Old Military Housing Museum

The above shots are from the military housing museum in the shadow Taipei 101. 1.5 million refugees showed up in Taiwan in 1949 with Chiang Kai-shek after the fall of China to the communists. Many of them were soldiers. There are accounts of these soldiers squatting anywhere they could. They took over hospitals, where they burnt the banisters for wood, schools where they used the textbooks for toilet paper, in parks where they remained until the past decade, etc. Almost every old Taiwanese can tell the story of a home invasion in their own neighborhood. Some can even point out where the descendants of home invaders still live. The original occupants of these homes are pretty much erased from history.

I doubt this settlement was the result of a squat however. The neighborhood around 101 was rice paddies until 30 years ago. I'm guessing the soldiers were given the land during the land reorganization drive of the early fifties.

The museum is interesting. They've got lots of every day stuff on hand: old radios, books, kitchen pots and utensils, hat racks and so on. The apartments were pretty small too, about two-thirds the size of a single master bedroom in today's Taipei (maybe four pings).

The guides at the museum told me they grew up in this complex; their dads were soldiers from China. I asked one what these mounds were, but she said "we're trying to create the military houses as they were."


Anonymous said...

What's the address? I can't find this place.

Patrick Cowsill said...

It's on Hsin-yi Road (信義路), either Sec. 4 or 5, across from Taipei 101.

Anonymous said...

Hi! guys:

There is another old military housing complex in ShanChong , New Taipei City. If you want to tour this place, contact Sarah at 0966289159. The site I mentioned is a military housing museum park in the making. Wellcome to visit.