One of the early modern city planners, the past president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and the man responsible for a large number of skyscrapers in Chicago, Daniel Hudson Burnham was an American architect and urban designer who was a prominent figure in crafting master plans for several cities across the world including the Philippines where he designed The Burnham Plan for Manila. If the plans ever went through, Manila’s streets now could’ve been modeled after cities like San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Cleveland and would’ve been swept through with well-curated roads, parks, railroads, and buildings. Most of his works were inspired by Greek and Roman classical styles which can be seen in some of the buildings he helped design here in Manila.

Daniel Burnham was also responsible for designing other buildings in San Francisco and Washington D.C. Photo from Chicago’s Parks by Arcadia Publishing, 2000

Related read: Reimagining the heart of Manila through the visions of our future architects

Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol

The Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol follows Burnham’s Beux Arts architectural style. Photo courtesy of Patrick Roque.

Built in the shape of the letter E, the Negros Occidental Provincial Capitol’s most prominent feature of the central section is the wide steps leading to the colonnades about three stories high with Corinthian capitals topping its upper portions.

Pangasinan Provincial Capitol

The Pangasinan Provincial Capitol’s interiors has high ceilings and large windows to give the impression of an open pavilion. Photo courtesy of Patrick Roque.

Declared by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as one of the eight Treasures of the Philippines, the Pangasinan Provincial Capitol boasts striking columns, entablatures, and pediments alongside a limestone exterior to highlight its warm color. 

National Museum Complex

Like Burnham’s other projects, the National Museum Complex portrays the neo-classical design. Photo courtesy of Patrick Roque

Though mostly designed by architect Ralph Harrington Doane, the National Museum Complex was also another of his designs as Rizal Park was the center of Burnham’s plan. 

The Burnham Plan of Manila was one modeled after the cities of Paris, Venice, and Washington. Photo courtesy of the Commercial Club, Chicago

Alongside these buildings, Burnham was also responsible for designing most of Baguio’s city plans and crafted the plans for Burnham Park. Roxas Boulevard which was previously dubbed as Dewey Boulevard was also one of his works.

Related read: (Euclidean) Planning is dead. Long Live Urbanism.

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