Manila Bay: Plan of Proposed Sea Boulevard (1906)

Parks and parkways were central to Burnham’s plan for Manila and its surrounds. He considered the city’s enervating heat to be one of its chief challenges, and believed that the availability of riverfront and bayside “recreation and refreshment” were the best ways to deal with this. Burnham tried to take advantage of Manila’s location on a coast and beside a river by dramatically extending the Luneta, a half-moon shaped park just south of the old walled city, into the harbor. The shaded Luneta extension, to be built on landfill, would provide a central space for the new government buildings and restore the broad vista of the bay that had obstructed the growth of the size of the port. Burnham also developed a promenade and drive along Manila Bay, south of the central city, as places for healthy recreation. The bay front boulevard was to extend southward all the way from the Luneta to Cavite, which is now one of the most densely populated districts in Greater Manila. The 250-foot-wide boulevard would encompass roadways, tramways, a bridle path, plantings and broad sidewalks, and be luxuriantly shaded with bamboo, acacia, mango, and palm trees. Additional plantings would increase “the value of the stretch of ocean and sky.” These proposals for Manila would find echoes in the Plan of Chicago’s proposals for transforming Lake Michigan’s waterfront into recreational open space.



Barrows, David. A History of the Philippines. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company 1907.

Burnham, Daniel H. “Report on Proposed Improvements at Manila,” and “Report on the Proposed Plan of the City of Baguio, Province of Benguet, P.I.,” as reprinted in Charles Moore, Daniel H. Burnham: Architect, Planner of Cities, vol. 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1921.

Forbes, W. Cameron. The Philippine Islands, vols. 1 & 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1928.

Parsons, William E. "Burnham as a Pioneer in City Planning." The Architectural Record 38 (July 1915).

Reed, Robert E. City of Pines: The Origins of Baguio as a Colonial Hill Station and Regional Capital. Center for South and South East Asia Studies Research Monograph No. 13. Berkeley: University of California, 1976.

Daniel H. Burnham et al., Manila Bay: Plan of Proposed Sea Boulevard (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1906). The Newberry Library, map4F G8064.M5 1905 .B8 no. 2