Trivia about Architect Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano and the Manila Central Post Office

The Manila Central Post Office located at Liwasang Bonifacio, is a Neo-Classical style building designed by Architect Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano in 1926. It was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt in 1946, after the war.

Juan Marcos de Guzman Arellano is known for his neo-classical architectural creations and modern realism style in painting. He was one of the 14 children of the prominent Arellano family of Tondo, Manila. He attended the Ateneo Municipal and graduated in 1908. He took up special courses in drawing and painting under Lorenzo Guerrero, Toribio Antillon, and Fabian de la Rosa.

He attended the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts in 1911 and moved on to Drexel Institute to finish a bachelor’s degree in architecture the following year. He also took lessons at the Beaux Art School in New York. He worked for George Post and Sons in New York and also said to have worked for Frederick Olmsted Jr.

On his return to the Philippines, he partnered with his architect elder brother Arcadio Arellano, between 1913 and 1916. They worked on projects such as the Gota de Leche building in Sampaloc, Manila and the old Casino Espanol on Taft Avenue, Manila. Later, he joined the Bureau of Public Works when the last American consulting architects George Fenhagen and Ralph H. Doanne were leaving. From 1916 to 1935, Arellano engaged in projects that have defined the American colonial and Philippine commonwealth periods. He designed the Legislative building (now National Museum building), the Post Office Main building and the original Jones Bridge.

In 1930 he designed the Metropolitan Theater while working as consulting architect in BPW. He also served as director and manager of Capitol City Planning Commission and director of the National Planning Commission until 1954.

As he retired in 1956 at age 58, he went back to his first love – painting. Considered by some as the first modernist, even before Victorino Edades and Diosdado Lorenzo. He was also a painter with a marked influence of the post-impressionists, particularly Gaugin and Goya. He had painted some 300 works since 1911.

Stamps and Official First Day Covers will be available starting November 5, 2007 at the Philatelic Service, Door 203, Liwasang Bonifacio, 1000 Manila and at all Regional Offices of the Philippine Postal Corporation.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply