Iloilo Provincial Capitol Restored

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It’s great news that the Province of Iloilo is restoring its lovely old provincial capitol building.  In our few years here, Iloilo has lost so many landmarks so it’s very welcome news that this one will be saved.

Iloilo Provincial Capitol pre-restoration.

In this photo you can see that the building has retains its fundamental architectural integrity,  but there are some modern alterations such as the curved porticoes over the front entrances.  These are being removed.

Workers removing porticoes

Later additions removed to allow restoration.

Of course it’s a big controversy among academic heritage preservation scholars as to whether it’s better to RESTORE buildings to their original appearance or to PRESERVE later alterations because they are said to be just as important heritage as is the original design.  The changes are a record of the changing needs, tastes, economic environment and architectural and construction trends prevailing during the entire history of the building.  Preservationists feel that removing later additions scrapes away some of the meaning of the building.   Bob was involved in a restoration versus preservation debate in Essex, New York.

With so many heritage buildings at risk of demolition in Iloilo it’s just great news that the building will be saved and reused.

We’re curious about the history of the building.  There are on-line references to an earlier Spanish stone structure.  To us the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Building looks like a classic , solid “Commonwealth” era building of the type built by the Americans all over the Philippines as provincial capitols an municipal halls.  My guess is that it was built between 1910 and 1930.   We like that the Iloilo Capitol incorporates references to Filipino traditional architecture (as does the old Guimbal Municipal Hall)  rather than the heavily classical design of buildings such as the Negros Oriental Capitol in Dumaguete shown below.


Guimbal Municipal Hall

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