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Pangdisplay na lang: Old Cebu Capitol building to serve new purpose

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After serving its purpose for more than 80 years, the old Capitol building in Cebu will no longer serve as the provincial government’s seat of power.

But instead of demolishing the structure, the provincial government is looking for other uses for it via the “adaptive reuse” method.

New uses for the old building include function rooms, offices, restaurants, art galleries, cafés and showrooms that will showcase the best products and places of Cebu.

The provincial government is now building a 20-story modern building inside the Capitol compound to serve as its new home.

“Conserving a building does not need to be done purely on the grounds of mere heritage preservation…conservation is also a means of safeguarding a cultural heritage with the view to suitably adapting the society’s needs,” said Joselito Costas, head of the Provincial Tourism Office.

Adaptive reuse involves reusing an old building or site for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for.

Last May 16, the provincial government held a public consultation on the proposed P1.5-billion Resource Center with Costas among the resource speakers.

The old Capitol building was built from 1937 to 1938 under the administrations of Governors Sotero Cabahug and Buenaventura Rodriguez.

It was declared a National Historical Landmark in 2008 by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Costas said the adaptive reuse principle can turn the old structure into an income-generating asset, while ensuring its maintenance and thus preserving it.

He added adaptive reuse “significantly reduces the use of energy that usually comes with demolishing the structure and building a new one to replace it.”

Meanwhile, he said preserving the building lets Cebuanos appreciate its historical significance, as well as “keeping our link to our glorious past.”