The Taipei Children’s Recreational Center in the Yuanshan (圓山) area celebrated its 75th anniversary yesterday and invited children under the age of 12 to visit the center for free through April 5 before it closes for more than one year starting next month.
The center, which was built on the site of the former Yuanshan Zoo and Children’s Amusement Park, is an important childhood memory for many Taipei residents and has remained a popular attraction for families.
After celebrating its 75th anniversary, the center will close its doors to visitors until September next year to allow for the construction of exhibition areas for the 2010 Taipei International Gardening & Horticulture Exposition.
The Taipei City Government will set up three exhibition areas for the expo and build a new amusement park in the Mei-lun Park area of Shilin District (士林).
Center director Chien Chian-chuan (簡健全) said the news about the center’s closure had attracted more visitors. About 15,000 people visited the center on weekends on average and the number of visitors could reach a new high this week, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) challenged the city government’s decision to close the center for the expo, saying it had sacrificed the children’s “happy land” to promote the expo.
She said the city government had focused its efforts on building the three exhibition areas and ignored the maintenance work needed for the center’s facilities, including the merry-go-round and Ferris wheel. The center might be abandoned after the expo, she said.
Chien Chian-chuan said some staff would stay in the center to maintain the facilities.
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