[note: minor change -the linked picture is now bigger]
Here's a treat for you manilaphiles and history buffs. An image of Daniel Burnham's 1905 plan for Manila. (I'll put a close-in detail picture in the next entry.) Burham was commissioned to create a masterplan for Manila (by then Governor General William Howard Taft if I'm not mistaken) in 1901 and he completed the commission in 1905.
So Burnham actually practiced on Manila before he tackled Chicago, San Francisco or DC. (Chicago pinoys i've met swear that Lakeshore Drive feels like Roxas Boulevard --well, now you know why.)
Notice the formal grid with the diagonal boulevards -which mark the City Beautiful Movement. DC denizens will recognize this pattern.
Parts of this plan were enacted (like Dewey/Roxas Boulevard and the Executive and Finance Buildings along with Manila City Hall) but the project was dropped post WWII. I know "what might have beens" are usually a waste of time, but imagine where we would be if we had followed the masterplan. (Chicago is still actually implementing parts of Burnham's Plan to this day.)
I've been visiting Carlos Celdran's and IvanM's sites lately. Both gentlemen offer very entertaining and educational historic walking tours of Manila. (I have friends who've taken the tour and think the world of them.) I think the work they do is invaluable in having our citizens re-frame how they view our home city.
Having a sense of the past can inspire us to re-imagine the future.