Escolta Street is a historic east-west street located in the old downtown district of Binondo in Manila, Philippines.
Parallel to the Pasig river, Escolta used to be the premier commercial and business district of Old Manila just like what Makati is today. Shops by merchants selling imported goods from the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade lined the streets and eventually, housed many “firsts” in architectural and engineering innovations in the Philippines. These ‘firsts’ include: first elevator (in Burke bldg), first reinforced concrete building (Hamilton Fashion), first airconditioned and even the most modern building before the war (Crystal Arcade by Andres Luna de San Pedro, Juna Luna’s son). Tranvia, or electric tram line also traversed this street before the Battle of Manila.
These days, Escolta exudes its elegance as it holds representations of each decade since the turn of the 20th century. This street is a living museum of the architectural history of Manila, and of the Philippines. Various stakeholders are taking efforts to revitalize this Queen District of Manila, a silent grandeur by the riverside.