Fri, Oct 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Activists demand a designation of cultural heritage

By Lii Wen  /  Staff reporter

Cultural preservation groups yesterday rallied for the preservation of Jiahe New Village (嘉禾新村), a military dependents’ village near Taipei’s Gongguan (公館) area, as they accompanied inspectors from the Taipei City Government’s Cultural Heritage Evaluation Committee through a tour of the village.

The village, with most of its inhabitants already vacated, is scheduled to be demolished by the end of the year under development plans for a large park, unless committee members designate it as a cultural landscape.

Jiahe Studio cultural preservation group member Yu Liang-kui (郁良溎) said valuable lessons could be learned from the village’s unique architecture, as well as its status as the only remaining military dependent’s village affiliated with the military’s now-defunct Combined Services Forces.

Clustered along winding alleyways, the majority of houses in the village were constructed in the 1950s by military personnel who arrived in Taiwan following the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) defeat in the Chinese civil war. Many houses were built through alterations made to existing structures that belonged to a short-lived military maintenance compound.

The village features three Japanese wooden buildings from before World War II, which experts say could have been high-end scenic restaurants, judging from the village’s riverside location by Xindian Creek (新店溪).

Yu also said that many films have incorporated scenes shot at the village, such as music videos by the band Mayday and singer Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰), as well as cinematic work by director Doze Niu (鈕承澤), who spent his childhood in the village in one of the larger compounds that belonged to a high-ranking official.

The committee is set to to announce its decision in one month.

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