Monday, August 18, 2014

Remember the Jai Alai

The Jai Alai Building (another good example of Art Deco) was designed by American architect, Weldon D. Becket ( know 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), together with his Philippine associate, Architect Carlos Santos Viola in 1940. It was a significant social and recreational center of Pre-War and Post-War Manila, famous for its Sky Room nightclub. The building featured a semi-cylindrical glass volume set against massive walls and a cantilevered disk canopy suspended by slender pilotis,  which said to evoke the velocity of the game. 

The Jai Alai Building was badly damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and was rebuilt, serving temporarily as the Roosevelt Club in the early Post-War years. 

The Jai Alai Building deteriorated over the years and was demolished upon orders of then Manila Mayor Lito Atienza on July 15, 2000, purportedly to make way for a new Hall of Justice which was never built. 

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