Pictures and words by Jing-Yi Yang
Translated by Cara Steenstra
Situated on Minquan Road, opposite the Taichung City Government, is the century-old Former Taichung City Hall. As part of the city government's active efforts to protect local cultural heritage, this building was renovated in October, 2005 with a government grant and re-opened as The Former Taichung City Hall, an art and cultural space for all citizens. This followed in the footsteps of similar projects at the Taichung City Mayor's Residence, Former Taichung Broadcasting Bureau and other historical buildings.
The City Office building is an elegant, pure-white structure that combines Japanese Tatsuno-style and French baroque architecture. The main, L-shaped building has two floors. Its main entrance, facing a street corner, is an elevated, two-floor-high columnstyle corridor featuring a small attached attic with round windows. Not only was this an architectural work of art during the Japanese Occupation period, but it also became representative of government architecture among Taichung's historical sites.
Through the lobby, the first and second floor exhibition rooms display a series of works by several masters which you can admire at your leisure. If necessary, professional guidance to these displays is also available upon request. Outside the corridor on the first floor is a bamboo garden that adds an element of poetic beauty to the lovely scenery. Winding up the red-carpeted staircase takes you to the second floor, which is decorated entirely in wood and includes an exhibition space about the same size as the first floor. There is also a small independent studio where films are shown. Continue on upstairs and you will find the elaborate domeshaped ceiling which was constructed from eight sets of wooden supports. This architectural element, rarely seen in Taiwan in earlier times, is well worth a second look.
Apart from regular exhibits of masters from various artistic fields, there are also many fun family activities that take place here. Those who are interested in all that the City Office now offers can refer to the Taichung City Cultural Affairs Bureau's website for more information.
Taichung City Cultural Bureau's English website:
The City Office
97, MinQuan Road, West District, Taichung City
Tel: (04) 2229-3341
Hours: 9 am- 5 pm (closed Mondays)