Architectural masterpiece and love story
El Hogar was built as a testimony to love. It was a wedding gift of Spanish Conde Antonio Melian to his wife, Margarita Zobel de Ayala of the powerful Zobel de Ayala clan. Their initials are engraved into the staircase.
Later, Don Antonio Melian founded the El Hogar Fund association for the construction of other famous buildings in Manila, like the Metropolitan Theatre, Crystal Arcade and Juan Luna.
El Hogar is situated at the beginning of Juan Luna Street, “Wall Street” of Manila at the time, and home to the mutual fund which lent money to poor citizens for housing, and many other financial institutions.
The El Hogar Filipino Building was built in 1914 - over 100 years ago. Designed by famous architects Ramon Irrueta Goyona and Francisco Perez Muñoz. The architecture is of the Beaux Arts style. Although tarnished from its former glory, it’s still standing. It boasts intricate interiors, grand garden courtyards, and balconies with a spectacular view of the Pasig River and the unique setting an view have attracted many TV-show and commercial shoots.
In 2014, The Ritz Premier Corporation, the new owner of the building, passed on a controversial plan to demolish El Hogar for a new shopping mall. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines’ attempt to buy the property did not push through, so El Hogar is still at risk. Local heritage groups are combining efforts to enforce a halt to the possible loss of this important building.