PRINCIPLE 3: The significance of identified heritage structures should be maintained

The original structure and architectural elements of identified heritage structures should be retained and restored as much as possible. Before any proposed development is carried out,  thorough research and documentation should be done and presented for approval of the SPHZ Design Review Committee.

Likewise, proper documentation and study should be done to ensure that quality restoration work is carried out through careful and accurate repair.

3.1. Identification and study of Heritage Structures Existing heritage structures should be properly identified and studied.

The cultural mapping section of this document lists all identified structures, public spaces, and monuments and their current classifications (See Section VI.3). These are further elaborated in detail in the Annex. These documents will serve as a guide to the Design Review Committee on their various aspects of significance. Further studies and documentation may still be undertaken and if this changes the understanding of the significance of these heritage structures, those reports should be appended to this document.

3.2. Definition of Types of Heritage Structures Identified Heritage Structures should be properly classified and defined.

The proper classification, definition, and coding of identified heritage structures and public spaces are listed in Section VI.4 of this document. Should any new information come to light that would result in changes to the significance of the structures and public spaces, these should be formally amended to this document.

The application for re-classification of a listed heritage structure or space will be submitted to the Design Review Committee. The results of their review will be documented and appended to this document.

3.3. Additional Heritage Structures and public spaces Additional structures may be added to the current list upon review and approval of the Design Review Board.

Documentation and studies that prove the significance of the structure or space shall be submitted to the Design Review Board and will be added to the official list of identified heritage structures once approved.


The application shall include but not be limited to:

  • Accomplished application form;
  • Photos of the current structure or public space; and
  • All pertinent information regarding the site (please use cultural mapping documentation form)

Levels and criteria

New additions shall adhere to the classifications listed in Section VI.4 of this document. The applicants may list their suggested classification, however the final decision whether or not to keep or change the suggested classification is up to the discretion of the Design Review Board.

3.4. Maintenance Plan

A maintenance plan for identified heritage structures should be prepared and appended to this document.

The San Pablo LGU and the Design Review Committee should prepare a maintenance plan for each of the identified heritage structures. In particular, they should undertake an inspection of the identified Type 1 sites at least once every two (2) years to assure their proper maintenance.

Proposals and studies should be undertaken not only regarding the physical maintenance of the building, but also of its intangible significance. The maintenance plan should also detail plans for a sustained source of funds for their upkeep.

3.5. Public Space

Public space and how this reflects the City Beautiful movement and American colonial town planning is integral to maintaining the character of the Heritage Zone.


The San Pablo Heritage Zone is part of the main commercial strip of San Pablo City. And it is this main street, including the plazas, strip medians, and lamp posts that largely contribute to the American colonial character of the area. It is desirable that the form and layout of these be conserved.


To promote safety and healthy tourism along the main street, it is desirable to have walkable sidewalks. Properties within the Heritage Zone should strive to have sidewalks that promote walking. Continuous pedestrian walking areas along Rizal Avenue are highly encouraged. These will be instrumental in furthering connections within the Heritage Zone.

Walkways may also include the following:

  • Shade
  • Benches
  • Trash cans
  • Public Art
  • Lighting
  • Bicycle lockers
  • Information boards and directional maps

The Design Review Committee may also choose to recommend a particular color or material for sidewalk paving that enhances the character of Heritage Zone. Should this be the case, specifications should also be amended to this document.

All sidewalk furniture should also be compatible with the designs specified in the Guidelines.


A setback of 2-3 meters from the edge of the street to serve as public sidewalks is desirable where feasible. Otherwise, the maximum setback allowed by the National Building Code, as well as local ordinances, may be enforced.

Safety and comfort

Safety and comfort of pedestrians is of foremost importance. Streets within the Heritage Zone should be clean and properly landscaped. There should be enough area for pedestrians to walk without having to navigate through cafe furniture and retail display.

Proper areas for crossing should be allocated at intersections. Access also to the main plaza should be secure via traffic management and the provision of zebra crossings should tourists want to cross to the plaza. If possible, traffic flow—especially in the plaza adjacent to the Library Hub and the Church—should be studied.

The continuation of arcades where appropriate is desirable, as this also serves as added comfort and shade to pedestrians.


All signage located within the Heritage Zone should conform to the specified Design Guidelines.


Direct arterial access to parking areas is discouraged. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide side alley access to parking when feasible.

As much as possible, parking should be sited away from pedestrian areas. Should parking be located at the back of the lot, signage pointing to the entrance should be provided along Rizal Avenue.


It is recommended that the connection between Rizal Avenue and the Old Municipal Hall be strengthened. This can be done by the provisions of pedestrian access and smaller pocket parks along Apolinario Mabini St. leading toward Doña Leonila Park. Pocket parks or courtyards should be visible from the street and can be used for supplementary activities of the Heritage Zone.

3.6. Documentation and Maintenance of Archives

Conservation deals with a constantly-changing world. Thus, it is essential to document and learn from decisions that were previously made. This makes the collection and archiving of data very important so that previous justifications and actions are accessible for analysis and / or reference. These in turn will affect the continually changing significance of the area and will help future decision-makers.

It is recommended that a section be made available in the library hub pertinent to the storing of documents related to the Heritage Zone. Likewise, digital copies should also be made available, both for easier dissemination, as well as backup should anything happen to the physical records.

Other materials that could be included are old photographs of the heritage zone that could be contributed by community members to the library. It can also contain records of applications and decisions made by the Design Review Board.

It is also recommended that contents should be properly assessed and cataloged, and that digital record be updated at least once every two (2) years.