Although the building was demolished in 2016, the Tax Trade Center still makes a mark when it comes to Saigon.
Accompanying the city during its development for more than 130 years, Tax Trade Center – one of the largest commercial centers in Saigon (HCMC) – is considered the soul of the busiest city in Indochina.
Tax Trade Center – a part of Saigon’s glory
Sticking with Saigon since the late 19th century, Tax Trade Center is a memory, an indelible mark in the hearts of generations of Saigon people from grandparents, parents, and children. Standing on two famous boulevards of Saigon, Bonard and Charner (now Le Loi – Nguyen Hue), Tax Trade Center appeared with the mission of becoming the biggest and busiest shopping mall in Saigon – awakening the economic dragon. strong economy of Indochina.
Built by the French in 1880, the building was named Grands Magasins Charner de Saigon (SGMCD) after the Société Coloniale des Grands Magasins company chose it as its business location in 1914.
With the rapid development of Saigon – one of the largest cities in Indochina, the building was chosen as a place to import luxury goods from Europe and welcome high-class customers, in 1924, the building was restored. and designed in the Art Deco style, creating a combination of French architecture and Asian culture – both elegant, attractive, dynamic and modern, thereby creating an architectural highlight. in a prime location of the city.
In November of the same year, Grands Magasins Charner (GMC) was opened at Tax Trade Center – a remarkable event that appeared in a series of newspapers at that time. The building was later renamed GMC, signaling the beginning of a prosperous shopping center on a land rich in potential.
At that time, GMC proudly published newspaper ads such as “The biggest store, the most variety and the best shopping mall”. To attract more customers, GMC also had a tea room, an American-style bar with a “Free admission” advertisement.
The business became much more prosperous, so in 1942, in addition to adding a fourth floor, the clock tower portion of the building was closed and replaced with the “GMC” banner. At this time, the building had the appearance of a busy and trendy commercial building.
After changing its name to Tax Trade Center, the building in the period 1960-1970 was considered one of the busiest and largest shopping centers in Saigon. With a wide variety of items from clothes, watches, cameras to electronics from the US, Japan, and Taiwan, the mall has attracted more foreign shoppers.
After a period of silence because of the war, Tax Trade Center changed its name to City Children’s Service Store with a team of red scarf merchants, marking an interesting return of the building. In the period 1980-1990, the merger of City Children’s Service Store and sales stores formed General Department Store – one of the largest stores in Vietnam at that time.
In the 90s of the 20th century, this place became the main trading center of Saigon with a variety of items from garments, handicrafts to expensive items. Huong Xa Tax had a flourishing period when welcoming a large number of domestic and foreign customers.
Experiencing many restorations, Tax Trade Center still retains its unique French architecture, and has become one of the 5 most famous shopping destinations of the people of Ho Chi Minh City.
Accompanying Saigon for more than 130 years, Tax Trade Center witnessed the city’s surprising economic growth and change and stuck with the childhood of many people here.
Located at the intersection of Le Loi – Nguyen Hue and possessing a unique architecture, Tax Trade Center fulfills its mission of becoming the largest commercial center in Saigon and bringing the city’s economy to prosperity.
Tax Trade Center – Eternal memory in the hearts of Saigon people
Tax Trade Center is attached to the life and childhood of many generations of Saigon people, so it is not only a big mall, but it is also a memory of people and the soul of the city. Saigon people often go to commercial centers not only to shop for goods but also to relax, entertain, listen to music, eat ice cream or sip coffee watching the vibrant street corners. However, after a long time with Saigon, Tax Trade Center officially closed in 2014, and was demolished to start another architectural work in 2016.
Although knowing that in order to have larger and more modern buildings, the demolition of old buildings is inevitable, the fact that a building – which has become a familiar symbol is demolished – makes many people uncomfortable. disheartened.
Currently, Tax Trade Center has been demolished and replaced by a new building Satra-Tax Plaza with 6 basements – connected to the Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien Metro line, 40 floors high. However, to recall a prosperous symbol of Saigon that once existed there, during the construction of the new building, the 6 floors of the foundation were built in a way that kept the original design of the Tax Trade Center, as well as stone mosaic. and two main stairs, railings inside the building, thereby creating a harmony between the old and modern architectural styles, and at the same time not losing the mark of a Saigon symbol.
If you have the opportunity to come to Ho Chi Minh City, even if you can no longer admire the Tax Trade Center building, you can still feel the antiquity and the harmonious combination of European – Asian architecture through the new building. .
Address: No. 137 Nguyen Hue, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
Year of construction: 1880
Demolition year: 2016
Area: 9,200 m2
Architectural type: Art Deco
Location: 137 Nguyen Hue, HCMC
Best for: No longer in use
Entrance: No longer in use
Hours: No longer in use
Distance to city center: 9.5km (5.9 mi)