Taichung visitors could soon have the chance to stay at the Huang Family Garden Estate (黃家薄園), following the completion of a multi-year restoration project, the first historic site in the nation to be converted into a bed-and-breakfast (B&B) site.
The Japanese colonial era estate in what is now the Chingshui District (清水) was completed in 1929, occupying more than 8,000m2, making it the largest private estate in the area, Cultural Affairs Bureau Director Chang Ta-chun (張大春) said on Sunday.
“It is the largest private estate to have been designated as an historic site for Taichung’s coastal region,” Chang said. “The owner raised the idea of renovating it to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast, so people could stay there, surrounded by history.”
Photo courtesy of the Cultural Affairs Bureau via CNA
Chang said he supported the B&B idea as long as the main structure and the estate’s architectural framework are not damaged.
“There have been quite a few successful cases of re-utilization of historic architectural sites in other nations, such as turning castles into hotels. We have also seen success in Japan in revitalizing historic places for new commercial uses,” Chang said. “So we are optimistic about the push to turn the Huang Family Garden Estate into the first ‘historic site and lodging place’ in Taichung, as it could become a hot spot for tourism along the coast.”
The estate’s architecture is a mix of Minnan (閩南) and Western styles, with two courtyards and a main residence surrounded by a double-section of annexes, bureau officials said.
The main residence and central gate’s pillars, arched entrance and gable walls were based on the Baroque style, while a second gate was based on traditional Minnan style, with white-tile walls, ceramic roof decorations and bird-form brackets to support the main beams, they said.
The estate was officially designated in 2013 as a city historic site, and a NT$70 million (US$2.33 million at the current exchange rate) restoration project was launched.
Chang led his staff to inspect the work last week, which he said had been mainly aimed at restoring and shoring up the earthen walls, roof truss, doors and windows, and the exterior ceramic decorations.
“We will request funds for phase two of the project, which would restore the surrounding landscape, and will work to encourage the revitalization of the Huang Family Estate so it can continue to be used,” Chang said.
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