of a new government center envisioned by Daniel Burnham, which is now Rizal Park. Other buildings in this complex are the Old Congress Building, which nowadays is the home of the National Museum of the Philippines, Museum of the Filipino People, and the Department of Tourism Building.

Aside from giving time and direction, it is where Manila’s mayor holds office and from whose office emanates the official acts, decisions, projects. It houses some of the departments and offices in the City of Manila.[2]

Architecture[edit]

The clock tower of the Manila City Hall
Manila City Hall at Night

The Manila City Hall during 1901 was made up of Oregon-pine which covered one third of the area used by the current building. After 31 years of occupancy, City Engineer Santiago Artiaga suggested to reinforce the floor of the weakened structure supporting the session hall used by the municipal board and avoid the accommodation of too many people along the corridors and in the hallway.[2]

In 1941, right before the destruction of Manila, a City Hall of a national capital was constructed. This was designed by Antonio Toledo, the same architect who built the Finance Building and Old Legislative Building which are both adjacent to the new City Hall. It was immediately destroyed by the war in February 1945. With the aid of the United States Army and the city government, the new 8,422 square meter-City Hall was built which included around 200 rooms and uniform windows on all of the facade. It added an east wing which accommodated other offices.[2]

The building sits on a trapezoidal shape of the lot in between the Legislative and Post Office buildings. Due to the monotony of the building envelope, one cannot distinguish the principal facade from the main entrance properly. The south entrance has a balcony emphasized by three arches resting on Corinthian columns while the north entrance has the same design treatment but has pediments and a tall, hexagonal clock tower capped by a dome.[3]

All the trees inside and around the vicinity of the City Hall were planted by Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing during the early seventies.

Clock Tower[edit]

The clock tower, also designed by Antonio Toledo which was completed during the 1930s is the largest clock tower in the Philippines.[4] It stands out during nighttime when the whole of the tower lights up. Every hour, they rung the bell three times continued by a melody. It has now become the icon for the city of Manila.

Architectural Reviews[edit]

During its heyday, the Manila City Hall was criticized because of monotony, lack of entrances and the clock tower location. But after years of its continued existence, the critics praise the design for its original intent. As other people may view it as a casket when seen from an aerial standpoint, it was intentionally formed to look like a shield of the Knights Templar which symbolized that the country is under the influence and protection of the Roman Catholic Church.

Services[edit]

Manila City Hall during Independence Day
Clock tower as seen from the courtyard

The City Hall is the main administrative building and houses the local government of the city of Manila. The following departments are housed and provide their services from the city hall:

  • General Management
  • Revenue Generation
  • Legal or Public Safety
  • Health
  • Infrastructure and Sanitation
  • Public Welfare Service
  • Education
  • Media Bureau
  • Electronic Data Processing Team
  • Emergency Team
  • Police Assistance

The City Hall is open to the public from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday.[1]

Events[edit]

On April 15, 2009, authorities reported a possible bomb threat over the city hall which lead to maximizing the security in the complex. It was later declared as a hoax by Mayor Alfredo Lim.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Manila City Hall". Manila, Philippines. Yahoo! Travel. Retrieved 2009-06-27. 
  2. ^ a b c de la Torre, Visitacion (1981). Landmarks of Manila: 1571-1930. Makati: Filipinas Foundation, Inc. pp. 19–20. 
  3. ^ Lico, Gerard (2008). Arkitekturang Filipino: A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Philippines. Quezon City: The University of the Philippines Press. p. 291. ISBN 978-971-542-579-7. 
  4. ^ "Historical Landmarks: Manila City Hall". Manila..gov.ph. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ Dedace, Sophia (15-04-09). "Security tight at Manila City Hall over 'bomb threat'". Manila, Philippines: GMA Network. GMA News. Retrieved 9 August 2009. "Police on Wednesday morning tightened security at the Manila City Hall after an informant reported to authorities a supposed threat to bomb the city hall" 

External links[edit]