This refined Romanesque building was built by a real estate agent called Taiyo Shokai as an office building mainly for tenants. Maruishi, the name of the building, is the name of a company affiliated with Taiyo Shokai. It was designed by the young Toshiro Yamashita, later a maestro, who had just become independent from Mitsubishi Estate. Since the Great Kanto Earthquake occurred six years before he started designing this building, various considerations have been given in order to improve earthquake resistance, which
contributes to extend the life of this building. In addition, both the interior and exterior are elaborately designed. Two types of domestic stones with statues and reliefs of animals and plants are used on the exterior walls of the first floor. The interior decoration is as good as the exterior, and the white plaster reliefs with a floral motif on the entrance ceiling are particularly interesting. The flowers were originally colored, but were repainted white in haste after the Second World War. This is because the building was used as a refuge for civilians during the war, and the ceiling was stained black by the soot from the smoke from their cooking, so it was repainted white during the postwar turmoil.
The pair of lion statues in the photo originally stood on the other side of the building, where rainwater drained from their mouths into the canal. It was later moved to the entrance in 1994 due to the reclaim of the canal. In 1931, when this building was completed, the Empire State Building was also completed. A good building can be used comfortably for more than 100 years if it has been properly maintained.
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