Architectural gem being restored to former glory
- 77-91 Sule Pagoda Road
With the golden Sule Pagoda almost at touching distance, this must be the best view in town, overlooking City Halle and the green grass of Maha Bandoola Garden. The elegant building has lived so many lives. It was built in 1908 as a commercial building ‘Fytche Square’, then transformed into popular department store ‘Myanmar Aswe’ or ‘Myanmar friend’ and later it became the home of a Dagan, an influential magazine, After the war, in 1947, it was used for housing of civil servants and eventually passed to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, which used it as a visitor information centre.
New lease of life
Under the stewardship of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, Burma Tourist Building is about to undergo yet another reincarnation, this time as a food court and city information centre. While the Turquoise Mountain team has been working hard on the renovation, the building has become a popular venue for movie screenings, art exhibitions and craft markets.
The two-year-long restoration - which served as a model restoration project - unveiled many original details, like the big windows of the department store, advertisements for British liquor brands painted on the walls and early 20th century encaustic floor tiles.