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American Colonial Era

1902- Americans introduced the use of the toilet via pail conservancy system or cubeta in Manila.
1908 the concept of a well-planned neighborhood called Sanitary Barrio was introduced and led to tsalet a
suburban house or a simple, respectable house for those moving up to the middle class.
1902, Judge William Howard Taft was appointed to head the Philippine Commission to evaluate the needs of
the new territory. Taft, who later became the Philippines' first civilian Governor-General, decided that Manila,
the capital, should be a planned town. He hired as his architect and city planner Daniel Hudson Burnham.
In Manila, Mr. Burnham had in mind a long wide, tree-lined boulevard along the bay, beginning at a park
area dominated by a magnificent hotel. To design, what is now known as, the Manila Hotel Taft hired
William E. Parsons, a New York architect, who envisioned an impressive, but comfortable hotel, along the
lines of a California mission, but grander.
The original design was an H-shaped plan that focused on well-ventilated rooms on two wings, providing
grand vistas of the harbor, the Luneta, and Intramuros. The top floor was, in fact, a large viewing deck that was
used for various functions, including watching the American navy steam into the harbor.
Daniel H. Burnham, the father of the City Beautiful movement, was commissioned to design master plans for
Manila and Baguio. Burnham endorsed the appointment of Beaux Arts-trained William Parsons as Consulting
Architect (1905-1914) whose contribution to local architecture includes;
Beaux-Arts style
In French, the term beaux arts means fine arts or beautiful arts.
Based on ideas taught at the legendary Lcole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, (the French national school of
architecture) the Beaux Arts style flourished between 1885 and 1920.
Beaux Arts buildings have many of these features:
Massive and grandiose
Constructed with stone
Lavish decorations: swags, medallions, flowers, and shields
Grand stairway
Large arches
Symmetrical faade
American architects Edgar K. Bourne and William E. Parsons steered Philippine architecture to the protomodernist route. Their works were characterized by unembellished facades with large windows.
Bureau of Science and Insular Laboratory, Manila
Army & Navy Club Manila
Manila Hotel
Buildings that define the pre-war skyline of Manila
El Hogar Filipino Building
- also known simply as El Hogar, is an early skyscraper in Manila, Philippines.
- Built in 1914, El Hogar Building was designed by Ramon Irureta-Goyena and Francisco PerezMuoz in the Beaux-Arts style.
- Its architecture reflects elements of Neoclassical and Renaissance styles.
- El Hogar Building was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel de Ayala family (a clan of
Filipino business family of German-Spanish ancestry) daughter and a Peruvian count back in
- It survived World War II and a number of earthquakes and is one of two remaining American-era
structures in the area facing the Pasig River.
- The value of the building is its architecture, which is a representation of American period design,
materials, and construction method.
- El Hogar is a representation of the architecture of business establishments of that era.
- Physical descriptions
- Embellished with a Beaux- Arts style of architecture that is prominent on the ornamentation and
details of the building.
- Various columns and capitals used were of conformity with the dominating styles that of Doric, and
Corinthian orders.
- The ornamentation is well defined through its balusters, newel post, windows, railings and the like

Hard wood were employed as stair and window materials

metal framings and railings were ornate enough to put detail on the solid concrete facade of the
- The building already used an elevator, and acquiring such can be very expensive during that time.
- Fleur de Lis patterns were used in almost all parts of the building,
- The atrium allowing cool air and indirect light enter the premises, which are considered as tropical
- Glass is also another material believed to be introduced during these times.
- Roofing materials used Galvanized Iron sheets
Filipinas Insurance Company Building
- Past the residential area of mansions and chalets in the Malate-Ermita area, the government center
clustered around Intramuros and alongside Taft Avenue, up the Jones Bridge with the Post Office on
Plaza Lawton to the right, and down the bridge at Plaza Moraga, was the quaint Filipinas Insurance
Co. Building. This was the decade of the Twenties,
Hongkong Shanghai Bank Building
- Built in 1921 by American businessman Oscar Campbell.
- designed by American architect GH Hayward
- Standing on a 10,706 sq. meter lot with five storeys of structural steel encased in concrete.
- treasury vaults had enclosing walls of 40 inches, including armored walls 20 inches thick and
reinforced with two networks of twisted steel bars
- The ground floor ceiling was 23 ft high, and the upper floor's ceiling sixteen feet high.
Mariano Uy Chaco Building
- Located in Plaza Cervantes in Binondo, built in 1914 by Architect Samuel Rowell.
- It survived the war and was bought by the Philtrust Bank.
- Only the ground floor is serviceable as of this time and since the building was 98 years old, its
upper floors are falling apart inside.
Luneta Hotel
- Designed by Spanish architect Salvador Farre, the Luneta Hotel on Kalaw Avenue was built in
- The six-storey building towered at an undefined T.M. Kalaw street upon its completion.
- It faced an unfenced Bermuda plane of the Luneta.
- Its neighbors were blocks of "stone houses" (bahay na bato) and "storerooms" (bodegas). It stood
out because of its distinct architectural style. It symbolized the new influence that the Americans
brought to the country.
- The structure is the only remaining example of French Renaissance architecture with Filipino
stylized beaux arts in the Philippines to date. After being closed down and abandoned in 1987, the
hotel was relaunched in May 2014 with the installation of a historical marker by the National
Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Kahn System
- The Trussed Concrete Steel Company was a company founded by Julius Kahn, an engineer and
- The company manufactured prefabricated products for reinforced concrete beams and steel forms for
building reinforced concrete floors and walls.
- Kahn invented and patented a unique new technology reinforcement system of construction
called the Kahn System that was stronger, more economical, and lighter than the existing old school
technology used up to that point to construct buildings.
- The old method was to use plain straight smooth steel beams or loose rods or stirrups in concrete
beams and floors.
The birth of the 1st Generation of Filipino architects who were sponsored by colonial officials to study
architecture and Engineering in the US. Together with the maestros de obras like Arcadio Arellano and
Tomas Arguelles, they combined Beaux Arts elements - aesthetic proportions, optical corrections- with the
influence of modernism and the concepts of utility and honesty of architecture.

Arcadio Arellano
- was a notable architect who was considered a pioneer during his time. He built famous edifices and
the residential buildings of the elite. In all his works, he departed from American and European
designs and instead incorporated Filipino native plants and motifs.

Arellano also supervised the assessments in Intramuros, Manila as ordered by the Schurman
Commission. By 1901, he became technical director of general assessment for the whole city. He
was also able to work closely with Governor William H. Taft as his private consulting architect.
- From February 15, 1907 to July 1, 1908, he served on the board of advisers of the city of Manila.
- On May 8, 1909, he was named to the municipal board, serving only until the years end. He was
appointed board member anew on October 18, 1913, and served for two years.
- He resigned on May 6, 1915, but five months later, on October 8, the government hired his services
once again. This time he was asked to design the memorial for the veterans of the 1896
Revolution. He worked in the government until October 7, 1916.
- He pioneered in the use of local or native designs as majors themes for his architectural works. As
the first to veer away from European or western architecture, Arellano showed that he was not
lavish, but nationalistic. Fabian de la Rosa, the painter cited his efforts in spurring the use of
indigenous architectural concepts
- Among the famous buildings he designed were those of the Gota de Leche and the Casino Espaol.
o Gota de Leche is a foundation started by Trinidad Rizal (sister of Philippine National Hero,
Dr. Jos Rizal) and Concepcion Felix on 1906 that primarily aims to provide nutritional and
medical needs of indigent Filipino mothers and their children. Gota de Leche means "drop of
milk." The foundation continues to deliver daily milk rations to Filipino infants.
o The Casino Espaol de Manila was a club established in 1893 by Spaniards living in
the Philippines as their exclusive venue for recreational and social activities. It later opened its
doors to Filipino members to foster Spanish-Filipino ties in the country
Tomas Fernandez Arguelles
- Born on March 7, 1860, Tomas Arguelles was an eminent architect and surveyor during the later part
of the Spanish regime and the early days of American rule.
- Licensed to practice architecture under the Engineering and Architecture Law of 192, he became a
senior partner in the firm Arguelles and Magsaysay. He later founded a partnership with Fernando
- He was elected fellow of the Philippine Institute of Architecture in 1950 and was a member of the
Board of Directors of the Academia de Architectura y Agrimensura de Filipinas founded in 1902;
the first such organization in the Philippines.
o Academia de Architectura y Agrimensura de Filipinas is a professional organization
merging the practitioners of architecture, civil engineering and surveying. This
organization was later renamed Academia de Ingenieria, Arquitectura y Agrimensura de
- Heacock Building
o The Heacock's Department store, considered during the prewar years as the largest in the
Philippines, began in 1900 when H.E. Heacock and B.W. Freer opened a jewelry store in
Manila at the old McCullough Building near the Santa Cruz Bridge. It dealt with retail and
wholesale trade of Elgin watches, International Silver, Rogers Flatware, Gorham's Silverware
and other lines of jewelry and silverware manufactured in the United States.

2nd Generation of Architects

Andres Luna de San Pedro
- He studied Arts in Paris where he got his diploma in 1911 and went on to study Architecture and
finished in 1918.
- Upon his return to Manila, the city government appointed him the chief Architect, a position he held
from 1920 to 1924
- The designs of Luna de San Pedro were either modernist or revivalistic of style. Many of his
modernist buildings are lost in the Second World War.
- In the 1920s, he became obsessed with the design and construction of a glass palace to be called the
Crystal Arcade, inaugurated on June 1, 1932.
- The Crystal Arcade was literally a crystal building in graceful art deco lines, very fancy for Manila
of the 1930s.It is a building with shops and offices.
- The Crystal Arcade appeared as both a magnificent monument to and spectacular site for
consumption. Andres envisioned it as a grand commercial center. It emerged as Manilas first
shopping mall that featured a walkway lead-in to the glass-walled shops on the first floor.
Fernando Hizon Ocampo
- One of Manila's renowned architects, Ocampo was educated at the
o Ateneo de Manila-1914;
o University of Santo Tomas- Civil Engineering, 1919

o University of Pennsylvania-Bachelor of Architecture, 1921.

- Returning to Manila he was for four years an assistant architect in the Bureau of Public Works. In
1927 he became associated with architect Tomas Arguelles and established Arguelles and Ocampo,
- Many of Manila's finest business buildings and residences attest to Ocampo's ability as an architect
and engineer. Among these are the:
- Architectural works
o Calvo Building at Escolta
o Manila Cathedral
o UST Central Seminary Building
Pablo Sebero Antonio
- A pioneer of modern Philippine architecture, he was recognized in some quarters as the foremost
Filipino modernist architect of his time.
- He was orphaned by the age of 12, and had to work in the daytime in order to finish his high school
education at night. He studied architecture at the Mapua Institute of Technology but dropped out of
- Ramon Arevalo, the engineer in charge of the Legislative Building project, funded Antonio's
education at the University of London. He completed a five-year architecture course in three years,
graduating in 1927
- His work caught the eye of the founder of the Far Eastern University in Manila, Nicanor Reyes, Sr.,
who was looking to build a school campus that was modern in style. Between 1938 to 1950, he
designed several buildings on the university campus in the Art Deco style.
- The FEU campus is considered as the largest ensemble of surviving Art Deco architecture in
Manila, and in 2005, it received an Honorable Mention citation from the UNESCO for the body's
2005 Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.
- Notable Works:
o FEU campus
o White Cross Orphanage
o Lyric Theater (could occupy 1600 seats)
- Antonio's architecture and its adoption of Art Deco techniques was radical for its day, neoclassicism
being the dominant motif of Philippine architecture when he began his career. His style was noted
for its simplicity and clean structural design. He was cited for taking Philippine architecture into a
new direction, with "clean lines, plain surfaces, and bold rectangular masses." Antonio strove to
make each building unique, avoiding obvious trademarks
- National Artist of the Philippines in 1976, he was only the second architect so honored, after his
contemporary, Juan Nakpil.
Juan F. Nakpil
- was an architect, teacher and a community leader. In 1973, he was named one of the National
Artists for architecture, tapped as the Dean of Filipino Architects and innovator in Philippine
- While mindful of contemporary design, Nakpil has always advocated a distinctive architecture
reflective of Philippine traditions and culture.
- His firm, Juan F. Nakpil and Sons, is indicative of the creative Filipino family guided by a strong
sense of cultural nationalism and generous participation in helping build an environment that is
native to the temperament of the people, but at the same time embracing the demands of change
from the rural to the urban way of life.
- Pursuant to Proclamation No. 1144,dated 15 May 1973, and in recognition of his rare excellence and
significant contribution to architecture, Juan F. Nakpil is conferred on June 12, 1973,
Independence Day, as National Artist.
- Notable Works:
o University of the Philippines Administration & Library
o Captain Pepe Building
o Capitol Theater (could occupy 800 seats)

What is ART DECO?
- A popular, international art movement during the 20s and 30s
- Affected all decorative arts including architecture, interior design, industrial design, as well as
visual arts such as fashion, painting, graphic arts, and film.

The name came from the 1925 Exposition International des arts decoratifs industriels et moderne,
held in Paris which celebrated living in the modern world.
- Art Decos ultimate aim was to end the old conflict between art and industry, the old snobbish
distinction between artist and artisan, partly by making artists adept at crafts, but still more by
adapting design to requirements of mass- production. -Bevis Hillier
- Frank Lloyd Wright designed Midway gardens, a sprawling Chicago entertainment complex that
provide the public with handsome space for numerous activities, including dining dancing and
listening music. This architecture can be seen as the precursors for art deco.
- Modernism- vertical emphasis Setbacks emphasizing the geometric forms
- Cubism- basic geometry shapes
- Neoclassicism- rendering and colours
- Constructivism - overlapping figures
- Art Nouveau - inspiration from nature
- De stilj- concept of lines
- Influences form the past
o The decorative motifs from the ancient near eastern cultures of assyria.
o Egyptian elements such as stylize blossoms scarabs and papyrus leaves and exotic motifs
o African sculpture
o Persian or Moorish details appear on few art deco buildings
The rise of ART DECO
- The Roaring Twenties is a phrase used to describe the 1920s
- The phrase was meant to emphasize the periods social, artistic, and cultural dynamism.
- Normalcy returned to politics in the wake of World war I
- Jazz music blossomed
- The flapper redefined modern womanhood
- Art Deco peaked
- The spirit of the Roaring Twenties was marked by a general feeling of discontinuity associated with
modernity, a break with traditions.
Paris Exposition- 1925
- French artists formed an informal collective known as La Societe des artistes decorateurs
- Founders included Hector Guimard, Eugene grasset, Raoul lachenal, Paul Bellot, Maurice Duferene.
And Emile Decoeur
- They organized the 1925 exposition Internationale des arts decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in
- Art deco was not widelt used until popularized by art historian Bevis Hilliers 1968 book Art Deco
of the 20ss and 30s
Features ART DECO
- Vertical lines, then later a transition to horizontal lines
- Set- back: upper levels of buildings set back in stages from the vertical to allow sun to reach the
sidewalks below- due to New york City zoning laws in the early 1900s
- Different use of materials: combinations of stone, brick, metals ( steel, aluminum, bronze, etc.)
tiles, opaque glass ( Vitrolite), terracotta, etc.
- Geometric ornamentation:
o use of circles, diamonds,
o chevrons,
o Zig-zags,
o triangles,
o pyramids,
o spirals,
o octagons
- Frequently used symbols/motifs: sunbursts: frozen fountain reliefs; plant & animal life; gears;
lightning bolts; relief structures embodying justice, truth, knowledge, industry, labor, mans
strength, work ethic, achievement, commerce and bounty.
- Decorative methods:
o relief scupltures ( in limestone, terracotta, metal (iron & bronze)),
o painted murals,

o tile mosaics,
o decorative metalwork (grills, various covers, railings, door frames),
o flat-against-the wall fluted columns if use.
El Po Building
- It was once a department store for shoes known as the El Porvenier (also known as ELPO). Back in
the 1950's and 1960's, the ELPO used to be the premier brand of rubber shoes in the Philippines.
The PHILTRUST Bank now occupies this building. The French decorative technique was often very
jam-packed and opulent, at times to the verge of horror vacuii, as demonstrated by the ELPO
Building (El Porvenir Rubber Products,Inc., a pioneer rubber shoes and car tire manufacturer in the
Philippines) built in 1933.
Nakpil- Bautista House
The Nakpil-Bautista House ( Bahay Nakpil-Bautista) is one of the old houses found in the area
of Quiapo, Manila. It was built in 1914 by Arcadio Arellano. The two-house originally seats on two
lots, having a total area of 500 square meters. The National Historical Commission of the
Philippines declared the house as a cultural property on August 25, 2011. Today, the house is a
museum showcasing items of the Katipunan, paintings, among others.
- History
o Arcadio Arellano built the house for Dr. Ariston Bautista and his wife, Perona Nakpil, which
survives on 432 Barbosa Street (now A. Bautista Street), Quiapo, two blocks away from the
Enriquez house.[3] Built in 1914, the house is typical of its period: in the lower storey, thin,
narrow, brick walls pressed together by wooden studs; upstairs, rooms aired by large calados
and shaded by sufficient media aguas.
o The lot measures 500 square meters and had 2 storeys, with wood and stone as primary
construction materials.
o The ground floor consists of the:
zaguan (parking area for horse-drawn carriage)
cuarto (bedroom)
Sala (living room)
plateria(area for designing jewelry)
o The upper floor contains the:
ante sala (anteroom)
comedor (dining room),
cocina (kitchen).
o The second floor was built with wood to resist earthquakes.
o The house had two entrances, a street door and a large iron gate, typical of many Manila
houses of the period. The large iron gate leads to the estero behind. The lower story is in the
wood-and-stone style post-1880. Rodrigo Perez III (also known as Dom Bernardo, OSB),
architect and scholar, says that, in many Filipino houses whether in the Cordillera or in the
lowland countryside, space is surrounded by space. In a lecture at Nakpil-Bautista house
in 1999, he showed how Arellanos creation manifests this idea.
o Going up the main stairway the visitor arrives at hall, the caida, with doors on all four sides
leading to the surrounding rooms, the dining room, the living room, and two suites of
bedrooms. Two sets of doors slide Japanese-style to open, vistas extending from street to
- It does not have ornate decorative details. Its inspiration is the Vienna Secession, a style not well
known in the Philippines during this time. Viennese artists of the 1890s reacted to the fashionable
revival of historic styles by creating a style with a contemporary character. The Secession was thus
the same as art nouveau. After Dr. Ariston Bautista and his wife, Petrona Nakpil the painter,
received a gift of Secession furniture, they designed their entire house around the furniture motifs.
Window grilles overlooking the estero have vertical floral stems with flowers sized to small squares,
while grilles facing the street display abstract interpretation of lyres. The upper exterior wall is
simply decorated with a band of square insets. On the tracery of the interior ransom walls are
abstract interpretations of the kiyapo plant.

The upper storey has a museum honouring both the Nakpils and two ancestors who played a role in
the Katipunan, Julio Nakpil and his wife Gregoria de Jesus. After the house was finished, Dr.
Bautista designed new furniture with the same motifs and had them executed by his Pampango
carpenter in residence. The original furniture was divided among the heirs in the 1970s. Some of the
present pieces were commissioned to suit the museums purposes.
Mapua House
- Also called as TOMAS MAPUA MANSION
- Construction
- After Don Tomas Mapua was sent to the United States in 1903-1911 by the Philippine-American
Government to study Architecture in Cornell University, he served in the Bureau of Public Works in
1918-1927. In 1925, he established the Mapa Institute of Technology. The construction of the
mansion was finished in 1930 and according to one of his grandsons, it was a side-by-side project
with his fresh graduate apprentices. The architectural style of the mansion follows the then
trending Art Deco.
o During World War II
When the war broke out in Manila during the Japanese occupation, the Mapa Family
moved, and fortunately the mansion was spared from air raids and landmines.
According to his grandson, it was also used as a Japanese headquarters. During the
Liberation of Manila, the mansion was also spared from the casualties of the war.
o Post War
After the World War II, Don Toms and his family reacquired and reoccupied the
o Present Day Status
To date, the mansion is undergoing restoration works by the Philippine Institute of
Architects and its affiliate organizations. Notably, almost all of the elements and
details of the house are still intact and were the original works of Don Toms. It is
surrounded with flowers and different collection of plants where they feel like they
are living in a year of 50's in the middle of the big city surrounded with modern
Metropolitan Theater
- The Manila Metropolitan Theater (Filipino: Tanghalang Pangkalakhan ng Maynila, or MET) is a
Philippine Art Deco building found at the Mehan Garden located on Padre Burgos Avenue corner
Arroceros Street, near the Manila Central Post Office. It was designed by architect Juan M.
Arellano and inaugurated on December 10, 1931
- The Manila Metropolitan Theater building was designed by the Filipino architect Juan Arellano, who
stated that he drew the plans for the building with the phrase, On Wings of Song, in mind. The
theater was inaugurated on December 10, 1931, with a capacity of 1670 (846 orchestra, 116 in loge,
and 708 in balcony)
- In its heyday, it was the home of operas, the Manila Symphony and a symbol of fine arts and high
society of prewar Manila. The art deco style by Arellano was enhanced by sculptures in the faade of
the theatre by Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti , who lived in Manila from 1930 until his
death in 1958. Highly stylized relief carving of Philippine plants executed by the artist Isabelo
Tampingco decorated the lobby walls and interior surfaces of the building.
- Teatro del Prncipe Alfonso XII was an old theater built in 1862, during the Spanish colonial period.
It was located within Plaza Arroceros, near the present-day Metropolitan Theater. In 1876, the old
theater was burnt down and a Muslim terrorist was accused in the incident.
- It was in 1924, during the American Colonial period that an idea of constructing a theater in Manila
came about. It was approved by the Philippine Legislature to build Senator Alegres theater proposal
within the Mehan Garden (now Sining Kayumanggi). The construction began in 1930 in a 8,239.58
square meters of the park and was inaugurated on December 10, 1931. This new theater housed
different performances from zarzuelas, dramas to translations of foreign classics
- History of Theater
o Juan Arellano, one of the first pensionados in architecture, also known for his other major
projects such as the Legislative Building and Manila Central Post Office Building, designed
the Manila Metropolitan Theater in January 1930. He was sent to the United States to be
guided by one of the experts in designing theaters, Thomas W. Lamb of Shreve and Lamb.
o The theaters roof and walls were partially destroyed during World War II. During the postwar period, it was misused as a boxing arena, low-quality motels, gay bars, basketball court
and home of the squatters. Restoration was done by Otilio, the nephew of Juan Arellano in
1978 This plan was initiated by Imelda Marcos in December 17, 1978 during her rule as the
governor of Metro Manila.

o Its prestige as a cultural center was redeemed but short-lived. It closed down its doors again
in 1996 because of conflict of ownership between the city administration and
the Government Service Insurance System. Then-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and
then-mayor of Manila Alfredo Lim tried to revive the theater on June 23, 2010
o The concept of the theater was explained by Juan Arellano during one of his interviews in
January 1930.
o The Philippines needed a modern cultural center for operas, concerts, and plays, and he
planned to achieve a monumental one through its dimensions, elevations, and splendid
decorations, and through its harmonious liens it would symbolize an organ or a cathedral.
o Arellano was influenced by early Filipino art which uses local motifs and diverse imagery of
Philippine flora. Aside from his knowledge on Filipino art was the factor of economy which
both helped the architect in having a modern design approach to the theater. Meanwhile, the
phrase on wings of song gave the structural configuration, a box-shaped auditorium
flanked by pavilions on both sides. The mix of modernization and romanticization resulted in
A. V. H. Harten drop labeling it as modern expressionism
o The Metropolitan Theater faade resembles a stage being framed by a proscenium-like
central window of stained glass which carries the name Metropolitan with flora and fauna
motif surrounding the label. This helps bring in light to the lobby. It was highlighted on both
ends by the curving walls with colorful decorated tiles in resemblance with the batik patterns
from Southeast Asia. This stained glass facade was commissioned by Kraut Art
Glass established by family patriarch Mr. Mattias Kraut . Kraut company is famous for
their art glasses since 1912 and the proscenium was done by the House of Pre-Cast.
o There are also moldings of zigzag and wavy lines that go with the sponged and painted multicolored massive walls. The wall that framed the stained glass is a segmented arch with rows
of small finials on the upper edge of the wall. Angkor Wat-inspired minarets crown the top of
the concave roof which suggested its status as a theater back in its prime days. Located in the
entrance are elaborate wrought iron gates which are patterned into leaf designs and various
lines. Accenting the ground level are Capiz lamps and banana-leaf formed pillars which go
alternately with the theaters entrances.
o The most striking feature is the great decorative window of translucent glass, brilliantly
lighted at night, which corresponds in shape and size to the proscenium opening within
the theater. The facade definitely suggests a place of music, with its rounded upper outline
broken by many light vertical elements and slender pinnacles or finals.
o The courtyards on both sides of the auditorium, with their flagstone paths, grass, flowers, and
statuary, are most intimate and pleasing, and lead to the ball room, the restaurant, and the bar.
Off the main building, wings were set aside for offices and shops to subsidize additional
o The tiara domed with stylized minarets, sensuous female figures in exotic drapes, an exterior
with whimsical rope designs, friezes and curly cues, the clashing ethnic -like chimeras and
asparagus turrets, the total effect of the architecture is totally different from the other colonial
buildings. The building is of an art deco style presenting a symmetry of structure and
geometry, full of basic shapes like arc, squares, triangles, rectangles and straight lines.
o During the Japanese occupation, many theaters in Manila closed down but the Met
continued to be the center of cultural entertainment. Badly damaged during World War II,
the theater became an ice cream parlor, boxing arena , garage, motel , gay club and
eventually a squatter colony of about 50 to 70 families. Although the designs and plans of the
Metropolitan Theater Manila were burned and destroyed during the World War II , the former
First Lady Imelda Marcos had it restored in 1978 to its former beauty however it never
regained its former glory