Vietnam’s architectural gems are disappearing

Saigon Trade Tax Center
Saigon Trade Tax Center (Source: Hello Saigon!)

Since leaving Saigon back in 2013 to work overseas, each return trip brings back surprises.  Saigon is developing fast, you see new buildings where older buildings once stood.  The demolition of the Tax Trade Center, a favorite place where I used to buy souvenirs or easily meet friends for coffee, was a disappointment.  Saigon is changing but many parts of Old Saigon should be maintained and protected. The below article by Zanna K. McKay looks at how Saigonese efforts to save Old Saigon are proving fruitless.

HO CHI MINH CITY   Once an architectural gem emblematic of Vietnam’s era as a French colony, the Tax Trade Center with its iconic Art Deco facade is now mostly rubble.

Despite a petition drive spearheaded by a growing historic preservation movement, the building was demolished in recent months. In its place, developers plan a 43-story complex with a connection to the first subway line in the city.

The Tax Center, built in 1924, is one of many historic buildings in the last 20 years that have been razed or severely altered, according to a joint French-Vietnamese government research center.

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