Showing posts with label Adaptive reuse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adaptive reuse. Show all posts

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Adaptive Reuse of Silay's Ancestral Houses

Silay City is full of heritage houses but most of them are still residential homes, lived in by the descendants of the original owners or bought by others who continue to live in them. There are few however that have been converted to museums or offices.  This action is called adaptive reuse, referring to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for.

Among the first of those ancestral houses for adaptive reuse was that of Maria Ledesma Golez which was bought by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation or RCBC in 1992. I remember attending birthday parties in this house, going up the stairs at the left anterior part of the building.  In fact, I have some memory of the living quarters upstairs and I still have a picture of myself at the age of 5 or 6 years at their balcony.  The first floor used to be a soda fountain where they sold really good siopao.  RCBC remodeled the interiors of the first floor into their Silay branch while the second floor is used as a storage area.  The exteriors have been preserved well.

The next two ancestral houses were bought by the Silay City government and converted into offices. These are the Angel Araneta Ledesma Ancestral House which is used as the Arts and Culture Office of the city and the Armin Jalandoni Ancestral House which is now the Sangguniang Panglungsod building. These are both found in Plaridel Street, where I and my cousins would stroll on weekend afternoons.  This street has been  renamed to Generoso Gamboa Street.  

Another heritage structure that has been converted is the Lope Severino Building which is now owned by two separate individuals. The left wing of the building was bought by an Indian businessman while the right wing was bought by the Baldevia family. Both owners converted their properties for commercial use.  The second floor of the Baldevia side is a pension house with function rooms available for rent while the other side is rented by a religious group.

A few old buildings that were dilapidated or structurally unsafe were completely rebuilt like the Cine Silay now known as the Jison Building and the North Elementary School Gabaldon building.  In the past Silay's main street was lined with beautiful buildings.  They were used as commercial areas in the first level and residential areas in the second.  Many of these buildings are still there, having withstood the test of time with new owners and a new life.  But there were a few which were burned to the ground in the late 60's or early 70's and nobody will remember them...like the other Severino house fronting that of the Lope Severino building, the Hofileña building besides it (now with a new building rented by Mang Inasal), the house of the Lecaros family where Rising Drugstore used to be and one that I vaguely remember, the building besides The Bernardino Jalandoni house which their family also owned.  

I hope that when architects are hired to plan for new buildings in Silay, they will always consider the aesthetics of a heritage city in mind. They can create modern day structures without sacrificing the old world charm of Silay.

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I am a member of the working class, first and foremost: a daughter, a mom, an auntie, a sister, a physician, a caregiver, the family driver and troubleshooter, house princess, devoted nurturer, concerned meddler, accidental blogger etc. I am not religious but I am a true Roman Catholic. I have great faith and trust in God's love and mercy.

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