that corrodes through all her best resolves."
~Owen Feltham (1602–1668)
The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, better known simply as San Sebastian Church, is believed to be the only pre-fabricated steel church in the world. Designed by the Spanish architect Genaro Palacios, it was built in 1891 using steel sections made in Belgium after earlier churches built on the site since 1611 by the Augustinian Recollects were destroyed by earthquakes in 1859, 1863 and 1880.
Though it may be earthquake and fireproof, the all-steel San Sebastian Church—which was designated a National Historical Landmark in 1973—suffers from another problem: rust. It is humid in Metro Manila no matter what the weather is and it rains almost half of the year. The City of Manila, where the church stands, is also very near the sea. After more than a hundred years in those conditions, the steel's integrity is threatened and the church is slowly undergoing restoration.