A new city government complex in Brgy. Kanlurang Mayao now serves its function of providing fast, convenient and transparent service for the citizens of Lucena City. While the city hall-annex building in Brgy. Isabang will now serve its function as a tertiary school campus for the students of the Lucena City College, Lucenahins version of “Iskolar ng Bayan.” For now, what is the use of the old city hall in the heart of the city?
The old city hall building that we always see whenever we roam the busy streets of Lucena was built a hundred years ago. Covered with scaffolding and plywood, the old city hall building is currently undergoing renovation and restoration. But why does this simple building play a vital role in the continuous progress of our beloved city?
During the term of Mayor Venancio Queblar (1906-1910), they only rented a place called “Presidencia” to serve its purpose as the municipal hall of Lucena.
The council led by Feliciano E. Zoleta then authorized on March 9, 1910, the construction of a Municipal Building in the lot donated by the family of Trinidad Paz and Jose Barcelona. It measured 2,358 sq. meters and stood on the corner of the then Leon XII St., now M.L. Tagarao Street., Allarey St. and Flores St. now M.H. Del Pilar Street.
On April 28, 1924, the municipal council led by Jose P. Nava authorized the construction of a Rizal Monument in front of the Municipal Hall of Lucena.
During the term of Mayor Mario L. Tagarao in 1979, the city hall building was expanded to accommodate the city’s growing population and to further serve its government duties to the people. The old structure was not demolished but it was covered up by constructing the building with a brutalist-designed architecture, according to Engr. Rhodencio Tolentino.
Years passed and we have witnessed the continuous development of Lucena. From being a simple municipality to being a highly urbanized city, this would not have been possible without the efforts of our leaders and the contributions of our citizens.
The old city hall building reminds us how Lucena built its way towards progress. Our history and identity as Lucenahins will surely reflect in every column of the old city hall building.