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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

An Empty Shell on Dayong Street 大勇街屋

Broken open south of the new Taichung Station.

The south side of central Taichung 台中 is undergoing massive changes with the opening of the new Taichung Station. Formerly one of the most rundown parts of urban Taiwan 台灣, it is now the front of the station, and many old and decrepit buildings like this house on Dàyǒng Street 大勇街 are being torn down to make way for lucrative new developments. It is a minor ruin, one for which I have uncovered no specific history, although a little sleuthing around on Google Street View indicates the building was still intact in February 2015 and boasted a simple signboard for a tea shop: 茶點複合式冷飲. Judging by the construction style I would guess this place dates back to the 1960s, give or take a decade. Gathered here are several photos shared more for their aesthetic appeal than intrinsic historic value.

This interplay of texture and geometry is what drew me in from the streets.
A window opening onto nothing. The window grill looks to have been cut to accommodate an air conditioning unit.
Taking the long view of a half-demolished house on Dayong Street.

Looking back, I must have walked by this building while it was still intact without giving it a second thought on my way to Tianwaitian Theater 天外天劇場, one of the most famous ruins of Taichung 台中. Indeed, it was on one of many return trips to this majestic old theater that I wandered in and shot the photos seen in this post. On other occasions an old woman, presumably working at the sleazy KTV next door, glared and waved my camera away. “No photos!” The same thing happened when I passed by with about 40 others on a history walk on New Year’s Day (more about that here). The old woman smiled but insisted that nobody photograph the ruins of this seemingly ordinary house.

For context: a doomed old house on Dayong Street, Taichung.

I wonder what will come of this place in the near future? The demolition is incomplete but you can be sure that the rest will fall before long—this property is now too valuable to lay idle for long. If I’m around to find out I’ll be sure to update this post.

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