Sunday, December 20, 2009
The Jai Alai Building..
Jai Alai Building
• Location: Taft Avenue, Manila
• Completed: 1940
• Architect: Welton Becket, a friend of Hollywood celebrities and designer of the homes of such screen legends as James Cagney and Cesar Romero, as well as of Los Angeles airport
• Style: Art Deco
• Design: The Jai Alai’s sleek, cylindrical glass front was said to evoke the velocity of the game, in which pelotaris use curved scoops to hurl a rubber ball at speeds of up to 200 km an hour against three walls of a court
• Significance: Among the jewels of that period was Taft Avenue, a mini-Champs Elysee, with grand homes, sparkling movie houses, colleges and spectacular Art Deco buildings. One of the finest buildings was the Jai Alai stadium, opened in 1940 as a home for the Basque game of the same name and quickly adopted as a playground by the rich and glamorous.
• Status: Demolition began on July 15, 2000 on the orders of Mayor Lito Atienza
On that date in 2000 began the demolition of the Jai Alai, one of Asia’s finest Art Deco buildings, a structure that was to have given way to a new Hall of Justice for the City of Manila.