A look back at century-old French building to be torn down in Saigon

By Quynh Tran   May 6, 2018 | 02:47 pm GMT+7

The 130-year-old building faces demolition to make way for the city's admin center expansion.

The architectural gem was built by the French in the 1860s, upgraded in 1890, and experienced the ups and downs of Saigons transformation and development.

The architectural gem was built by the French in the 1860s, and has experienced the ups and downs of Saigon’s transformation and development.

The landmark retains many of its original features, with a red tile roof and ventilation dusts on top.

The landmark retains many of its original features, with a red tile roof and ventilation ducts on top.

It was used for the management and operations of all  civil and judicial activities during colonial times that old-timers  called it Thuong Tho Palace.

It was used for the management and operations of all civil and judicial activities during colonial times. The old-timers called it Thuong Tho Palace.

Currently, the building at 59-61 Ly Tu  Trong Street in District 1 serves as the headquarters of the citys  Department of Information and Communications.

Currently, the building at 59-61 Ly Tu Trong Street in District 1 serves as the headquarters of the city’s Department of Information and Communications.

However, the old building is on the verge of  demolition to make room for a proposed expansion plan for the citys  Peoples Committee headquarters, which sparked strong opposition from  seasoned architects and the nostalgic public.

However, the old building is on the verge of demolition to make room for a proposed expansion plan for the city’s People’s Committee headquarters, which has sparked strong opposition from seasoned architects and the nostalgic public.

The corridor of the house was designed with four-light  windows in harmony with French style to prevent from noise and natural  impacts.

The corridor has four windows in harmony with the French style.

Inside the house, there are four wooden staircases leading to the upper floor. The building was featured in The Quiet American  (1958), a movie adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by  British novelist Graham Greene.

The building was featured in “The Quiet American " (1958), a movie adapted from the best-selling novel of the same name by British novelist Graham Greene.

After more than one century, parts of the building  have been deteriorating, prompting the city government to endorse a plan  for destruction to give space for a bigger administrative center.

Over more than one century, parts of the building have deteriorated, prompting the city to endorse the plan to replace it with a bigger administrative center.

It is the second oldest landmark in Saigon, after a  228-year-old house that belonged to Bishop Ba Da Loc, according to  Saigon historian Tim Doling.

It is the second oldest landmark in Saigon, after a 228-year-old house that belonged to Bishop Ba Da Loc, according to Saigon historian Tim Doling.

 
 
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