Mansion House, Baguio

April 6, 2011

Mansion House, Baguio

The majestic and palatial Mansion House was built in 1907 as the official summer residence at the instance of William Cameron Forbes to serve as the residence of U.S. Governors-General. It was badly damaged during the 2nd World War and was rebuilt in 1947. Since then, it has served as the holiday home and working office for each President of the Philippines during his or her visits to Baguio. The name is derived from the summer cottage in New England of Governor-General William Cameron Forbes during whose administration the original Mansion House was built, William Parsons, with aide of architect Daniel Burnham, planned the mountain retreat in accordance with the North American City Beautiful architectural reform movement. In 1921, the 2nd Philippine Legislature met at the Mansion House for three weeks.

Map of Mansion House, Baguio



The Mansion was restored after the war and was used as the venue of important events, such as the second session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) in 1947, the second session of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the 1st meeting of the Southeast Asian Union, more commonly known as the Baguio Conference of 1950, which was conceived and convened by President Elpidio Quirino.

More recently, the Mansion House has been the site of a number of international conferences. Mansion House consists of an elegantly-designed main building and guest house. The elaborate main gate, made of ornate ironwork, is said to be a replica of one of the main gates at Buckingham Palace, London. Many tourists go home with a photo of themselves standing in front of this gate. Tourists can visit the Mansion House’s museum containing presidential memorabilia. Over the road from the Mansion House is Wright Park, a place where children are often seen riding the ponies that are available for hire there. Dotted all around the nearby hills are the holiday villas of the wealthy.

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