The Taichung High Administrative Court recently ruled that the Yongjing House of Loyalty in Changhua County should remain a heritage building under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). That decision overturned an appeal filed by the Chiu Chung-shih -Common -Ancestral Property.
The house was approved as a county-level heritage site by Changhua County after an application by members of the Chiu family, on the grounds that the property held great historic value.
However, a faction within the family was allegedly keen to accept a NT$150 million (US$5.04 million) offer for the property and filed an appeal against the decision.
The house was built in 1758 by the Chiu family, which came from Guangdong Province in China. It was enlarged in 1866 by the head of the third--generation, Chiu Tsui-ying (邱萃英), a fifth-level official in the Qing court. It is also known as one of the oldest Hakka buildings in Changhua County.
The house retains the rare -precious vase-shaped doorway, which leads to the building where Chiu Tsui-ying lived and taught in his later years.
Several years ago, descendants of the Chiu family split, with some wanting to tear the house down, while others opted for its preservation.
Chiu Mei-tu (邱美都), who wrote about the House of Loyalty’s -cultural meaning and history many years ago — for which he received the Huang River Literary Award — contacted about 50 members of the Chiu family and petitioned Changhua County’s Cultural Affairs Bureau for the property to be listed as a county-level heritage site.
The petition passed after numerous cultural assessment -committee meetings and the property was -designated a county-level heritage site in January last year.
Bureau deputy director-general Chen Yun-yung (陳允勇) yesterday said the committee “made the right decision on preserving the property,” adding they would apply for budgets from the central government or file county budgets to pay for repairs to the site.