Xinyi District 信義區 is now one of the most expensive and upscale parts of Taiwan 台灣 but it hasn’t always been that way. Decades ago it was an undesirable area on the edge of the city with a significant military-industrial presence, traces of which still remain if you know where to look. The open expanse of parks and parking lots around the intersection of Xìn’ān Street 信安街 and Wúxìng Street 吳興街 immediately to the west of Taipei Medical University 臺北醫學大學 is one such trace.
Pictured here is a gateway to the former Republic of China Army 中華民國陸軍 maintenance depot (Chinese: Bǎoyǎngchǎng 保養廠) that once occupied this land. It closed down sometime in the 1990s when operations moved out of the city to Taoyuan 桃園. The plant’s immense warehouses and factory buildings were left to the elements while the city dithered over various plans to redevelop the land. As time wore on security grew lax and adventurous types—urban explorers, graffiti artists, paintball enthusiasts, and thrill-seeking university students—soon moved in. Evidently this post about exploring the ruins of the depot became so notorious that it prompted a television news segment—and not long thereafter the remaining buildings were knocked down. Nowadays there isn’t much left of the maintenance depot apart from the outer walls and these doors emblazoned with the distinctive insignia of the former plant.