If you’re coming from Santa Cruz making your way to Calle Escolta, you can never miss the sight of these two buildings that will welcome you to this historic street from the foot of the bridge crossing the Estero de la Reina. Sharing some common architectural features and a heritage of an American colonial past, these buildings were, and still are, the prominent addresses to be in this historic street. Today, we shall check out these twin sentinels and learn more about them in this entry.
At the height of the glory days of downtown Manila, movie theaters were sprouting not only along Rizal Avenue but also in nearby streets as well in the downtown area as a whole.
One such street, Florentino Torres, which ran perpendicular to Rizal Avenue was once home to two prominent movie theaters, the Deluxe and Republic theaters. Republic was no longer standing by the 1990s as a commercial building that bears its name stands today. Deluxe, which was a landmark in itself in its twilight years thanks in part to its proximity to Ambos Mundos Restaurant, was gone during the mid-2000s and a modern-looking commercial building now stands in its place as well.
Long before Makati’s Ayala Avenue, Manila’s premier street business for any business or commercial establishment would be that one street in Manila’s Binondo district known as Escolta.
From the late 19th century to the 1960’s, Escolta was a thriving street of trade and commerce. At its height in the 1930’s the whole street was lined with elegant buildings from end to end, most of them sporting classy architecture that dominated and beautified Manila’s skyline. One of those buildings that rose during that period was a little building near the corner of Escolta and Calle Soda called the Calvo Building. (or to the Hispanics like the Calvo family who had it built, Edificio Calvo)