It’s a declared National Historical Landmark—are they allowed to do that?
This is the question concerned citizens have asked through the Heritage Conservation Society when Nina Lim Yuson of Museo Pambata posted to Facebook a photo of the Army and Navy Club building that looked like it was being demolished.
“We have raised these concerns with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the government agency responsible for the protection of the building, and are monitoring the developments,” according to Ivan Henares, Heritage Conservation Society president, in a personal statement released to Coconuts Manila.
“The NHCP has answered that it has ‘no objection to the dismantling of two ancillary buildings (not original components) of the Army and Navy Club, which are in an advanced state of deterioration,’
“They added that the the developer, Oceanville Hotel and Spa Corporation, is said to be presenting the final restoration and development plan of the Army and Navy Club done by Palafox and Associates as soon as AMH Engineering Consultant finalizes the Detailed Engineering Studies.”
The Army and Navy Club was established in in 1910 along with the Manila Elks Lodge. “Together, the two magnificent clubs formed the heart of American business providing social and commercial links in the Philippines that led the fledgling country through the great growth years,” according to to ManilaElks.org.
“Both structures were designed by William Parsons, the architect handpicked by Daniel Burnham to implement the Manila master plan,” writes Paulo Alcazaren on Philstar.com.
“The two structures were similar in form, plan and massing. Both had three stories in a block plan with two wings. Both had courtyards behind the main front block. Both originally had open decks on the top story. This was to allow for the magnificent views of the bay. The difference between the two was mainly that the Elks Club faced Dewey (later Roxas) Boulevard; the Army & Navy Club faced the open field across from the Manila Hotel,” according to Alcazaren.
The original buildings were destroyed during the war, rebuilt in 1949 and used for other purposes in the 1990s. At some point, the old tennis court was leased to a seafood restaurant.
What will it be turned into now?
Photo via Facebook (Nina Lim Yuson)