By: Paolo M. Bustamante
When Malls started booming in the 90’s, retail shops and small stores started closing simply because they cannot keep up with the big malls such as SM and Robinsons. I mean let’s be practical, would you rather go shopping in an air-conditioned building wherein everything is there? Or would you rather go shopping in the streets/in an open air space where air-pollution is everywhere.
Before, Escolta was like the Makati of Manila wherein high-class stores and shops are along the streets like the Hermes store in Greenbelt 3. In Manila, we have The Heakocks & the Syvel’s Department Store in Escolta and the Aguinaldo Department Store in Juan Luna Street. The Syvel’s and the Aguinaldo Department Store are still standing but are now closed.
The five-storey Gonzalo Puyat building also known as the Syvel’s Building was built by National Artist for architecture, Leandro Locsin in late 1960’s. His vision was to build a bahay-na-bato like structure with hints of international style. Now, the Syvel's Building is closed and abandoned.