Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Recalling the pasts...of our Industrial Architecture and heritage

Recalling the pasts...
of our Industrial Architecture and heritage

Royal Softdrinks plant during World War II

Well, in fact, this writeup is supposedly made last week on the day this writer went to Echague and sought the old Magnolia ice cream plant. And somehow it is quite reminiscing to see such edifices that perhaps old men ought to understand the classy appearance only to be demolished in pursuit of progress and development.

In fact, the old concrete edifices of San Miguel Brewery shown in these pictures captures the writer's imagination that made the latter think those edifices are somewhat a marriage of civic and industrial architecture, basing on the exterior design and the appearance that some people mistaken it for a campus, office building or a government centre. This writer also drew a scene wherein includes a building based from one of the old San Miguel's edifices.

Strange that even this writer drew something.
Somewhat basing much on this.
Not noticing how important those buildings especially its architectural appearance aside from being remembered as a factory that produced beer, softdrink, ice cream that carries the muy leal Escudo symbol; to think that one of the buildings end up a part of Malacanang for administrative purposes.

The old San Miguel Brewery 
The only remainder of the old San Miguel Brewery buildings
as part of the Malacanang  palace complex
Well, most of the buildings are built during the early days of the American regime; and it carries a neoclassical elegance that often featured in European factories made in the late 19th century. Quite nice though as too see that made Quezon wanting to bought the entire lot, realized by the Marcoses and renovated during the Aquino regime as the "New Administrative Building" despite its controversy involving the enormous amount of money used in spending for rehabilitation.

But still, despite the acquisition and used for development of the complex, some are rather demolished especially the original complex despite its architectural grandeur that perhaps may likely to be given role as offices or something, yet end up became a carpark instead leaving the old administration building as its remainder.

Quite strange though for this writer to made a writeup about San Miguel's old neoclassical industrial architecture that mirrors those from the U.S. and Europe, knowing that in pursuit of modernizing itself as a growing business entity, requiring to replace old, dilapidated wooden edifices with those of stone and concrete with a design that captures both simplicity yet grandeur as "temples of industry"; secondly, how come this writer wrote about old factories? Anyways, it's all about architectural history and ComeporAntiquated heritage as well.

However, not all "old" industrial edifices aren't limited to those from San Miguel's very own factories in Manila, as well as San Miguel itself.

Building of the Japanese-controlled Balintawak Beer Brewery Inc.
Under American control then eventually sequestered by San Miguel Brewery as the "Polo Brewery."
This picture shot during the "Liberation" was the old Balintawak Beer Brewery in Valenzuela, then a part of Bulacan. Known as San Miguel's rival in the beer industry, BBB was also known for being pro-Japanese with its investors coming from "the land of the rising sun." As noticed, the edifice was somehow quite similar to San Miguel's but contemporary unlike the near-classical appearance of the other that would mistaken for what this writer said earlier. After all, they've been built before the war, or rather say before the Commonwealth.

And speaking of industrial edifices made before, whether pre-war or post war, this writer tends to revisit thinking how these edifices should be consider as a legacy of attempts to create a nation that is, progressive in the dreams and aspirations of many; also to think that as most edifices of industry end up left rot and demolished in favor of commercial ones such those from Pasig, made this writer quite lamenting to see old edifices paved way to new ones with different use such as commercial.

Flour silo of Wellington Flour Mills
Flour silo of Morning Star Mills, also used as a billboard
Another old Flour silo in Pasig
This writer perhaps tend to revisit a heritage that few ought to think upon much, yes these are seen as dirty, as strange, but these edifices, in all of its modernity in pursuit of an attempt to stimulate industrialization the Philippines years before these are indeed monuments to thine legacy that is ought to be recognize as such as heritage. 

According to what this writer said months before:

"...dreams of massive National development continues to inspire everyone's mindset, in other words creeping over despite system's means to reinterpret (like favoring tourism over industrialization) the idea of it. But also to think that efforts in undermining Industrialization continues to prevail, this writer would say that it underestimates total National Development through Agricultural and Economic reforms such as these edifices of progress that would utilize labour and material to provide everyone's need." 

Unless there are others who are willing to save for the sake of preserving heritage other than churches and hispanic-era houses and commercial establishments, thinking how Pillsbury's plant in Michigan end up as a museum.

"Then what about us?"