20 Photos of Escolta Through the Years

See photos of the historic Manila street through the years.

Aside from Intramuros, an area that's rich with history in Manila is Escolta Street. The land where Escolta stands today was owned by José Dámaso Gorricho, and it got its start as a business district during the late 1800s. From movie theaters to department stores, the street has been the location of many defining establishments in Manila's history. See photos of Escolta Street through the years below.

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An early photo of the historic Manila street



Escolta under Spanish rule

Escolta, Manila, Philippines, 1888


Calle Escolta corner Soda Street

Escolta Street, Manila, Philippines, unknown date


Escolta in 1899

Escolta Street,  Binondo, Manila, Philippines, about 1899

According to antique photo collector John Tewell, the photo shows Escolta as a business street "lined with buildings with tile roofs, awnings shade lower stories, second stories overhang first floors with balconies and sliding window-gratings. Street filled with barouches."

Another view from the 1890s

Escolta Street, Manila, 1899, looking east towards Santa Cruz Church.

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More: 30 Photos of Makati During Its Early Days

A busy street scene in the early 20th century

Escolta Street, Manila, Philippines, early 20th Century

The building on the left is one of the references for Paseo de Escolta in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.

Clarke's, the first ice cream shop in the Philippines was on No. 2 in Escolta

Escolta, the principal business street of Manila, Philippines, early 20th century


The photo also shows the first electric tranvias which were installed in 1905.

More: Clarke's on No. 2 Escolta: The First Ice Cream Shop in the Philippines

The same view of the west end of Escolta

West end of Escolta Street looking east, Manila, Philippines, early 1900s

Another view of 'Paseo de Escolta'

Escolta Street looking east, Manila, Philippines, late 19th Century

Busy traffic with cars, carriages and street car on the street

Plaza Moraga, Binondo, Escolta, Manila, Philippines, 1935

More: 15 Vintage Photos of Manila During the 1960s That Will Make You Nostalgic

The Cu-Unjieng Building on Escolta which housed Ideal Bazar

Escolta Street, Manila, Philippines, Oct.-Nov. 1940

A movie theater showing Private Affairs starring Nancy Kelley, Bob Cummings, Hugh Herber, and Roland Young

Lyric Theatre, 81-83 Escolta Street, Manila, Philippines, 1940-1941



Heacock's Department Store

Heacocks Department store a few days before the Japanese bombed Manila, Philippines, Dec. 1941

Taken a few days before the Japanese bombed Manila, shoppers browse inside the store during Christmastime.

American sailors with Jones Bridge and Pasig River on the right

American sailors, Pasig River, Jones Bridge, Manila, Philippines, Sept. 1945

Today, the Ateneo Innovation Center and Philippine National Bank stand on the site.

Escolta in 1945 after the Japanese bombing

Escolta district of Manila, Philippines, 1945

More: 15 Vintage Photos of Filipinos in Traditional Clothing

A closer look at the destruction

North side of the Pasig River from just west of the Sat Cruz Bridge, Manila, Philippines, 1945

A reconstructed Escolta in the 1950s

Escolta Street, Manila, Philippines, 1950s


With Berg's Department Store in the Perez-Samanillo Building in the back.

Escolta corner Enrique T. Yuchengco Street

Escolta Street west end, Manila, Philippines 1950s (2)

A shopping scene in the '60s

Escolta Street shopping, Manila, Philippines, 1968

Escolta during the 1970s

Escolta Street - Principal shopping center, Manila, Philippines, 1965-1970

With Capitol Theater playing The Mercenaries starring Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Jim Brown, and Peter Carsten.

More: 30 Photos of Intramuros Through the Years

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About The Author
Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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