The Church of San Nicolas that used to stand on this site was built through the efforts of the Augustinian Recollects.
It was the third and last church erected in the area under the patronage of St. Nicholas of Tolentine.
Japanese forces burned the structure in February 1945 during the occupation of Manila and killed the Recollect priests.
The St. Nicholas Church was described in La Casa de Dios, a book published by the Ortigas Foundation which had Fr. Rene Javellana as principal author, as having engaged Doric columns on its facade.
Below is a longer description of the church in La Casa de Dios.
Each side of the main door had a niche that hosts an image while three windows decorate the upper part of the front exterior. The pediment had a window flanked by octagonal designs.
The main altar featured a niche that carried an image of Jesus the Nazarene. A lot of paintings were displayed on the interior walls and even in the cloister. Rather than stone, the stairway had carved wooden supports.
The bell tower with its engaged pilasters and viewing balconies on the fourth and fifth levels was most striking. Although the nave and cloister walls still stood after it was burned down by the Japanese during the war, the Church of San Nicolas was not rebuilt.
The site was cleared of the remaining ruins in 1959 and acquired in 1976 by the Bulletin Publishing Corporation, which put up a modern office building a year after.