PEREZ-SAMANILLO BUILDING. While World War II destroyed most of the landmark structures in Manila, those that remain were demolished to give way to modern high rise structures without considering their historical importance and design heritage.
Formerly known as the Luis Perez-Samanillo Building, First United Building is one of the few surviving specimens of the Art Deco age in the country. Designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro, son of painter Juan Luna the five-floor building was considered a skyscraper of its time.
The Pérez Samanillo Building, originally called the Edificio Luis Pérez Samanillo, sits along the Escolta and Calle David. c1928.
The building, together with the Regina Building across the street, serves as an entry to the Escolta from Plaza Goiti in Sta. Cruz. Built in 1928, the Pérez Samanillo was designed in the art-deco/art-nouveau style through the partnership of the great architects Andrés Luna de San Pedro and Juan F. Nakpil de Jesús.
Another interesting tenant of the Pérez Samanillo Building was Berg’s, a pre-war department store and one of the city’s largest.
One can find imported toys, the latest fashion trends at Berg’s. Berg’s was located on the southeast of the building, facing Estero de la Reina and Plaza Goiti. Also, the Spanish Consulate in Manila had its offices in the building.
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