Yangon plans more Blue Plaques

YANGON, 9 March 2017: Yangon Heritage Trust will place 15 more Blue Plagues to identify more of the city’s historic landmarks this year.

Global New Light of Myanmar quoted YHT’s director, Daw Moe Moe Lwin, saying 15 more commemorative Blue Plaques are currently under consideration and likely to  be presented before the end of the year.

YHT awards Blue Plaques to distinguish Yangon’s top architectural landmarks. Blue Plaques are permanent signs installed on public places to commemorate a link between locations and a famous person, event, or landmark. They serve as historical markers.

After successful negotiations with the Yangon City Development Committee, the YHT gained the authority to identify and post Blue Plaques on colonial-era buildings in Yangon, that have a significance in Asia’s modern history.

The YHT usually ensures that Blue Plaques are written in both Myanmar and English languages.

Plaques are designed and manufactured in Australia to ensure the high quality required to withstand weather conditions and the impact of air pollution.

The first Blue Plaque was installed at Yangon’s City Hall. The 17th and the most recent Blue Plaque was affixed to St Paul’s Basic Education High School in Botahtaung.

The YHT is the process of collecting historical data linked to Yangon General Hospital, a major public hospital constructed in 1899, which will probably the site of the 18th Blue Plaque. The colonial-era hospital is still in use.

Other sites that have received Blue Plaques include: AYA Bank; the Armenian Church; Central Fire Station; General Post Office; Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank; Central Press; Sofaer Building; GTI Insein; Maha Bandoola Park; Merchant road building; the Indian Embassy; Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue; YWCA Building; and Bogyoke Aung San Market.

The commemorative Blue Plaque is part of YHT’s efforts to protect Yangon’s architectural and cultural heritage for future. Not many cities in the ASEAN region bother to identify historic buildings especially those of the colonial era. They are often dismantled to make way for shopping malls and office buildings.

In Bangkok, a fine example of a teak house on Sukhumvit Road near the BTS station, that was once a former residence of a French ambassador in the late 1890s, was demolished in February to make way for the construction of a mixed-use building.

It was the last remaining old traditional colonial-style teak house in Bangkok’s popular tourist district with the exception of a Thai style teak house that stands in the grounds of the Siam Society. Prior to its demolition it was a popular pub with its own tree-shaded garden patronised by tourists and residents.