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Restoration begins on 88-year-old market in Ho Chi Minh City

Thursday, October 27, 2016, 17:12 GMT+7

Work has begun on the comprehensive restoration of Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tay Market, an 88 year old structure that has borne witness to the history of the city’s Chinese-Vietnamese community.

Merchants at Binh Tay Market in District 6 have a November 15 deadline to move their business to a temporary market to make way for a 365 day restoration project on the historic building.

The temporary market is located on Thap Muoi Street, just opposite the existing market, with space for up to 1,077 stalls.

The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon at a meeting between the People’s Committee of District 6, the municipal Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the municipal Department of Construction, which had previously agreed upon the restoration plan.

The upcoming restoration is the most comprehensive project of this nature done on the market since its construction in 1928, with two previous restorations in 1991 and 2006 carried out at a much smaller scale.

All damaged fixtures in the market will be restored and replaced using the same materials as the originals, while the architectural components will be left untouched to preserve the market’s design.

Binh Tay Market was listed as a national relic of architecture and arts in 2015 by the Ho Chi Minh City Monuments Conservation Center, making the preservation of the market’s architecture and historical value a top priority, according to District 6's Management Authority for Construction Investment, investor of the restoration project.

All 12 entrances of the market will be left untouched, while decorative patterns and other architectural details will be measured, photographed, and sketched in order to help replicate their current condition after restoration.

Two hectares of the market’s roofing will be taken apart and replaced with new tiles of the same material.

Other objectives of the Binh Tay Market restoration project include replacing the current rafter system, repainting walls and pillars, restoring damaged decorations, renovating the staircases and railings, retiling the entire market with grindstone material, elevating the whole structure to prevent future flooding, renovating the market’s yard, and building a new basement in the open area inside the market.

There is also a proposal to re-erect the statue of Quach Dam, a wealthy Chinese merchant that funded the market’s construction in 1928, inside the market’s yard.

Quach Dam was born in the Chinese city of Chaozhou in eastern Guangdong Province, and settled in southern Vietnam at a young age to start a scrap selling business.

He soon became one of the wealthiest tradesmen in the area at the time.

Quach Dam hired a French architect to design Binh Tay Market, which explains its incorporation of both Western and Eastern architectures.

Quach Dam’s statue, originally placed at the center of the market, is being preserved at the Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts.

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

One of the 12 entrances of Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

An open area inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

Merchants’ stalls along the side of Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

The tile roofing of Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

The tile roofing of Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A rafter system inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A colorful display of clothing items in a stall inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A porter carries a heavy package up a staircase inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A porter carries a heavy package up a staircase inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A woman collects dirty dishes from diners who had ordered food from her stall at Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Sửa chữa toàn diện chợ Bình Tây sau 88 năm

A porter carries a heavy package down a staircase inside Binh Tay Market in District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

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