Back when the Philippines was still a colony of the United States, Manila was a city fantasized by travellers. It was a bustling city of elegance and grandeur, very much ahead of its Asian neighbors. So to make Manila as the United States’ trophy colony, it planned to turn it even more beautiful.
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila and the SM Supermalls present City Beautiful: The Burnham Plan for Manila’s Urban Development, an exhibit of vintage photos and plans of Daniel Burnham for Manila.
Daniel Burnham is a renowned urdan planner who also designed Washington D.C. and Canberra, Australia’s capital. He was tasked to make a plan for Manila, then eyed to be the most beautiful city in Asia. Much of Burnham’s plan for Manila is patterned over Washington D.C. where there is a massive placement of web-like pattern of roadways. Luneta was also designed to look like Washinton D.C.’s Mall, although only a few government buildings were actually built.
Quezon City (part of Metropolitan Manila and the Philippine’s most populous city) also has its own blueprint where the National Capitol and the Executive Mansion are supposedly located. Today, only the elliptical circle, roadways and the University of the Philippines-Diliman are constructed according to the plan.
The City Beautiful exhibit is now at its final destination in SM North Edsa The Block from June 10-30, 2010.