UPV pre-war building
The NHCP turns over the restored UPV Main Building today in ceremonies to be attended by UP officials. Credits to UPV.

The University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) formally unveiled today the newly-restored pre-war UPV Main Building in Iloilo City.

The UPV report indicates the 1930s structure was restored under the guidance of the National Historical Commission (NHCP) which alloted a Restoration Grant of Php54M in 2017 for the rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the UPV Main Building through the facilitation of the Sen. Franklin Drilon and Sen. Loren B. Legarda.

The UPV Main Building traces its historical value to the beginnings of the structure as the seat of the Municipal Government of Iloilo which was constructed in 1935.

The UPV description of the historical building says:

BPW Consulting Architect Juan Arellano designed a very formal, one-level structure with a neat row of arched windows which started in 1935. The main entrance dividing the horizontal plane into two equal parts echoed the arches of the windows and is flanked on either side by austere looking composite pilasters. It was capped with interesting cupola or dome.

He devised the facade to look more grandiose and interesting by letting his Italian friend, Francesco Riccardo Monti, sculpt two seated bronze male statues representing the abstract concepts of Law and Order on either side of the entrance and a bas-relief of four figures above the arched opening. The design of the building is a composite of neo-classical and revivalist influences through Art Deco and nativist elements are predominating in its interior.

The centerpiece of the building is the Court Room and the Session Hall, also known as Lozano Hall, which was named as such in honor of Cresenciano M. Lozano, a Guimarasnon law-maker who authored House Bill 2368 granting Iloilo a status of a chartered city in 1937.

The Iloilo City Hall was inaugurated amid much fanfare and celebration. It was a double celebration during Christmas season in 1936 as the inauguration of the Presidencia or the House of the People and the elevation of the municipality of Iloilo into a chartered city by December 19-31, 1936 also took place.

It was in 1945 when Mayor Fernando Lopez and the Iloilo City Council passed Resolution 485 appealing for a Junior College of the University of the Philippines be established in Iloilo (December 18). On February 21, 1946, the city council reiterated to the UP Board of Regents its request for the establishment of UP Junior College in Iloilo.

The city council unanimously approved Resolution 461 formally donating the pre-war city hall and its site of 10.8 hectares for the exclusive use of UP Iloilo College (April 8). The University of the Philippines Iloilo College (UPIC) was formally opened with Dr. Tomas Fonacier as the first Dean on July 1, 1947.

SEND congratulations to UPV, NHCP, and the people of Iloilo, preserving historical legacies in the Philippines!

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