HomeManilavol. 3 no. 1 (2007)

Binondo in the Twentieth Century, 1900-1940

Lorelei D.C De Viana

Discipline: History



This paper attempts to present the architecture prevalent in Binondo during the years of American colonial rule until just before the outbreak of the Second World War. This study will try to determine the dominant architectural typologies during the years 1900 to 1940 and the reasons for their emergence. With extant structures from Binondo’s belle époque years still around, this study hopes to generate greater appreciation for these structures, the rich history that they represent and the architectural heritage that is ours to protect and preserve.


This will basically be a survey of structures that were built in Binondo during the specific time frame mentioned, with the hope to provide a glimpse of what the district was like during the American colonial years—a busy thriving business center, an attribute which had persisted since way back from Spanish colonial times. Binondo would continue its dominance as the hub of commerce and trade in Manila and in the country, burgeoning with entrepreneurs, traders and cosmopolites and filled in with new concrete buildings designed along the latest architectural fads or styles, from the Beaux Arts style to Art Deco.