The Manila City Hall at night. © Panoramio/jsantiago
Civic and government edifices built during the American occupation would always stand out, as it reminds us of the importance of these institutions. The Manila City Hall is one of the key government buildings constructed in American Manila.
The Manila City Hall during the Japanese occupation, circa 1942. Photo taken from the walled city of Intramuros. © Flickr/Beyond Forgetting
The Manila City Hall during its construction stage, taken from the Legislative Building along P. Burgos Drive. © Manila Nostalgia/Ingrid Donahue via Lou Gopal
The Manila City Hall was designed by architect Antonio Toledo and was built in 1939. The city hall is adorned by a hexagonal tower with three clocks on three of its facets. After its completion, the building received negative reviews for its lack of aesthetics, lack of entrances and how the clock tower was placed.
The elevation plan for the Manila City Hall's iconic clocktower. © Arkitekturang Filipino
The City Hall's courtyard during the Japanese occupation, circa 1942. © LIFE via Arkitekturang Filipino
Sadly, the City Hall was not spared from the ravages of war. During the Battle of Manila, the city hall was heavily damaged from shelling.
The shelled city hall viewed from Burgos Drive. © Skyscrapercity.com
The city hall after the Battle of Manila in 1945. © Flickr/ Beyond Forgetting
Manila City Hall's tower bombed out by artillery shells during the dying days of the war in the capital. © Tumblr/MLQ3
After the war, the city hall was rebuilt through the War Reparations program of the United States and was criticized due to the shape of its floor plan which looked like a coffin or a shield of the Knights Templar. According to urban legends, it was made to look like a coffin to pay homage to those who died during the Battle of Manila.
The city hall's clocktower as viewed from the courtyard. © L' Heure Bleue
The courtyard. © Senor Enrique