Zhongying Recreational Building 中英育樂大樓

Outside the Zhongying Recreational Building in Taichung
Outside the distinctive Zhongying Recreational Building in Taichung.

Zhōngyīng Recreational Building 中英育樂大樓 is one of many distinctive and iconic ruins in the urban blight surrounding Taichung Station 臺中車站 in central Taichung 台中. It was once a bustling commercial center but it fell into disrepair in the 1990s around the time that a series of fires left a total of seven people dead. With its fortunes in steep decline the building became a haven for the homeless—which is why the upper levels and basement have been sealed off.

Nowadays what residents remain are unusually suspicious of outsiders and, as a result, I haven’t made much progress in gaining access to most of the building the two times I’ve visited. The parts that can be seen are peculiar, to say the least: a concrete path corkscrews up from ground level to the third floor, allowing anyone to drive a scooter directly to their doorstep much like you would in a parking garage.

I will return to document more of what can be seen of this building but for now here’s a photo of the distinctive exterior fronting onto the main street. It is a wonder that this building hasn’t already been condemned and torn down but here is it more than two decades after disaster struck.