Friday, January 11, 2008
CALVO BUILDING (ESCOLTA SERIES)
You cannot miss it especially at night. It's the only well-lighted building along the Muelle del Banco Nacional and one of the busiest along Escolta. Among the historic buildings on this street, it is also one of most well-preserved (although I heard an elevator is still manually operated with sliding gates for doors. Cool!). Home to the Escolta Museum (more on this in another entry), it is also home to a well-known drugstore and a restaurant (Wah Yuen) on its ground floor.
In 1950, the Calvo building was home to the studios and corporate offices of the Loreto de F. Hemedes, Inc., later renamed Republic Broadcasting System. Robert “Bob” Stewart of the Uncle Bob fame sent the first signals of radio station dzBB from a makeshift studio on its 4th floor. Seven years after in 1957, that company moved to its current location along EDSA in Quezon City and is now more known as GMA 7 - the Kapuso network.
The beaux-arts architectural style is very obvious on the Calvo. Although its facade is practically wrapped by electrical and phone wires (aaargh!), the beauty of its design - garlands, wreaths, figure sculptures, crests and cornices still stand out.
The Calvo was built in 1933. May the sun never set on its beauty.