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Saigon Adds 16 Old Villas in District 1, 3 to List to Be Preserved

After more than a year of work, Saigon authorities have finished assessing the preservation status of 86 old villas within the bounds of the city, though the classification process is still ongoing.

As Tuoi Tre reports, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee ordered the HCMC Institute for Development Studies to submit a report on their assessment of the old structures. In September 2018, the city officially issued a list of criteria to determine the conservation status of Saigon’s scores of heritage buildings constructed before 1975. According to the document, they will be divided into three groups in order of historical and cultural importance, and how sturdy the structures are currently.

Since then, the institute has formed a classification committee to undertake the task. At the moment, 16 villas have been categorized in Group 1, which comprises buildings that will be preserved as is. They are all in District 1 and District 3, such as the notable Phuong Nam Mansion at 110-112 Vo Van Tan Street. It was purchased in 2015 for a staggering price of US$35 million and is regarded by many as one of Saigon’s most impressive heritage buildings.

In Group 2, there are 49 villas. Buildings in this group will have only their exterior preserved, while a Group 3 status means that the buildings are marked for demolition to be rebuilt. So far 17 villas are classified in Group 3. According to the institute, they have compiled a list of around 900 pre-1975 buildings to be assessed, most of which are scattered in District 1, 3, 5 and Thu Duc.

A list by Phap Luat shows that the 16 villas to be preserved are at 113 Hai Ba Trung, 170 Pasteur, 171 Pasteur, 168 Hai Ba Trung, 48 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, 104 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, 3 Phung Khac Khoan and 7 Phung Khac Khoan — all in District 1; 11 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, 13 Ngo Thoi Nhiem, 60 Vo Van Tan, 110-112 Vo Van Tan, 124 Cach Mang Thang Tam, 33 Le Quy Don, 177 Vo Thi Sau and 216 Vo Thi Sau — all in District 3.

[Photo: The centenarian villa at 110-112 Vo Tan Tan/Nguoi Lao Dong]