Friday, July 15, 2011

Historical office buildings

When I was planning for my recent trip to Thailand, I added the visit to the Ratchaburi branch of the National Museum, knowing that it is located within the historical province hall. Though I had seen other historical offices before, e.g. the old Nonthaburi government complex, as a matter of coincidence, in this recent trip I happened to see quite a lot of similar former office buildings, and all of them noticed just by coincidence.

Already at the Ratchaburi National Museum, there are in fact two historical offices to be found. While the main part of the museum is located in the former province hall, the adjoining buildings housing the museum offices and space for temporary exhibitions was the office of the Monthon Ratchaburi. [Map]

On a stop in Phang Nga, I was able to catch all of the administrative offices within the town, and to my surprise close to the district office of Mueang Phang Nga I found the old province hall. As being built from concrete, it looks very well preserved, but seems to be empty and not used currently. [Map]

In Sichon, I passed the location of the municipal administration, and doing a short walk within the compound I noticed a small wooden building still having the sign of being the district office. But in front was a separate sign which states that the building in fact is the registrar office of the municipality. The district office is located outside town nowadays, so the old building was given to the municipality. [Map]

The district office of Mueang Phuket is located directly next to a second old wooden building which also has the sign above its entrance that marks it as the district office. As I walked there when the office was closed already, I could not recognize well how it is used nowadays, but judging from the sign at the entrance it is used as additional office space to the modern building. [Map] By the way, the province hall of Phuket is still within the historical wooden building. [Map]

Since Thailand has not that many historical buildings preserved, it is good to see that at least some of the old government buildings weren't simply torn down after a new building was opened. Being a museum buff, I most like the reuse for a local museum, as was done in Ratchaburi or Nonthaburi, and also in Lampang the old province hall is set to become a branch of Siam Museum.

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