National Museum – National Art Gallery

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P. Burgos Drive, Rizal Park
City of Manila
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14.586904°N 120.981202°E

The National Museum of the Philippines is the official repository established in 1901 as a natural history and ethnography museum of the Philippines. It is located next to Rizal Park and near Intramuros in Manila. Its main building was designed in 1918 by an American architect Daniel Burnham. Today, that building, the former home of the Congress of the Philippines, holds the National Art Gallery, natural sciences and other support divisions.

The adjacent building in the Agrifina Circle of Rizal Park, formerly housing the Department of Finance, houses the Anthropology and Archaeology Divisions and is known as the Museum of the Filipino People. –

The building was originally designed as the public library by Ralph Harrington Doane, the American consulting architect of the Bureau of Public Works, and his assistant Antonio Toledo. Construction began in 1918 but was suspended several times because of lack of funds. When it was decided that the building should be used by the Legislature, the revisions of the plans was entrusted to Juan Arellano, then supervising architect of the Bureau. The building was inaugurated on 16 July 1926, and by then had cost four million pesos.

The building was part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for the development of Manila. Upon its completion, the second, third, and fourth floors were occupied by the Senate and House of Representatives while the ground floor was occupied by the National Library.

The 1934 Constitutional Convention was held in this building. On its front steps Manuel L. Quezon was sworn in as President of the Commonwealth. The Legislative Building was a casualty during the bombing and shelling of Manila in 1945. It was reconstructed in 1946 following the original plans but with some revisions, such as the replacement of flat pilasters of the stately rounded engaged columns. In mid-1996, the Senate of the Philippines moved out of the building. In 2003, renovation started to transform it into National Art Gallery of the national Museum. –


Posted: September 21, 2012

Author: pamana360

Category: Museums, National Historical Landmarks

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