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Old Saigon Building of the Week: 14 Cách Mạng Tháng 8

The art deco style building at 14 Cách mạng Tháng 8 was inaugurated in 1937 as the headquarters of the Cercle Indochinois at 14 rue Verdun.

In October of that year, the Annales Coloniales described it as a “professional networking organisation with a membership of more than 100 French and Annamese doctors, lawyers, traders, industry officials, journalists” which served “to assist with the delicate tasks of the heads of the government” and enjoyed “a spirit of good fellowship which is worth maintaining.”

Between 1955 and 1975, the building served as the headquarters of Trần Quốc Bửu’s Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour Unions (Tổng liên đoàn Lao công Việt Nam), the largest labour organisation in South Việt Nam. During this period its address was 14 Lê Văn Duyệt.


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The Cercle Indochinois HQ pictured in the 1940s.

The Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour Unions HQ pictured in the 1960s.

 

Since 1975, the old Cercle Indochinois building has housed the Hồ Chí Minh City Labour Federation (Liên đoàn Lao động thành phố Hồ Chí Minh), southern branch of the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour (Tổng Liên đoàn Lao động Việt Nam).

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Tim Doling is the author of The Railways and Tramways of Việt Nam (White Lotus Press, 2012) and the forthcoming book of walking tours entitled Exploring Hồ Chí Minh City (Nhà Xuất Bản Thế Giới, Hà Nội, 2014) and also conducts 4-hour Heritage Tours of Historic Saigon and Cholon. For more information about Saigon history and Tim's tours visit his website, www.historicvietnam.com.

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