Friday, January 11, 2013

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Chen Tian-lai Old House, Tataocheng

1/11/2013 Taiwan Explorer

The Chen Tian-lai Old House 陳天來故居 (sometimes Chen Tian-lai Residence) in Tataocheng's old Guide Street 貴德街 is a house that was completed in 1923, when Taiwan was under Japanese occupation. It belonged to Chen Tian-lai 陳天來, a merchant, who prospered through trade with tea and other investment. The Baroque-style house was the seat of his tea trade company 錦記茶行 (Jǐnjì cháháng) and was at that time one of the most impressive house in the area (source). That fact didn't change today - compared to the surrounding houses, that were built much later, this is still a very solid and impressive piece of architecture, even after 80 years. I decided to go to Tataocheng on a sunny winter day in December 2012 and this is what I saw:

Let me share some pictures with you from December 2012:

I entered the Guide Street right after I exited the Tataocheng Wharf.

The Chen Tian-lai house is somewhere in the middle of the street.

The top part is very interesting.

Despite the sunny weather, the Guide Street tends to be dark.

Greek columns were a very popular element in those times, here is a good example.

The beautiful main entrance.

The third floor is full of neo-Greek ornamentation.

The south-western corner of the house gets more sun light.

A detail from the top window.

A look back at Guide Street.

If you don't mind walking like me, then stop at Shuanglian MRT Station and go out at Exit 1, then turn left and keep walking straight along the Minsheng Westroad for about 20 minutes. When you see the Tataocheng Wharf, turn left into the small lane and you will be at Guide Street. From there it's just about a minute and you will see the house. Since it's a private property, be sure to not be too intrusive with your camera.


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