Working group to study Dominican Hill development

THE Baguio City Government has formed a technical working group to study a proposal to restore and redevelop the Dominican Hill and Retreat House.

The group, to be chaired by city budget officer Leticia Clemente, will also recommend and prepare the terms of reference (TOR) for the reconstruction of 100-year-old Dominican Hill.

The LKY Property Holdings has proposed to do the restoration under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement, according to City Hall.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan welcomed the proposal, saying the company is “known for its less intrusive approach that works closely with new and old architecture using the reinterpretation of historic materials, decorative features and color palette in the new areas.”

With Clemente in the working group are representatives from the city engineering office, city building and architecture office, city legal office and city environment and parks management office.   

Domogan has vowed to preserve Dominican Hill, a two-floor monastery built in 1913 as a heritage and nature park.

CEPMO head Cordelia Lacsamana said the city will adopt the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) concept of “adaptive reuse” in the context of historical preservation in developing the property.

Under the NCCA concept, adaptive re-use “allows the introduction of a modern function into the old structure. Old buildings are not torn down but saved and recycled into 20th century uses.”

“Whatever feasible venture can be done on the site, we will pursue it as long as it does not destroy its historical value but at the same time it should be income-generating to make it self-sustaining,” Domogan said.

The Baguio Heritage Hill Committee led by Domogan and former city architect Joseph Alabanza have made improvements to the building after it was declared structurally safe by experts. (Aileen Refuerzo)
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