Former Official Dormitories of Taihoku Prison
The prison building from Qing Dynasty rule was preserved as Taihoku Prison before moving to an area that is today’s neighborhood of Aiguo East Road and Jinhua Street and be expanded. Taihoku Prison was planned and designed by Keijiro Yamashita, a Japanese specialist in modern prison architecture, who adopted the latest Pennsylvania System at that time, turning it into one of the largest modern prisons in Taiwan.
The prison was used and renamed Taipei Prison after the Nationalist government moved to Taiwan. As of 1963, when it was relocated to the completed new site in Guishan, Taoyuan, people against the Japanese rule, such as Fu-Xing Luo, Yu-Chun Lin, Wei-Shui Chiang, and He Lai, were imprisoned in Taihoku Prison. In addition, political victims during the White Terror in the 1950s were also held in this prison, making it an important site that had witnessed jail history and events of individuals in Taiwan.
Many immigrants working in the Ministry of Justice retreated with the Nationalist government to the island after 1949. Some public servants who failed to apply for formal housing received oral permission from their superiors to expand or build houses by themselves. That is why in addition to employees of the Ministry of Justice, the population of the former official dormitories of Taihoku Prison comprises employees of different agencies, residents living there since Japanese colonial rule, and soldiers who came to Taiwan early.
A large number of rural-urban immigrants moved into idle dormitories of Taipei Prison after the relocation in 1963. The area is referred to as the Huaguang Community since the 70s and the residents were used to calling it “the prison entrance.” Public servants, original residents, and rural-urban immigrants were all part of the community, building housing facilities on vacant lots in alleys when running out of space. All sorts of eating and drinking places, the center of belief Linshui Temple, public toilets, and so on can be found in the community with its food and drinks attracting city residents.
The government had been pushing a government-led urban renewal project of national land from 2007 to 2013, hoping to transform the old Huaguang Community into a business and financial center. Affected residents had protested against being forced to move out and requested a reasonable resettlement plan, engaging in lawsuits with the Ministry of Justice that managed the national land; however, the residents received no compensation for housing demolition and relocation and were not resettled due to party alternation, changes in policies, and plans for land development. Moreover, some residents who were not employees of government agencies were deemed as illegal occupants or violators of building regulations. The households ended up losing the lawsuit and moved out at the end of June 2012. The Huaguang Community was torn down completely at the end of August 2013. During the process, multiple fires had broken out, which burned down almost 20 dormitories.
In March 2013, non-governmental organizations formed the Alliance for Preservation and Revitalization of Taihoku Prison Community’s Cultural Heritage, restarting the conversation about cultural heritage and striving for its designation and protection of old trees. The north side wall near the office of telecommunications on Jinshan South Road was designated a municipal historic site called the Remains of Taipei Prison Wall in March 1998 by the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Taipei City Government, followed by the registration of the south prison wall as a historic site and around 20 Japanese-style official dormitories and bathhouses as historic buildings where tens of trees, such as banyans, mango trees, Chinese cedars, camphor trees, etc., are protected, celebrating the restoration of the old buildings.
“To brighten Da’an District and turn it into a place of delight.”
The repair and reuse of old buildings offers a second life to historic buildings and create a place for the communication, connection, and encounter of people, objects, and experiences.
Rongjin Gorgeous Time Park will be dedicated to cross the boundaries of generations and fulfill diversity and equality, the cultural value, through a friendly environment for people with different genders, ages, impairments, races, and families, endeavoring to become a narrator of culture and history, practitioner of friendly services, and promoter of cross-generational interaction.
The elderly, families, and young people of different generations can communicate, share, and listen to each other’s values in Rongjin Gorgeous Time Park. We look forward to having a blissful time with you by looking back into the history.
Haddoken Co., Ltd.
Haddoken Co., Ltd. has been committed to the elderly industry for the wellbeing and comfortable living of the elderly, aiming to change the public’s stereotype of aging
The company also fulfills social responsibilities, provides various services, including family services, home care, and community-based integrated care, for aging in place, and brings pleasant changes and vitality to the restoration of old buildings by creating pleasing experiences for the elderly.