Thursday, 10 May 2012

Old GSIS Building

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Everyday in the city of Manila, historians and heritage activists face their share of problems, like when a heritage building is being demolished, when people forget that there is a hero to be celebrated and when elections are just around the corner. So we rush to hold on to what really matters before it is too late.

The classic streamline modern GSIS Building designed by Federico Illustre, was built between 1952 and 1954 and there are rumors that it is up for demolition, rumor has it that the Old GSIS Building will be demolished to give way to the Supreme Court's Hall of Justice because they had swapped it with the now demolished Jai Alai Building. There are other rumors that it will be converted into SM ANNEX Manila. The Manila City Hall has allegedly given its "OK. " signal to demolish such structure. According to the Heritage Law it is a crime to demolish structures that are more than 50 years without the consent of the NCCA.

This year we have already lost two heritage buildings, The Laperal Apartments and the Old Meralco Building and according to Ivan Henares, we have already lost a lot of heritage buildings because of the SM Corporation such as, the YMCA (now SM Manila), Pines Hotel (now SM Baguio), San Lazaro Hippodrome (SM San Lazaro) and the Benguet Building in Ortigas. SAVE OUR HERITAGE BUILDINGS.


  1. Old GSIS building built between 1952-54 old structure was the former government building is now obsolete to be torn down make its way to become a shopping mall complex soon also Jai Alai Building also torn down nearly 15 years ago soon to become a shopping complex too
    and all heritage sites from the past should kept for posterity as part of Philippine history.Thanks for the information. From Wayne

  2. There are plans to put up a tower on the building, therefore turning the old GSIS building into a podium. I wish they just build a tower beside it instead of on it. They could gut out the mid-century modern interiors if they build a tower on it.. Federico Ilustre was Chief Architect of DPWH in the 50s, designing DA, DPWH and NHA buildings so current people at government should have some at least some decent respect when dealing with this building.