City Hall marks 110th year of construction with grand Christmas lights switch-on PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 November 2017 17:26

The iconic City Hall marks today, November 27, its 110th year anniversary of construction making it one of the most important landmarks, a symbol of Zamboanga and a legacy and treasure of the city’s colorful history.

The simple yet meaningful anniversary celebration will coincide with the grand switch on ceremony of the City Hall Christmas lights as well as those in Plaza Pershing and Paseo del Mar set at 6pm today.

Mayor Beng Climaco will lead Zamboangueños in the ceremonies highlighting City Hall’s transformation from being Provincial Capitol building during the American military regime to the present day City Hall which is the seat of governance of the City of Zamboanga. The City’s recent accomplishments will also be highlighted.

Historical records show that the construction of the City Hall building began during the American military regime (1903-1914) when Zamboanga City was the capital of the Moro Province. Maj. Leonard Wood, the first American military governor initiated the construction of the then Provincial Capitol building.

The building was designed by American architect William Parsons and actual construction started in 1905 with a funding of P190, 000 under the supervision of the US Corps of Engineers led by Capt. Jeffrey and directly under the supervision of Mr. Green. Construction of the building was completed and inaugurated in 1907 during the term of the second governor, Brig. Gen. Tasker Bliss of the Moro Province, according to records.

From the Moro Province, the building became the seat of government of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu and later the Province of Zamboanga which was managed and controlled by native governors. The provincial government ceased to exist in 1920. Zamboanga obtained its charter on October 12, 1936 and the city government took full control of the building after the liberation of Zamboanga in 1945.

Since then, 18 mayors including the late Maria Clara Lobregat, Erbie Fabian, Celso Lobregat and Beng Climaco held office in the City Hall. In 1998 during Mrs. Lobregat’s term, the building underwent major renovation to accommodate the increasing number of employees and clients. The building extends up to the annex building, previously the Jovel property that was acquired by the local government. The entire City Hall with the annex structure has a total floor area of 4,984.25 square meters.

Meanwhile, the grand switch on ceremony of the City Hall Christmas lights and decors kicks off the Pascua na Zamboanga festival.

This year’s City Hall Christmas decoration, themed Anghel de Navidad (Christmas Angels), is expected to draw people from all walks of life, nightly. (Sheila Covarrubias)