Colonial-era Ambiance of Port of Taichung Deputy Harbor Master’s Official Residence to Shine Once Again
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Port of Taichung,Taiwan International Ports Corporation, Ltd.
The Deputy Harbor Master’s Official Residence at Port of Taichung was built 78 years ago in 1944 during the waning months of Taiwan’s 50 years of colonial rule by Japan. Japan had earlier commissioned the construction of a new harbor (Niitaka) along the Taiwan Strait at Wuqi to support the country’s wartime Nanshin (southward expansion) policy. Along with this new harbor, official residences were built for harbor officials along today’s Zhugang Road. Following the end of the Second World War and Taiwan’s handover to the Republic of China, Niitaka Harbor was renamed Taichung Port in 1946. Taichung Port was greatly enlarged during the Ten Major Construction Projects program in the 1970s in order to take a larger role in the country’s economic expansion. It was during this period that one of Niitaka Harbor’s official residence buildings was designated as the official residence of the Deputy Harbor Master.
The Deputy Harbor Master’s Official Residence is a single, 145m2 dwelling with a traditional Japanese-style yard in the back. Although the building has undergone previous renovations and repairs, its interior / exterior window boards, sliding doors, ceiling vents, and interior aesthetics as well as its exterior styling still clearly shows its colonial pedigree. The historical value of the residence was officially recognized in February 2016 when the Taichung City Government declared the building and its grounds a municipal heritage site. More recently, Port of Taichung allocated a budget of NT$37 million and has begun to carefully restore the site in compliance with the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act and Regulations Governing the Restoration and Reuse of Historical Sites.
A team of experienced architects has been brought in to direct planning and design work to ensure that the building is faithfully restored to its original appearance in terms of exterior appearance and interior layout and that original design aesthetics, materials (or close facsimiles), colors, and craftsmanship are applied in the restoration process. The building will be returned to its original 1944 layout, with an entry hall, living room, guestroom, and bathroom along with a private outdoor yard. This site will become one of a number of restored colonial-era official residences designated as Port of Taichung history spotlight destinations, giving visitors a glimpse into colonial-era Taiwan and showing how the port has grown and changed across three-quarters of a century.
Restoration work commenced in January of this year (2022) and will end in March of 2023, after which the Fabulous Group will manage and maintain the site as a hotel destination under its Golden Tulip Fab Hotel network, infusing new purpose and value into this heritage site. Port of Taichung looks forward to this private-sector partnership creating a successful new model of cultural heritage revitalization and repurposing.