The historic 130-year-old Chang mansion in Hengchun’s Beimen area was diligently maintained by a descendent of the family, Chang Wei-chi. Pingtung County Cultural Affairs Department head Wu Chin-fa and many members of the cultural heritage committee went to survey the Chang mansion and were left deeply impressed by the old well and the red tile walls of the house.
The site of the historic Chang mansion at Beimen dates from the Qing Dynasty, and includes the original Qing Dynasty site, the extension built during the Japanese colonial period and the post- retrocession extension. Chang’s descendants hope that in the future the post-retrocession part of the building will be demolished and the Qing part and the Japanese colonial era extension will be maintained. They also hope that the cultural vista of the bamboo moat and courtyard doors can be restored, creating the traditional appearance of a Hengchun style house.
Chang pointed out that portions of the site of the mansion overlap with land which is to be re-developed. The ownership of the house was complex, thus it was difficult to maintain it. He said he had the rights from the majority of owners of the house and hoped that the county would recognize it as a historic building as soon as possible.
Photo: Tsai Chong-Hsien, Liberty Times
Pingtung County councilor Chang Rong-chih who is also head of the Chang clan said the Chang ancestral house is precious and the spirit displayed by young people returning to their hometown to maintain their property was moving. The older Chang generation were glad of their assistance, said Chang.
After the survey, Wu said that the well, the bamboo moat and the house itself had the beauty of an old mansion, and supported the Chang clan diligently seeking to have the house classified as a historic building. However, he said the cultural assets would still be considered in accordance with the provisions of the cultural heritage committee.
(Liberty Times, translated by Clare Lear)
1. descendent n.
後代 (hou4 dai4)
例: The descendents of Eygptians lost the technology for constructing pyramids.
2. demolish v.
拆除 (chai1 chu2)
例: To earn money construction companies must demolish people’s old houses and build luxury apartments.
3. diligently adv.
用心 (yong4 xin1)
例: She diligently stretched her ligaments to achieve a 180 degree leg extension.
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