Wed, Apr 04, 2018 - Page 4 News List

Datong memorial church declared a historic site

By Huang Chien-hao  /  Staff reporter

The Lee Chun-sheng Memorial Church on Gueide Street in Taipei’s Datong District is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government Department of Cultural Affairs

A church built in 1935 in memory of Lee Chun-sheng (李春生) — known as the “godfather of Taiwanese tea leaves” — in Taipei’s Datong District (大同) was on Friday last week designated a city-level historic site.

The two-story Lee Chun-sheng Memorial Church on Gueide Street (貴德街) was built in a Baroque style on the former site of Taiwan’s first post office, adding to the cultural and historic significance of the site, the Taipei City Government cultural heritage review committee said.

The building was once in a state of disrepair and only narrowly escaped demolition, but the committee recognized the building’s links with developments in Taiwan’s transportation, postal services, expatriate movements and commerce from the Qing Dynasty to the Japanese colonial era.

Despite changes to the exterior of the building, the entrances, walls and layout are unchanged, the committee said.

Lee, best known for his success in cultivating and selling tea leaves, helped then-governor of Taiwan Liu Ming-chuan (劉銘傳) build the nation’s first railroad, as well as pave the roads in Taipei’s Dadaocheng area (大稻埕).

Lee’s family built the memorial church to commemorate him after his death.

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