Taipei City Government is to spend NT$700 million (US$22 million) to renovate Yongle Market near Dadaocheng (大稻埕) and revive the historic district in an attempt to attract more foreign tourists.
Dadaocheng, located in Taipei’s Datung District (大同), was one of the city’s major trading ports in the 19th century and a prosperous area known for its tea and cloth businesses. It is now a major historical tourist spot, with a shopping area for dried goods and cloth on Dihua Street.
To preserve the traditional architecture in Dadaocheng and revive the traditional opera that used to flourish in the area, Taipei City’s Urban Development Department plans to designate the area a historical site and begin the renovation of Yongle Market next year.
The project also includes the renovation of buildings on Dihua Street and the overhaul of underground pipelines and street lighting in the area, said Hsu Yen-hsing (徐燕興), a division chief at the department.
The renovated nine-floor market will include a food court, a textiles market and a traditional opera performance promotion center, Hsu said yesterday during a municipal meeting at Taipei City Hall.
Lee Yong-ping (李永萍), the head of Taipei City’s Cultural Affairs department, supported the plan to preserve traditional opera in the area and suggested that the urban development department cooperate with the nearby Hsiahai City God Temple to produce more traditional opera performances.
Lee said the cultural affairs department would designate the area a historical site in the near future in order to facilitate the renovation project.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said the city government would increase subsidies available to local residents in order to complete the renovation project by 2010.