new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
View allAll Photos Tagged social-retailing

10 1/4" x 14"

Arches 140#CP

 

I rarely believed retired folks when they said that they became so busy after retirement that they didn't know when they had time to work ... well, I'm singing a different song now. Either I'm slowing down significantly, finding more to do, or am more distracted - but the days seems to whiz by in a blur of motion, and I fall into bed each night and think "where did the time go!" Perhaps it's a bit of all of that that has me as busy as I was before, though I've exchanged 'work' obligations for home and family obligations. I'm finally spending a bit more time with my grands, getting some VERY much needed things done in and around the house, and my social life has picked up too. All good things -- and I have to admit, busier than I had anticipated in any of my retirement imaginings.

 

I painted this 'splash and splatter' simply for the colors .... I hadn't worked on a S&S for a while - the method I enjoy when I want to focus and find something recognizable from a page of freely tossed water and paint. I find the method relaxing, challenging and fun ... and so, anemones...

 

My garden tomatoes have gone gangbusters -- but the 5 vines I have are all the salad type tomatoes - especially Juliets and cherries. I have found over the years that the Juliets (those 2" grape shaped tomatoes) to be the very best for surviving North Carolina's extreme summer heat and humidity and most of all, semi-drought conditions. These last two weeks, we've had significant rain, and the vines are now over the porch rail making picking a challenge - it's like finding the jewels in the jungle ....

 

I've been dehydrating some tomatoes and mostly enjoying a simple meal of tomatoes and onions sauteed in butter and olive oil, flavored with basil, and served over spaghetti. My summertime favorite for a quick, light, easy to fix dinner or lunch.

 

We matted a few more paintings this weekend for an upcoming festival in August - a one-day event at one of my favorite retail nurseries. This is a first time event for them as well as for me, so we'll see how it goes.

 

I hope you have a super week!!!

This is a slightly more challenging picture for Flickr I guess.

 

The Northern French city of Rouen has a beautiful, affluent and historic heart but also has an industrial area, poverty and crippling, unfair social deprivation - like most Western industrial conurbations. The meeting point of those two worlds is not always a comfortable place to be. In July 2016 we were not far from Rouen when the Roman Catholic priest Father Jacques Hamel was murdered in the parish of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray by two men, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, supposedly in the name of the Islamic State. The President of Normandy's Regional Council of Muslims, lmam Mohammed Karabila, said he was a friend who gave his life for others. Father Hamel had worked on an inter faith group in the region. Here, in a picture taken a year later, shoppers carrying branded bags from upmarket retailers pass by a gang-tagged and graffiti-strewn historic building in the centre of the city. Concentrated tagging like this sometimes marks the border between different gang-controlled areas (that's true in cities all over the world), though I don't claim to be able to interpret these particular tags. In the distance, a retail worker makes sure his shop windows are sparkling.

 

:copyright: 2017 I do not plaster my images with copyright information but I do not give my intellectual property away free and it is not in the Creative Commons; it is one of the ways in which I earn my living. The fact that the images on Flickr are mainly ‘fun’ images and snapshots makes no difference to me – they are still a commercial asset. No individual, group, organisation or entity is entitled to use these images in any way shape or form, on or in any media, at any time, in any place, for any reason, without my express written consent. To do so constitutes theft and will be treated accordingly.

via

 

Cannabis licensing in the City of Los Angeles has been a slow go. Though the City’s Department of Cannabis Regulation has licensed 155 Existing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries (“EMMDs”) there is still an entire line of existing cultivators and manufacturers, social equity applicants, and general public applicants waiting their turn for cannabis entitlements. The City announced earlier this month that Phase II licensing would open on August 1 and run for 30 days. This week, the public can for the first time see the documents required to secure Phase II licensing. Phase II applicants will need to prove a number of things, including that they were already operating in Los Angeles and supplying a valid EMMD prior to January 1, 2017. In addition, the City (and the world) is going to get its first look at initial social equity program entitlements in L.A.

 

Social equity in L.A. has been much debated and anticipated, namely because everyone knows that under local laws social equity applicants get a bevy of benefits and pretty much get to skip the line with priority license processing. Phase II is the first time we will get to see how social equity will work in practice since social equity eligibility is mandatory for Phase II licensees. Specifically, to qualify for Phase II temporary approval/licensing (which triggers priority licensing for existing “non-retailers” like growers and manufacturers — you will need to meet all of the following criteria:

 

The Applicant was engaged prior to January 1, 2016, in the same Non-Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity for which it now seeks a License;

 

The Applicant provides evidence and attests under penalty of perjury that it was a supplier to an EMMD prior to January 1, 2017;

 

The Business Premises meet all the land use and sensitive use requirements of Article 5 of Chapter X of this Code;

 

The Applicant passes a pre--license inspection;

 

There are no fire or life safety violations on the Business Premises:

 

The Applicant has paid all outstanding City business tax obligations;

 

The Applicant indemnifies the City from any potential liability on a form approved by DCR;

 

The Applicant provides a written agreement with a testing laboratory for testing all Cannabis and Cannabis products and attests to testing all its Cannabis and Cannabis products in accordance with state standards;

 

The Applicant is not engaged in Retailer Commercial Cannabis Activity at the Business Premises;

 

The Applicant attests that it will cease all operations if denied a State license or City License;

 

The Applicant qualifies under the Social Equity Program; and

 

The Applicant attests that it will comply with all operating requirements imposed by DCR and that DCR may immediately suspend or revoke the Temporary Approval if the Applicant fails to abide by any City operating requirement.

 

There’s a fundamental misunderstanding that social equity in Los Angeles means you’ve faced some kind of cannabis conviction, but it’s way more than that. There are three levels of social equity identified by tiers as follows:

 

Tier 1: Low Income (which means “80 percent or below of Area Median Income for the City based on the 2016 American Community Survey and updated with each decennial census”) and a prior California Cannabis Conviction (which means “a cannabis-related crime that occurred prior to November 8, 2016, and could have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor or citation under current California law,” though this definition is going to change to “an arrest or conviction for any crime under the laws of the State of California relating to the sale, possession, use, manufacture, or cultivation of Cannabis that occurred prior to November 8, 2016”); or Low Income and a minimum of five years cumulative residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area (which means residency in “eligible zip codes” as established by the City). Tier 1’s can’t own less than a 51 percent equity share of the licensed business.

 

Tier 2: Low Income and a minimum of five years cumulative residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area; or a minimum of 10 years cumulative residency in a Disproportionately Impacted Area. Tier 2’s can’t own less than a 33 1/3 percent equity share of the licensed business.

 

Tier 3: Tier 3’s have to enter into a Social Equity Agreement with the City to provide very specific capital, leased space, business, licensing and compliance assistance to a Tier 1 or Tier 2. Most people shooting for Phase II licensure will likely try to go for Tier 3 status, but they still have to find those coveted Tier 1s or 2s to play ball.

 

There are also a slew of regulations that apply to social equity applicants including having to disclose to the DCR any proposal to take on debt, any proposal to sell any equity in the business after licensure, and forking over bylaws and other corporate control documents.

 

At a roundtable I spoke on last week at the Vision Theater, L.A.’s social equity program was the topic of discussion. Cat Packer, executive director of the DCR, made clear that if people want to see changes to the social equity program, they need to show up to meetings with city council to voice their positions and desires. Ms. Packer also stated that Tier 1 and 2 social equity applicants are going to get retail licenses on a 2:1 basis relative to the general public and EMMDs (and on a 1:1 basis for non-retail). This means social equity applicants will get at around 310 retail licenses (there are 155 EMMDs) even before a single general public license ever issues. Combine those ratios with mandatory undue concentration limitations, and there’s a solid chance city license caps may be triggered with social equity, giving those applicants major leverage in what could be the world’s largest cannabis market.

 

The social equity program in LA is going to evolve and hopefully lead the way for other cities and counties looking at various social equity models. As Phase II approaches, social equity applicants need to be wary of hawkish and predatory practices that seek to take advantage of their status and discard them after the fact (see here for California’s recent cannabis schemes and scams).

 

www.cannalawblog.com/phase-ii-licensing-and-social-equity...

Proxy Falls taken with my Holga last Fall on the same day as this other shot captured with my Pentax 6x7.

 

Working retail as I do, I deal with a lot of different types of customers, most of those I sell cameras to though are students, relative newcomers when it comes to purchasing cameras. As such, a lot of what I do over the counter involves educating as well as selling. Or put another way, re-educating.

 

See, many people operate under a fair number of misconceptions when it comes to photography, and I want to take a bit of time tonight to combat one of them in particular; in order to take professional quality photographs you need professional quality cameras.

 

Frankly, if the person selling you a camera tells you this, it really means they are just trying to sell you something more expensive, that and they are probably paid on commission. And they would probably auction off a family member for the right price.

 

I know, many you already realize this is bogus thinking, nonetheless many of us succumb to it. There is something reassuring in knowing your camera has a price tag to rival your social security number. I mean, come on, if you have to skip two mortgage payments how can that camera NOT be good right? Well chances are it is a good camera. Doesn't mean it is the right camera for you though.

 

And I guess it all depends on how we define good. Oh boy, that is a topic that requires about three hours and four beers...

 

I always stress that it is how you USE the camera, not the camera itself that makes the most difference and I stand by that. If I sound like a broken record at times, it is merely because it is true and a very valuable lesson to learn. It is one of the things I try to demonstrate with my stream. I shoot five main cameras, though I cycle in others here and there. My main 35mm is my Nikon FM2n. In the store I work at, this camera costs $200 in perfect working order with a warranty. That $200 buys me a camera that will last for decades, will cost about $120 to refurbish when it wears out every 10-15 years or so and will stay in the family my entire life unless I drop it in the ocean as I seem to be more than capable of doing. Plus it takes images that are incredibly sharp and can be printed as large as 24x36 with a fairly high degree of quality. Sure I could have bought an F3 ($300-400), an F4 ($400), an F5 ($500) or an F6 ($1000 or more). Heck the F6 is the latest and greatest film camera out there. It does everything except sweep the kitchen floor. I have shot it, everytime you press the shutter it sounds like the camera is silkily whispering "damn fine shot". Then again, with the same lenses it will take the exact same quality image as my FM2. And sure, it is whiz-bang, but then again pretty much every automatic feature on cameras these days can be duplicated manually. These cameras don't allow you to do things less expensive and sophisticated cameras won't, they generally just tend to make those things quicker and easier. That is what all that extra money tends to buy you, speed and convenience, not necessarily better quality. More on that possibly in a bit.

 

My second camera, also my main landscape camera these days, is my Pentax 67. This was once a top of the line medium format camera. It produces large 6x7cm negatives with detail and resolution that still blow my mind. I would even go so far as to say it produces a higher resolution, sharper image than all but the most expensive of digital cameras can compete with. It also cost me $200. I am on my third one due to two unfortunate accidents. I have spent less than $700 combined on all three.

 

My third is my pinhole, brand new for $250. For those who are familiar with my pinhole images, not much more needs to be said. For those who are not, it is an incredibly interesting camera that captures a perspective unlike most other photography. All without the benefit of a lens, auto-focus, a meter of any kind, not a single gear, wire or circuit. It scoffs if you mention LCD in fact.

 

My fourth, which this image was taken with, is my Holga. $25. No, I am not missing a zero. It is a plastic toy camera that retails for about $25. Certainly not a perfect camera, but then again is there such a thing? No, there isn't. And if the person behind the counter tells you there is, well see the fourth paragraph above. I was down in Yosemite last year browsing the Ansel Adams gallery in the park, and there is a piece by a photographer named Ted Orland. It is an amazing work and though I do not remember the price on it, it was a lot and well worth it. It was taken with a holga.

 

My fifth is my Leica M3, which is a contradiction to the point I am trying to make, that camera sold for about $700. Though these days, that is about average for most DSLRs. Though honestly it is more of a specialty camera for me and of all the cameras listed above, is one of the ones that gets used the least.

 

I am not trying to trumpet my nifty frugalness or impress upon you my ability to not irrationally and impulsively spend my camera budget. The point I am trying to make is that it has always been, and always will be good photographers behind cameras that make good images. Note I have not attached any adjective to cameras, because none needs to be. To be blunt, a photographer is either skilled at what they do, or they are not, or they are somewhere in between hopefully moving towards the former and not the latter. A camera will not change this, though it may seem like it does. And true, cameras can help us see differently, they can help us take different pictures, but that is all they do at the most. Help. We take the pictures, good or bad, and it can be done on all cameras, expensive or not.

 

Buying the best camera is very very very rarely buying the more expensive camera. Rather it is a moderately tricky process of figuring out what you want to do as a photographer and buying the camera that is the best fit. Want to take odd, alternative artsy photos? Buy a holga, a lomo or a fish eye. Photojournalism? Then you probably want a rugged DSLR. Landscape with the intent to make murals? Medium or large format. Do you want something lightweight? You will want to buy a plastic camera (which will also break on you in a matter of a few years). Do you prefer a heavy and rugged camera for backpacking? Go with one of the SLRs of the 60s or 70s like a Minolta SRT or Pentax K1000. Want to try out medium format on a budget? Get a twin lens. A top notch Yashica Mat 124G can be found for $250 or less.

 

There are options, sometimes a seemingly overwhelming number of them. Start with yourself. Figure out what you need in a camera (much less than you might think). Plan how and where you will use a camera. Make a list and stick to it. Otherwise you are just going to be paying for a number of features you never actually get around to using. Expensive is not always the answer, but then again neither is cheap. It really revolves around your needs. You are matching a camera to yourself, not the other way around.

 

Anyway, hope that is somewhat intelligible. And hope you enjoy the photo. I find it interesting to compare the two images, both medium format, but one shot through a high end glass lens, the other a toy plastic camera. I like them both, a lot. And both are very different images taken from almost the exact same spot. That too is the beauty of different cameras, they allow photographers to realize different visions. Just remember, photography begins and ends with living, breathing human beings. Cameras are just means to that end.

  

  

(bitnewsbot.)

 

While the major banks are taking their time with offering OTC crypto trading, new entrants to the space are stepping up to fill the void. Social investing platform Etoro, which focuses mainly on retail traders, is now expanding into the institutional segment with a new cryptocurrency offering. Also Read: This Week in Bitcoin: An End […]

 

Read Full Article Here: ift.tt/2JRfLoJ

A market town in the medieval period, Birmingham grew in the 18th century Midlands Enlightenment and subsequent Industrial Revolution, which saw advances in science, technology, and economic development, producing a series of innovations that laid many of the foundations of modern industrial society. By 1791 it was being hailed as "the first manufacturing town in the world".Birmingham's distinctive economic profile, with thousands of small workshops practising a wide variety of specialised and highly skilled trades, encouraged exceptional levels of creativity and innovation and provided an economic base for prosperity that was to last into the final quarter of the 20th century. The Watt steam engine was invented in Birmingham.

The resulting high level of social mobility also fostered a culture of political radicalism which, under leaders from Thomas Attwood to Joseph Chamberlain, was to give it a political influence unparalleled in Britain outside London, and a pivotal role in the development of British democracy. From the summer of 1940 to the spring of 1943, Birmingham was bombed heavily by the German Luftwaffe in what is known as the Birmingham Blitz. The damage done to the city's infrastructure, in addition to a deliberate policy of demolition and new building by planners, led to extensive urban regeneration in subsequent decades.

Birmingham's economy is now dominated by the service sector. The city is a major international commercial centre, ranked as a gamma+ world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network; and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub. Its metropolitan economy is the second largest in the United Kingdom with a GDP of $121.1bn (2014), and its six universities make it the largest centre of higher education in the country outside London. Birmingham's major cultural institutions – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Library of Birmingham and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts – enjoy international reputations, and the city has vibrant and influential grassroots art, music, literary and culinary scenes. Birmingham is the fourth-most visited city in the UK by foreign visitors.

Birmingham's two professional football clubs are Aston Villa and Birmingham City, the former having achieved the most success by winning seven league titles and one European Cup. Birmingham has been selected to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

People from Birmingham are called Brummies, a term derived from the city's nickname of "Brum", which originates from the city's old name, Brummagem, which in turn is thought to have derived from "Bromwich-ham".The Brummie accent and dialect are particularly distinctive.

  

Information from Wikipedia.

  

Texture's&Effect's by William Walton&Topaz.

  

The Parliament House of Singapore

The Parliament House of Singapore is a public building and cultural landmark and houses the Parliament of Singapore. It is located in the Civic District of the Downtown Core within Singapore's central business district (the Central Area). Within its vicinity is Raffles Place, which lies across it from the Singapore River, and the Supreme Court's building across the road. The building was designed to represent a contemporary architectural expression of stateliness and authority. The prism-shaped top, designed by the late former president Ong Teng Cheong, was similarly a modernist take on the traditional dome.

 

The Supreme Court of Singapore

The Supreme Court of Singapore is one of the two tiers of the court system in Singapore, the other tier being the Subordinate Courts.

 

The Supreme Court consists of the Court of Appeal and the High Court and hears both civil and criminal matters. The Court of Appeal hears both civil and criminal appeals from the High Court. The Court of Appeal may also decide a point of law reserved for its decision by the High Court, as well as any point of law of public interest arising in the course of an appeal from a subordinate court to the High Court, which has been reserved by the High Court for the decision of the Court of Appeal.

The High Court's jurisdiction is as follows: generally, a civil case is commenced in the High Court if the subject matter of the claim exceeds S$250,000. Probate matters are dealt with in the High Court if the value of the estate exceeds S$3 million or if the case involves the resealing of a foreign grant. In addition, ancillary matters in family proceedings involving assets of S$1.5 million or above are heard in the High Court.

 

Criminal cases involving offences which carry the death penalty and generally those punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding ten years, are prosecuted in the High Court. Non-bailable offences are generally tried in the High Court. As a rule of thumb, the High Court in Singapore has inherent jusrisdiction to try all matters within Singapore.

 

Elgin Bridge

Elgin Bridge is a vehicular bridge across the Singapore River, linking the Downtown Core to the Singapore River Planning Area located within Singapore's Central Area.

 

The existing bridge was completed in 1929 and named after Lord Elgin, Governor-General of India (21 March 1862 - 20 November 1863). As this was the first bridge across the river, the two roads leading to it were named North Bridge Road and South Bridge Road accordingly.

 

Singapore River

The Singapore River is a small river in Singapore with great historical importance. The Singapore River flows from the Central Area, which lies in the Central Region in the southern part of Singapore before emptying into the ocean. The immediate upper watershed of the Singapore River is known as the Singapore River Planning Area, although the northernmost part of the watershed becomes River Valley. As the Central Area is treated as a central business district, nearly all land surrounding it is commercial. It is one of about 90 rivers in Singapore and its islands. It is the place where Raffles made as the 1st trading port in Singapore. The Singapore River is the most famous river in Singapore.

 

Boat Quay

Boat Quay is a historical quay in Singapore which is situated upstream from the mouth of the Singapore River on its southern bank.

 

It was the busiest part of the old Port of Singapore, handling three quarters of all shipping business during the 1860s. Because the south bank of the river here resembles the belly of a carp, which according to Chinese belief is where wealth and prosperity lay, many shophouses were built, crowded into the area.

 

Though serving aquatic trade is no longer Boat Quay's primary role, the shophouses on it have been carefully conserved and now house various bars, pubs and restaurants. Therefore Boat Quay's social-economic role in the city has shifted away from that of trade and maritime commerce, and now leans towards more of a role accommodated for tourism and aesthetics for the commercial zone of which encloses the Singapore River. It is the soft front to the composolitian banking and financial sectors lying immediately behind it.

 

Raffles Place

Raffles Place is a geographical location in Singapore, south of the mouth of the Singapore River. Located in the Downtown Core and the Central Area, it features some of the tallest buildings and landmarks of the country.

 

Several key buildings are located in Raffles Place, including UOB Plaza, OUB Centre, Republic Plaza, One Raffles Quay and OCBC Centre. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, a hotel at the renovated old General Post Office building, and the famous tourist icon, the Merlion and an ultra modern durian shaped Art Centre Esplanade Theatre are located nearby. The stock exchange of Singapore - the Singapore Exchange - is also located in the vicinity. Several key administrative buildings in Singapore, such as the Parliament House, the Supreme Court and City Hall are located north across the river, but are technically not part of Raffles Place.

 

Esplanade

Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a waterside building located on six hectares of waterfront land alongside Marina Bay near the mouth of the Singapore River, purpose-built to be the centre for performing arts for the island nation of Singapore. Taking its name from the nearby Esplanade, it contains a Concert Hall which seats about 1,600 and a Theatre with a capacity of about 2,000 for the performing arts.

The library@esplanade is located on the third floor of the building. There are outdoor performing centres, and retail and food space at the Esplanade Mall. There is an outdoor open space on the fourth floor of the building, which is the highest point.

 

Integrated Resort (IR)

An Integrated Resort (IR) is a Singaporean euphemism for a casino-based vacation resort. To date, licenses have been awarded to Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. These are the first casinos in the country and both have begun operation since early 2010.

 

Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer is currently the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Described by its operators as an observation wheel,[1] it reaches 42 stories high, with a total height of 165 m (541 ft), and is 5 m (16 ft) taller than the Star of Nanchang and 30 m (98 ft) taller than the London Eye.

 

Located in Singapore, on the southeast tip of the Marina Centre reclaimed land, it comprises a 150 m (492 ft) diameter wheel, built over a three-story terminal building which houses shops, bars and restaurants, and offers broad views of the city centre and beyond to about 45 km (28 mi), including the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, as well as Johor, Malaysia.

  

I Uniquely Singapore Set I

  

Thanks for viewing!!!!

 

Don't use this image on Websites/Blog or any other media

without my explicit permission. © All rights reserved.

 

DO NOT add me or favorite my pic if:

- You have no pic or very few pics taken by yourself in your album/Photostream.

- Your pics in your album or profile are not available to me.

 

Anyone not observing the above conditions will be block!

 

Fourth Street Live! is a 350,000-square-foot entertainment and retail complex located on 4th Street, between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It is owned and was developed by the Cordish Company; it was designed by Louisville architects, Bravura Corporation. Fourth Street Live! first opened to the public on June 1, 2004, and all stores were completed for the grand opening on October 30, 2004. City planners hoped that the district would attract further commercial business development while providing an attractive entertainment venue for the city's hotel and tourist business as well as the local population.

  

The large Hard Rock Cafe sign greets visitors to Fourth Street Live!

Restaurants and entertainment venues in the complex include Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I. Friday's, Birracibo, The Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant), Tavern on Fourth, The Fudgery, Bourbon Raw, and the new Guy Fieri's Smokehouse.

 

Fourth Street Live! also has a variety of bars and nightclubs including Tavern on Fourth, The Sports & Social Club, Howl at the Moon, and PBR Louisville.

 

A mall-style food court is also located in the complex with restaurants like Subway, and Philly Station. There are also retail stores including Footlocker and T-Mobile.

 

Traffic on 4th Street through the complex is usually closed for large public gatherings such as music concerts and other events.

City of Almere and MVRDV present Vision 2030

(Almere, June 26, 2009) Dutch new town Almere plans to grow with 60,000 houses, 100,000 working places and all related facilities. By this Almere will grow into the fifth city of the Netherlands in an effort to relief and to offer qualities to the urbanised west of the Netherlands. MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate this growth. The growth will take place in four main areas: Almere IJ-land, a new island off the coast in the IJ-lake, Almere Pampus, a neighbourhood focussed on the lake and open to experimental housing, Almere Centre, an extended city centre surrounding the central lake, and Oosterwold, an area devoted to more rural and organic urbanism. Together the proposals form the new framework to accompany the growth of the city until 2030. Together with the entire board of city councilors and the mayor, Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere and Winy Maas of MVRDV, presented the concept structure vision to the ministers of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (V&W), Camiel Eurlings and minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Jacqueline Cramer (VROM) on June 26th. The design of IJland has been a collaboration with Adriaan Geuze of West8 and William McDonough of McDonough and Partners.

 

“The structure vision for Almere is more than an urban masterplan…” said Adri Duivesteijn, city councilor of Almere, “…it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. The expansion is not a quantitative effort. Even though the number of 60,000 new homes is impressive, the main objective is the addition of new qualities. Almere wants to serve the demand of the Randstad and at the same time needs the chance to develop into an ecologic, social and economically sustainable city”.

 

The Axis: Nowadays Almere is a city with 185,000 inhabitants, 30 years ago it was an empty stretch of land reclaimed from the sea. The growth will preserve and further expand Almere’s model of a poly-nuclear city. It will diversify the existing city by adding various densities, programs and characters that do not exist yet is the current situation,

The vision consists of four major development areas, each with their own character, logic and identity. These new area developments are connected by an infrastructural axis which connects the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with Almere. Between the two cities the Almere IJ-land (referring to IJ-lake) is a connector, literally as well as in economical and cultural perspective. The axis then leads to Almere Pampus, the Centre of Almere and Oosterwold in the east and will in the future be continued to connect Utrecht.

 

Almere IJ-land: Together with West 8 and William McDonough, MVRDV worked on the unique opportunity to design a series of urban and nature reserve islands. The new rail connection to Amsterdam and a needed ecological intervention in the IJ-lake offered the potential to propose the creation of a living area with 5,000 up to 10,000 homes, combined with this nature development. IJ-land combines ecological and infrastructural interventions with the possibility to live and work in a natural riparian environment. The island could also be part of the possible Dutch bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.

 

Almere Pampus: This area will combine the feeling of a coastal town with high density and make room for 20,000 homes, all streets are all leading to the boulevard at the lake. The existing maintenance harbour will be reused for leisure and floating villages. There will be a new train station with a plaza at the coast.

 

Almere Centre: The current centre will grow and extend to the southbank of the Weerwater , turning the central lake into the Weerwater-park and becoming in time the cultural and economical heart of the city. On the junction of the new axis, a motorway and the rail connection the motorway will be covered which makes it possible to develop up to 5,000 homes, offices and public amenities. The central station will be developed into an economical hub and will be surrounded with new program.

 

Almere Oosterwold: This large area in the east offers room for up to 18,000 new homes and a variety of functions such as business and retail centres. It will be developed following individual and collective initiatives, from small scale to large scale, with plots that are always surrounded by nature development, urban agriculture or local parks. The area will reserve areas for future development after 2030.

 

The vision 2030 is not a blueprint but a flexible development strategy. Duivesteijn: “It is a framework which can be filled in by the people of the city. By remaining flexible we create possibilities to adjust the plans to future opportunities.” Almere wants to develop according to this structure vision in order to become an ecological, social and economically sustainable city. For this large investments in infrastructure are needed to connect the city with in future 350,000 inhabitants to its surroundings and to Amsterdam

 

Winy Maas will remain involved in the further development of the concept structure vision in a supervising role. MVRDV has a long history of engagement with Almere: Earlier projects included two studies on new ways of organic urban development for Almere Hout and Almere Homeruskwartier, a study for the A6 Boulevard and the study for Pampus harbour, a neighbourhood of 500 floating dwellings. MVRDV’s Jacob van Rijs currently works on part of Olympiakwartier, a dense urban district of in total 220.000m2 mix use with public facilities.

 

When I immigrated to Canada at the age of 17 I went through a culture shock. The most differences between the Canadian society and the Iraqi society are the lack of commitment, and how lightly love is treated here. I first came to realize that commitment is not highly valued here at my first summer job: people simply didn't care about the company, the products they were producing, their co-workers, or the owners—they only wanted their pay checks. I don't even want to start talking about love here, because I don't know where to start and where to end! I just want to make one comment about love:

 

Love is not only a feeling, if it was our Lord Jesus Christ wouldn't command us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). Because when was the last time you felt love towards your enemy? So love is also a commitment: while a feeling is something you can't control, a commitment you certainly can. It is after you make the commitment to pray and do good to your enemies that the feeling of love may come.

 

I remember while I was new in Canada I watched on a Judge Judy show a woman suing her common-law husband who is 25 years old because he does not work or help her around the house because he only plays video games with his friends, while she takes care of their 2 children. I had to laugh when I heard that, as I was new to this concept of a 25 years old man who does nothing with his life but play video games! Then around that time I heard in the morning news that a man was wanted in a drive-by shooting related to gang wars, and they said he was 35 years old! I was very shocked to find out that a 35 years old man is still in a gang and he goes around shooting people! It took me few years to figure out what is going on to a high percentage of people here: people (both males and females, but it seems males have a higher percentage) seem to go through infancy, childhood, adolescence, but have such a hard time passing into adulthood. Let me give you an example:

 

Boys in Iraq when they grow up they are constantly reminded that one day they are going to be men. For example, when my brother-in-law (who is from Egypt) goes to do a business deal he takes my 6 years old nephew with him because he wants his son to see that life is not all playing and that it requires seriousness and responsibility. And we are also told to keep our word—that is if we say something we stick by it. Because Iraq is a cultural society a man's worth is valued by how he values his own words. Let's say a man promises his neighbour to help him fix his car in the evening. If evening comes and the man doesn't show up then he cannot be trusted, if he cannot be trusted then he is not dependable, which mean his services will not be required, and if you are not needed in the society then you are not important. This idea here is almost non-existing. At university for example students are constantly being formed into groups of about 5 people and have to work as a group to get a project done. It is almost always that one group member or more either doesn't show up to a meeting, or is late, or has not done his or her part. Many have no feelings of responsibility or commitment. Yet, those same students are expected to graduate in a year or so and become leaders of families and our society!

 

The problem lies in that most people live here by preference rather than convictions. Their thoughts pattern usually goes like this: I feel like it therefore I will do it, or I don't feel like it therefore I won't do it. People live by preferences when they are selfish and self centred. But living by convictions and commitments requires selflessness and sacrifice. And as Christians it is essential that we keep our words and promises. Because if we desire to be like our Lord then we have to be trustworthy, faithful, selfless, and committed like Him. It is essential that we live by convictions.

 

Imagine marriage run by feelings alone? Who feels like taking the garbage out? Who feels like changing diapers? Who feels like waking up 3 times a night to a crying child? Who feels like paying the mortgage? Who feels in love the same with their spouse after 30 years?

 

Another problem people face here is that at such a young age they engage in sexual immorality, and associate love with it, and experience rejection. If a person has had multiple sex partners by the time they are 20 years old, what value does marriage, love, or commitment have to them anymore? That's why it is so important that Christians raise their children on Biblical principles and enforce those principles.

 

I am not saying that in Iraq people don't break their promises, and people in Canada are not trustworthy, all I am saying is that the percentage of people who are untrustworthy, take love easily, and don't value commitment is much higher here. And I am not saying that if you promise something you have to always keep it. If you promise in your anger to commit a sin then don't do it. Or if you promise doesn't fit God's will then don't do it. And I am also not saying you should become like a machine living without feelings but by commands alone. The goal here is not to be become a perfectionist or ignore your humanity; the goal here is to be trustworthy, dependable, and not disappoint God and people as long as it depends on you. The idea here is to be a adult (responsible) man or woman.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Few months ago I read in the February 2009 InTouch magazine a story of a Christian man's divorce that really touched me. I cried when I read it because the emotions he expressed were so true of a rejected, fooled, deceived, mistreated, and disesteemed person. The story reminded me of a movie that was based on a true story of a man committing adultery with his secretary, and then divorcing his completely unsuspecting wife to marry his mistress. The sad part of the story is that he only felt guilty for a while, while she had to live with the feelings of being rejected, unloved, unimportant, deceived, and had to deal with disappointment, shame and labels (because of society), and having no support in raising their sons for many years. On top of that, when holidays came her sons went to spend time with their dad while she stayed home alone. It is amazing how the actions of one person can harm another so greatly. Sometimes we think that the person who does the wrongdoings reaps the consequences for his or her actions immediately, but often times this is not the case and that the victim suffers for much longer. At least that's sometimes true here on earth, but in heaven everything is fair and no time is longer than an eternity in hell.

 

Sometimes people say that it takes two people to ruin a marriage. I don't believe in that: I think it needs only one person to ruin a marriage (of course, it can also take two people). You only need one hand to be missing for you not to be able to clap. Few years ago at work a woman discovered her husband was committing adultery with a co-worker who was 20 years his junior. The wife was very crushed. Then a co-worker told me that her sons say that she doesn't even cook at home. I answered her, "That's non-sense, if he was that hungry he should cook himself, order food, or take them out for dinner. How is food connected to adultery?" It seems that we humans love to blame the victim for the crime, but this doesn't please God.

 

I also know a very godly Iraqi man who loved a girl with all of his heart for 3 years. There was nothing he wouldn't do for her as long as it made her happy and it wasn't a sin. Then one day she told him that she couldn't marry him because he was a construction worker, and even though he made good money he was worth nothing because he doesn't have a degree. He was shocked when he heard her say that to him, because he wanted to marry her! After all those years, money spent and efforts from his part, and all that love, that's what she thought of him? Few months later he heard that she got married to a doctor. Six months later she sent him an e-mail apologizing, asking his forgiveness saying that she still loves him. He wrote her back with the supervision of his pastor and addressing her as "sister" saying that what happened has happened, and he prays for her and her husband, wishes them the best, and that he doesn't want her to contact him anymore because she is a married woman now. Since then I wondered: Why make a mess of your life? Why not value someone who you know in your heart that this person genuinely loves you? And we all know how difficult it is to find someone who loves you unconditionally and is committed to you. Why marry someone for the wrong reasons and regret it later? I want to say this to the ladies reading this:

 

There is nothing more attractive in a woman than knowing she is wise, and have a strong character. (That's why so many men find girls who wear glasses attractive!) It is a beautiful thing in a woman to have an independent character. And by independent I don't mean rebellious or that she doesn't respect other people's thoughts, but I mean to be dependent on God's Word and to know who she is in Him and what His will is and to live a godly life—that she is not easily persuaded to do things. I am saying this because in the Middle Eastern culture and even among many Christians, women seem to be so easily influenced by whatever a man says. When I get married, if it is God's will, I want my wife to have her own character, her own thoughts and to ask, "Is what my husband saying correct? Is it supported Biblically?" And if it is not then I would love for her to correct me. Just as I am supposed to be the man of the house, she is supposed to be my helper, and how can she helps me when she just duplicates my thoughts, and doesn't question my decisions?! Interestingly, the most independent in her thinking godly woman I know is also the best wife I know. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:

 

"{10} A wife of noble character who can find?

She is worth far more than rubies.

{11} Her husband has full confidence in her

and lacks nothing of value."

 

[How can a husband have full confidence in his wife if he knows she is easily influenced?]

 

"{13} She selects…. {14} She bringing…. {15} She gets up…she provides…. {16} She considers… she plants…. {17} She sets about her work…. {18} She sees that her trading is profitable…. {19} She holds…. {20} She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…. {21} She has no fear…. {22} She makes…. {25} She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. {26} She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

 

[This is a woman has an independent mind and a strong character, works hard, and make profitable deals, she is confident and makes wise decisions, and her husband has confidence in her and is respected—that's a godly woman.]

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

So for few months now I have decided to take a photo to illustrate the pain a man or a woman go through when the wife or the husband commit adultery. And yesterday at university with the help of few classmates I was able to take that photo. The photo is dedicated to William Ryder (whose story is posted below), and all wronged persons out there whose only crime is that they loved so purely that they didn't see evil coming.

 

I hope you like the photo and the writing :)

 

PS: The one thing I don't understand about adultery is how come it is not against the law! I mean, marriage is a contract and both parties agree on its terms and sign it, right? Then how come the breach of this contract is not against the law? I mean, if you do it in business you get sued and have to pay for it. So why is destroying a family, and the lives of the wife or husband, and the children is not punishable by law?

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This (unexpected) Life

Surviving the pain of labels and “good intentions”

by William Ryder

 

I will always remember that night with crystal clarity. We had just moved to a new city eleven days earlier to enable Amy, my wife of three years, to begin a Master’s program. Having graduated from seminary ten weeks prior, I was working a retail job while I searched for a church ministry position. Weary from a ten-hour workday framed by a one-hour commute, I slowly climbed the steps to our new apartment.

 

Inside, I sank gleefully into my favorite chair and turned my attention to Amy, who was sitting at the edge of the couch beside me. She nervously cleared her throat and said, “We need to talk.” I was not prepared for what came next. In what seemed like a single breath she said, “Well, I have not been very happy lately. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why, and I think I’ve finally realized the truth. I don’t love you. I don’t have the feelings for you that I think a wife should have for her husband. I think marrying you was a mistake, and I don’t want to be married anymore.”

 

Wow. There was simply no response in my mind to what she had said. I was numb. I stood up and paced the floor as I desperately strove to work through this information. I understand that in most divorces, both parties usually see it coming; however, there is occasionally that hapless idiot who’s caught completely off guard. That was me, catching butterflies in left field while my wife decided she no longer loved me.

 

Almost immediately, Amy moved out of our apartment to stay with a friend. She would speak to me only through e-mails and, soon after, her attorney. I stayed there alone for several weeks, pleading with her to change her mind. However, two months after the initial bombshell, Amy had divorce papers drawn up, and I realized that our marriage was truly over. Knowing her decision was final, and because I had no job or friends in the new city, I agreed to leave town.

 

I remember walking through the apartment, trying to separate “my” things from “her” things. It was impossible—like reaching inside of a baked cake, trying to pull out the individual ingredients. No longer was there a unity of belongings, but rather a collection of two people’s possessions thrown together. Looking over all our stuff, I was no longer able to see any gray; everything was either black or white, hers or mine, staying or going.

 

As I made the last inspection after packing all of my things into a U-Haul, my attention paused at a framed wedding picture on the kitchen table. For a moment, I stopped breathing. Picking it up, I looked into the eyes of that beautiful bride, and I trembled. Returning the photograph to the table, I became painfully aware of the now-defunct piece of gold on my left hand. I slowly pulled the wedding band off my finger, gently kissed it, and sat it on the table beside the portrait. Then I turned, walked outside, and locked the door behind me. At that moment, in every way, I was a man with no home.

 

Weeks later, I suffered the tremendous indignity of piecing together the abhorrent truth behind Amy’s departure. Her “rational, adult decision” to leave our marriage was a sham; she’d actually been embroiled in an affair with another man for almost a year—one third of our marriage. This was the “friend” with whom she was staying while I pled for her to return. With this insight, my last hopes were destroyed, and I signed the divorce papers . . . two days before Thanksgiving.

 

This is my story. Tragic? Absolutely. Pitiful? Without a doubt. The real question, though, is, Why should you care about all of this? Why did I have to invite you into the darkest part of my private nightmares? The answer, sadly, is that if you do not have such a painful story yourself, you can be certain that you know someone who does. Roughly half of all marriages in America end in divorce; for born-again Christians, the percentage is, surprisingly, higher. Despite all of these “newly single” people populating American churches, the church in general has no idea how to react, relate, or respond to the needs of this heartbroken crowd.

 

I believe the first obstacle that must be conquered is a matter of identity. Let me explain: In the past few years, I have become painfully aware of how, when, and where the word “divorce” is used. It often appears in a checklist under the heading “Marital Status,” which gives people four options: single, married, widowed, or divorced. I’ve seen this in the most unexpected places, from a church visitor information card to an application for health insurance.

 

The issue is that people have grown accustomed to categorizing others according to certain “pegs” in their social life. The problem with this, however, is that there is no such thing as a “divorced person.” Divorce is an event, not a condition. My divorce was something that happened to me, a tragedy in my past. However, that misfortune should not characterize my whole life from now on.

 

The church can go a long way toward ministering to the expansive population of “new singles” by simply striking the word “divorced” from its vocabulary. Using the term as an adjective simply identifies an individual by a horrible event in his life. In this, saying, “Will is a divorced person” is tantamount to saying, “Frank is a pancreatic cancer person.” No one would be insensitive enough to say the latter, so why should it be acceptable to commonly say the former?

 

The most shocking and hurtful appearance of the “divorce check-box” that I have seen was actually church-related. I had taken myself out of the ministry search for almost a year while I worked through my divorce. Then, as I began to test the waters, I wrote to local denominational associations, asking for help in finding possible positions in their areas. One group mailed back a Personal Inventory Checklist to be stapled to my résumé. The checklist contained a brief list of yes/no questions that inquired about any involvement in child abuse, spousal abuse, and other indiscretions. There, wedged neatly between “Obscene/Harassment Phone Calls” and “Do you use illegal drugs?” was the question, “Have you been divorced?” It was then I realized that, in many people’s opinions, my new peer group consisted of wife beaters and child molesters. I completed the form, but obviously never heard from any church in that area.

 

Another problem is the “civilian’s” inability to understand what divorce does to a person. Unfortunately, many well-meaning people attempt to help their hurting friends by uttering the five most potentially destructive words imaginable: “Get on with your life.” This encouragement is built on the premise that their friend’s life is still there, but he has just removed himself from it. This is a mistake. Even though he may still be breathing, your friend’s life, for all intents and purposes, was terminated by his divorce.

 

Let me demonstrate this point from my own experience. For eight long, continuous years I worked hard in school, held a full-time job, took on various church leadership roles, got married, and began making long-term career and family plans. However, my wife’s actions effectively ended that life. In a real sense, my divorce murdered the man and the minister that I was becoming. I will simply never be that man again.

 

The miracle is that God has raised a new life from the ashes. I now have a new career and ministry that I adore. I honestly cannot imagine being happier doing anything else. Does this mean that my current life will always be second-string to what “might have been”? I don’t think so; however, I do know that this life came about only through time, patience, and the determined work of God. Do not be quick to urge the newly single person to “get on with his life”; he may actually be stuck between the old life and the new. Only the Holy Spirit and a hearty amount of patience will truly enable him to get on with his new life.

 

When my ordeal first began in August of 2000, I met with a trusted mentor—a minister who had been through a similar situation. He said something to me that I’ll never forget: “William, nothing I say can make this less painful. But I do know that if you get through a major crisis like divorce with your faith intact, you will understand some things about God that a lot of people never realize.” Now, looking back, I see that he was right. I have never been more aware of the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit than I have these past few years. I have never before known the complete joy and release of casting everything at the foot of the cross and coming to God with a broken heart and empty hands. Mostly, though, I never expected to actually like my new life, but God was more gracious than I ever imagined.

 

If you are standing where I have been, or if you love someone who is going through the whirlwind of divorce, do no expect any trite words of comfort and solace here. However, if you are a hurting individual who is crying out to God for the strength to endure, be encouraged by His response through the apostle Peter: “[Cast] all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you . . . And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you” (1 Peter 5:7, 10). Even if the present seems insurmountable, you can trust that the future is wide open for your success, love, and happiness. How do I know? Because God said so, and because He has done it for me.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------

Source: InTouch Magazine, February 2009

 

(Toronto, ON; fall 2009.)

 

Phoenix, Arizona

 

6494

Phoenix, Arizona; 2013

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

The founding families of Sharon first settled on a flat plain bordering the Shenango River (this area is situated between two hills and is the current location of Sharon's downtown business district). According to local legend, the community received its name from a Bible-reading settler who likened the location to the Plain of Sharon in Israel.

Initially a center of coal mining, Sharon's economy transitioned to steelmaking and other heavy industry following the Industrial Revolution. Following the extensive national deindustrialization of the 1970s and 80's, the city's economy diversified and is now based primarily on light industry, education, health care, and social services.

NRHP District ~ Historic Downtown District

Photo Copyright 2012, dynamo.photography.

All rights reserved, no use without license

 

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所

 

At Melbourne Central, there is an invisible, unsaid rule which prevents low income people from using the space. Such social exclusivity is a by-product of consumerist urbanism. Expensive brands owning retail space control the malls clientele. At West Heidelberg, however, anyone can attend the mall, as there are a range of shops, restaurants and cafes - suitable for people of all incomes.

This image represents the FINAL key outcome of the eyes } world { hands 2008 project.

 

The image is a composite, equally representing all 364

individual eye images taken during 2008 (on the first and last day of the year, the cameras D80 and D300 photographed themselves, hence there are not 366 eye images for 2008).. As such, then, this image represents the average eye for the year.

 

The superimposition concept was inspired by the Australian National Photographic Portrait Project by Raimond De Weerdt, Karen Donnelly and Tony Nott. In 2002 I had the opportunity of being one of 50 faces contributing to the male portrait of the Faces of Albury.

 

Here are the individual images for the months of January, February, March, April, May, June, July , August, September , October, November, and December. Or see here for a combined poster of all monthly eyes.

 

The cameras used for the project were a Nikon D80 (until mid June) and then a Nikon D300. The mainstay lens used was a Nikkor AE-S f3.5-5.6 18-200mm VR

.

 

The images were taken at the following LOCATIONS: Albury, Alma Park, Anchorage, Arkaroola, Avenel, Balranald, Beechworth, Bendigo, Berrigan, Berrima, Bethanga, Bremerton, Brisbane, Cameron Corner, Canberra, Chiltern, Edgehill, Guam, Gundagai, Hepburn Springs, Holbrook, Homer, Hurricane, Iga Warta, In-Flight, Jindera, Kawanna Waters, Lake Boga, Lake Mungo, Lavington, Melbourne, Menindee, Mount Kembla, Mutawintji, Narrandera, Nowra, Olive Downs, Pine Lodge, Pooncarie, Saipan, Seattle, Strzelecki Desert, Taipei, Tarcutta, Temora, Thurgoona, Tibooburra, Tidbinbilla, Uranquinty, Wagga Wagga, Wetootla Gorge, Willandra NP, Wodonga, Yass

  

And the following PROFESSIONS are represented: academic, accountant, admin assistant, administrative assistant, administrator, adventure ecotourism student, adventure tour operator, anthropologist, anthropologust, applications programmer, aquatic ecologist, archaeologist, artist, assistant registrar, assistant tourism officer, author, director & radiohost, bank officer, bar manager, barista, baseball player, bell ringer, bookseller, brick salesman, builder, building designer, business manager, business owner, café assitstant, cafe owner, care giver, carpenter, casual retail assistant, cemetery manager, chairman athenauum trust, champion shearer, church volunteer, cleaning supervisor, clerk, climate change researcher, co-director, collections & exhibitions officer, communications coordinator, communications technician, community volunteer, computer technician, concierge, concreter, conductor, Conservationist, courier contractor, creator & cyclist, cultural anthropologist, cultural development, cultural manager, curator, customer service agent, director, diving consultant, doctoral student, driver, ecologist, educational designer, environment officer, environmental historian and museum curator, environmental manager, executive assistant, executive director, executive officer, farmer & aviator, farmer & historian, finance officer, firefighter, fishing woman, fishmonger, fixologist, flight attendant, floorsanding business, florist, fruiterer, futurist, gallery trainee, games shop retailer, genealogical researcher, graphic designer, groundsman, hairdresser, hairdresser & barista, happy camper, health professional, heritage consultant, heritage officer, heritage specialist, heritage student, historian, historian of photography, hospitality supervisor, hotel manager, illustrator, insurance branch supervisor, insurance claims adjuster, interpretation aide, IT officer, IT Specialist, IT systems administrator, jack-of-all-trades, janitor, journalist, kids activities, Koorie academic, laboratory manager, lecturer, lecturer in education, legal assistant, leisure specialist, librarian, library assistant, library officer, linesman, mail sorter, maintenance staff, manager, market development officer, market stall holder, marketing officer, masseur, media officer, mediator, medical receptionist, milk truck driver, minilab operator, mother, motor mechanic, museum curator, museum director, museum guide, museum manager, museum president, museum student, museum volunteer, musician, NPWS area manager, NPWS Field Officer, observationist, occupational therapist, occupational thrapy student, operations manager, optometrist, outdoor retailer, owner of the Niagara Café, PA & secretary, pacific historian and curator, pacific scholar, painter, Pakantyi/Malyankapa tour guide, park ramger, park superintendent, parking enforcememtn officer, parks manager, parks project officer, pathology collector, pavior, pawn broker, personal lending manager, pest controller, pharmacist, photographer, photographic retail, picture framer, pilot, pizza chef, plumber, poet, political consultant, postal service officer, postal worker, printer, programmer, public servant, publican, publisher, p-u-d drivver, purchasing officer, quarantine officer, race driver, radio producer, railway employee, ranger, real estate agent, real state agent, receptionist, research assistant, research officer, research scientist, restaurant proprietor, retail, retail sales assistant, retailer books, retired, retired professor, Rotary volunteer, sales, sales & marketing, sales assistant, sales associate, sales clerk, scientist, second hand dealer, security officer, senior field officer, senior ranger, shop assistant, shopkeeper, social researcher, solicitor, spatial analyst, stamptrader, store manager, store owner, student, student admin assistant, student services officer, student support officer, system administrator, systems officer, taxi driver, teacher, technical officer, telecommunications administration & sales, telephone tecnician, theatre student, tour guide, tourism operator & geologist, town planner, truck driver, tyre fitter, university lecturer, upholsterer, volunteer guide, waiter, waitress, web site designer, wildlife refuge manager, wildlife rescue assistant, windscreen repairs & sales, writer, zoo photographer.

  

Comments and critiques are welcome!

  

Image made EXPLORE on 6 January 2009. Max position: 206

 

:copyright: Dirk HR Spennemann 2009

All Rights Reserved

  

Theater District, Midtown Manhattan, Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States

 

The Music Box Theater survives today as one of the historic playhouses that symbolize American theater for both New York and the nation. Constructed shortly after the end of World War I, the Music Box was built by producer Sam Harris to house Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Sam Harris was a legendary Broadway producer, who first reached fame through his successful partnership with George M. Cohan, and then collaborated with Irving Berlin and later with Kaufman and Hart. Irving Berlin is among the greatest and best-known American songwriters of this century. Together they staged Berlin's Music Box Revues for the first five years of the 1920s.

 

C. Howard Crane was a nationally prominent theater architect when Harris and Berlin hired him, along with his associate E. George Kiehler, to design the Music Box. Besides his two Broadway houses (the Music Box and the Guild -- now the Virginia), he designed legitimate theaters and grand movie palaces in cities across the country, and later in England.

 

The Music Box Theater represents a special and important aspect of the nation's theatrical history. Beyond its historical importance, its facade is an unusually handsome Palladian-inspired design.

 

For over half a century, beginning with the Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues, the Music Box Theater has served as home to countless numbers of the plays through which the Broadway theater has come to personify American theater. As such, it continues to help define the Broadway theater district, the largest and most famous concentration of legitimate stage theaters in the world.

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

The development of the Broadway Theater District

 

The area of midtown Manhattan known today as the Broadway theater district encompasses the largest concentration of legitimate playhouses in the world. The theaters located there, some dating from the turn of the century, are significant for their contributions to the history of the New York stage, for their influence upon American theater as a whole, and in many cases for their architectural design.

 

The development of the area around Times Square as New York's theater district at the end of the 19th century occurred as a result of two related factors: the northward movement of the population of Manhattan Island (abetted by the growth of several forms of mass transportation), and the expansion of New York's role in American theater. The northward movement of Manhattan's residential, commercial, and entertainment districts had been occurring at a steady rate throughout the 19th century. In the early 1800s, businesses, stores, hotels, and places of amusement had clustered together in the vicinity of lower Broadway. As New York's various businesses moved north, they began to isolate themselves in more or less separate areas: the financial institutions remained downtown; the major retail stores situated themselves on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, eventually moving to Herald Square and Fifth Avenue after the turn of the century; the hotels, originally located near the stores and theaters, began to congregate around major transportation centers such as Grand Central Terminal or on the newly fashionable Fifth Avenue; while the mansions of the wealthy spread farther north on Fifth Avenue, as did such objects of their beneficence as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The theater district, which had existed in the midst of stores, hotels, and other businesses along lower Broadway for most of the 19th century, spread northward in stages, stopping for a time at Union Square, then Madison Square, then Herald Square. By the last two decades of the 19th century, far-sighted theater managers had begun to extend the theater district even farther north along Broadway, until they had reached the area that was then known as Long Acre Square and is today called Times Square.

 

A district of farmlands and rural summer homes in the early 1800s, Long Acre Square had by the turn of the century evolved into a hub of mass transportation. A horsecar line had run across 42nd Street as early as the 1860s, and in 1871, with the opening of Grand Central Depot and the completion of the Third and Sixth Avenue Elevated Railways, it was comparatively simple for both New Yorkers and out-of-towners to reach Long Acre Square. Transportation continued to play a large part in the development of the area; in 1904 New York's subway system was inaugurated, with a major station located at 42nd Street and Broadway. The area was then renamed Times Square in honor of the newly erected Times Building. The evolution of the Times Square area as a center of Manhattan's various mass transit systems made it a natural choice for the location of legitimate playhouses, which needed to be easily accessible to their audiences.

 

The theater business that invaded Long Acre Square at the end of the 19th century consisted of far more than a few playhouses, for at that time New York was the Starting-point for a vast, nationwide entertainment

 

network known as "the road." This complex theater operation had its beginnings in the 1860s when the traditional method of running a theater, the stock system, was challenged by the growing popularity of touring "combination" shows. In contrast to the stock system, in which a theater manager engaged a company of actors for a season and presented them in a variety of plays, the combination system consisted of a company of actors appearing in a single show which toured from city to city, providing its own scenery, costumes, and sometimes musical accompaniment. Helped by the expansion of the nation's railroads after the Civil War, the combination system soon killed off the majority of stock companies. By 1904 there were some 420 combination companies touring through thousands of theaters in cities and towns across the country.

 

Of crucial importance to the operation of the combination system was a single location where combination shows could be cast, rehearsed, tried out, and then booked for a cross-country tour. Since New York was already regarded as the most important theater city in America, it is not surprising that it became the headquarters for the combination system. In addition to the many theaters needed for an initial Broadway production for the combinations before they went on tour, New York's theater district encompassed rehearsal halls, the headquarters of scenery, costume, lighting, and makeup companies, offices of theatrical agents and producers, theatrical printers and newspapers, and other auxiliary enterprises. Close to the theater district were boarding houses catering to the hundreds of performers who came to New York in the hope of being hired for a touring show or a Broadway production.

 

As theaters were built farther uptown, the auxiliary enterprises also began to move north. By the turn of the century,

 

the section of Broadway between 37th Street and 42nd Street was known as the Rialto. Theater people gathered or promenaded there. Producers could sometimes cast a play by looking over the actors loitering on the Rialto; and out-of-town managers, gazing out of office windows, could book tours by seeing who was available.^

 

The theater district that began to move north to Long Acre Square in the 1890s was thus a vast array of business enterprises devoted to every facet of theatrical production.

 

The movement of the theater district north along Broadway had proceeded at a steady pace during the latter part of the 19th century. The Casino Theater was opened on the southeast corner of Broadway and 39th Street in 1882. A year later, it was joined by a most ambitious undertaking--the construction of the Metropolitan Opera House on Broadway between 39th and 40th Streets. In 1888, the Broadway Theater was erected on the southwest corner of Broadway and 41st Street. Five years later, the American Theater opened its doors at Eighth Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets, as did Abbey's Theater at Broadway and 38th Street and the Empire Theater at Broadway and Fortieth Street.

 

It remained for Oscar Hammerstein I to make the move into Long Acre Square itself. At the close of the 19th century, Long Acre Square housed Manhattan's harness and carriage businesses, but was little used at night,

 

when it seems to have become a "thieves' lair."^ In 1895 Hammerstein erected an enormous theater building on Broadway between 44th and 45th Streets. The original plan for the Olympia called for a "perfect palace of entertainment--which would have included three theaters, a bowling alley, a turkish bath, cafes and restaurants." Only part of this visionary plan ever became a reality. On November 25, 1895, Hammerstein opened the Lyric Theater section of the building, and a little over three weeks later he inaugurated the Music Hall section. Never a financial success, the Olympia closed its doors two years after it opened. Nevertheless, it earned Hammerstein the title of "Father of Times Square."

 

By the turn of the century Hammerstein had built two more theaters in the Long Acre Square area, and in the years 1901-1920 a total of forty-three additional theaters appeared in midtown Manhattan, most of them in the side streets east and west of Broadway. Much of this theater-building activity was inspired by the competition between two major forces in the industry, the Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert Brothers, for control of the road. As each side in the rivalry drew its net more tightly around the playhouses it owned or controlled, the other side was forced to build new theaters to house its attractions. The result was a dramatic increase in the number of playhouses, both in New York and across the country. After World War I, as the road declined and New York's theatrical activity increased, the general economic prosperity made possible the construction of thirty additional playhouses in the Times Square area, expanding the boundaries of the theater district so that it stretched from just west of

 

Q

 

Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, and from 39th Street to Columbus Circle.

 

The stockmarket crash of 1929 and the resulting Depression causec a shrinkage in theater activity. Some playhouses were torn down, many were converted to motion picture houses, and later to radio and television studios. From the time of the Depression until the 1960s no new Broadway playhouses were constructed. Fortunately, the theaters that survive from the early part of the century represent a cross - section of types and styles, and share among them a good deal of New York's rich theatrical history.

 

Evolution of Theater Design

 

The frenzy of theater construction that occurred in New York during the first thirty years of this century brought with it an evolution in architecture and decoration. At the close of the 19th century American theaters were still being built in the style of traditional European opera houses, with high proscenium arches, narrow auditoriums, two or three balconies built in a horseshoe configuration, and dozens of boxes, some set into the front of the first balcony. Although contemporary notices of the theaters attributed specific (though often vague) styles or periods to them, their interiors were more often than not a melange of styles and colors.

 

With the increase of theater construction after the turn of the century came a new attitude toward theater architecture and decoration as firms such as Herts and Tallant, Thomas W. Lamb, and others, began to plan the playhouse's exterior and interior as a single, integrated design. The

 

Art Nouveau style New Amsterdam Theater, which opened in 1903, signalled this new seriousness in theater design.

 

Perhaps influenced by such European experiments as Wagner's Festival Theater at Bayreuth, American theater architects after the turn of the century began to structure their playhouses along different lines. Proscenium openings were made lower and wider, auditoriums were made shallower, seating was planned in a fan shape, and the number of balconies was usually reduced to one. Boxes were cut back to a minimum. The theaters that were built just before and after World War I for the most part shared this new configuration.

 

Because many of New York's extant playhouses were built during the period in which New York was serving as the starting-point for nationwide tours, they represent a style of theater architecture that is characteristic not only of New York but also of other cities across the United States, for a show which was originally produced in a New York theater would require similar conditions in the theaters in which it toured, and theater owners often hired the same architects to design and build theaters in several cities. Thus, New York's theaters set the standard for theater construction across the United States, as an inspection of designs for theaters in various cities will show.

 

The Broadway Theater in American Theatrical History

 

The playhouses scj.ll standing in the Broadway theater district share among them over eighty years of American theatrical history. In the early years of the century, when American theater was still heavily influenced by Europe, the theaters played host to such great international stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell, and to adaptations of such European successes as The Merry Widow and Floradora.

 

It was in the Broadway theaters that the beginnings of a distinctly American drama could be seen in the Western melodramas of David Belasco, the social comedies of Clyde Fitch and Langdon Mitchell, and the problem plays of Edward Sheldon and Eugene Walter. With the rise of the "little theater" movement in the second decade of the century, it seemed that theatrical leadership had passed from Broadway to such experimental "art" theaters as the Provincetown Playhouse and the Neighborhood Playhouse. Before long, however, the innovations of the little theaters infused Broadway with new life. Beginning with the production of Eugene O'Neill's first full-length play, Beyond the Horizon, on Broadway in 1920, the playhouses of Broadway presented the work of a new generation of playwrights, including, in addition to O'Neill, Maxwell Anderson, Philip Barry, S.N. Behrman, Rachel Crothers, Sidney Howard, George S. Kaufman, George Kelly and Elmer Rice.

 

The Depression of the 1930s brought with it a new concern with political and social issues, and the dramas presented in the Broadway playhouses reflected that concern. Commercial producers gave us plays by Lillian Hellman, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder, whle the Group Theater and other new organizations introduced such writers as Clifford Odets and Sidney Kingsley. The Broadway theaters continued to house

 

challenging plays during the 1940s and 1950s, when new talents such as Tennessee Williams, Arthur Killer, and William Inge first began writing for the theater.

 

Meanwhile, musical comedy had blossomed from the adaptations and imitations of European operetta popular at the turn of the century to a uniquely American art form. By the 1940s and 1950s the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and many others, were being exported from the stages of Broadway to theaters around the world.

 

The 1960s and 1970s were decades of ferment and change, both in and out of the theater. As in the 1920s, the impetus for theatrical experimentation came from outside of Broadway, and as in the 1920s, the experimentation helped to revitalize the Broadway theater. Today, the playhouses of Broadway are showcases for the best plays of the Off- and Off-Off Broadway theaters, as well as for exciting productions from theatrical workshops, regional theaters, and outstanding foreign companies.

 

Having moved gradually northward all during the 19th century, New York's theater district finally came to rest at Times Square, where it has remained for almost ninety years. The economic Depression of the 1930s discouraged speculative ventures such as the construction of new theaters, while after prosperity returned in the wake of World War II, the cost of renting land and constructing a theater was prohibitively high. The northward movement of the theater district may also have been discouraged for a number of years by the existence of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railway, which crossed from Sixth to Ninth Avenues 53rd Street, thereby providing a natural northern boundary for the theater district.

 

The Music Box Theater, as one of the Broadway playhouses surviving today in the theater district, contributes to the totality of the district's history by virtue of its participation in that history.

 

Irving Berlin and Sam H. Harris

 

The Music Box was built for Sam Harris and Irving Berlin, legendary Broadway figures who each played an important role in shaping the history of American theater entertainment. Sam Harris was a soft-spoken, behind-the-scenes genius whose percentage of hits is still one of the highest in Broadway history.^ Irving Berlin is one of the great American

 

songwriters of this century. Together they created the Music Box Theater and made it what one writer called "the home of the hits!"

 

Sam Harris, a native New Yorker, was born February 3, 1872, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He left school at the age of fourteen, and by the age of seventeen was organizing local holiday entertainment and athletic exhibitions. Harris also raised thoroughbred racing horses and promoted prize fighters, including the featherweight champion of 1897, "Terrible Terry" McGovern. The enterprising Harris figured "Terrible Terry" could do more than just box in the ring, so beginning in 1898 he had McGovern delivering punch lines on the stage, first in The Bowery After Dark, a financial success which went on to tour the country, and then in The Gay Morning Glories, not nearly as popular.

 

In 1904, Sam Harris began a lengthy collaboration with composer George M. Cohan. Their first great success was Little Johnnie Jones. It was Cohan's show; he acted in it and wrote the music, including the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway." Harris, however, knew better than anyone the

 

business end of good popular entertainment; together Cohan and Harris are still regarded as one of the most successful teams in Broadway history.

 

Harris also controlled several theaters with Cohan: in 1913, they built the Bronx Opera House on East 149th Street and Third Avenue (extant), and together they took control of the Cohan and Harris Theater. Their personal lives were linked through their marriages to sisters, Alice Nolan (Harris's first wife), and Agnes Nolan (Cohan's wife). Their partnership eventually dissolved over a disagreement during the actors' strike which preceded the formation of Actors' Equity in 1920. Despite their feud, Cohan and Harris remained good friends and even revived their partnership in 1937 to produce one more show, Fulton of Oak FalIs.

 

When Harris parted with Cohan, he joined Irving Berlin in the Music Box Theater project. In addition to Berlin, Harris went on to collaborate with George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart on a number of productions, including Once In a Lifetime, Dinner At Eight, and The Man Who Came To Dinner. Three of his productions won Pulitzer Prizes: Icebound in 1923, Of Thee I Sing in 1932, and You Can't Take It With You in 1937. Harris died in 1941, a successful and respected stage figure whose name, Max Gordon once said, "stood for impeccable taste and something called for lack of a better word, 'class.'"

 

Irving Berlin, still alive today at the age of 99, has been one of the most versatile and popular songwriters of the twentieth century. Born May 11, 1888, in Eastern Russia, Israel Baline immigrated to the United States with his family in 1892 when he was only four years old."* His first published song (1907) was "Mario From Sunny Italy." A printer's error on the cover spelled his name I. Berlin, and he kept the name. Unable to read music and without any formal training, Berlin nonetheless has had over 1500 songs published, many of them internationally known. He can play the piano only in the key of F-sharp, and even has a special instrument furnished with a clutch that enables him to switch automatically to any key.

 

At the beginning of his career, Irving Berlin was a "Tin Pan Alley" pioneer, helping to win wide acceptance for ragtime jazz and the accompanying dance craze. His first great musical success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band," became an international hit when vaudeville star Emma Carus introduced its syncopated march rhythms to Chicago audienpes in 1911. By 1915, the song had sold over two million sheet copies and Berlin had become identified in the public mind with ragtime.

 

In 1914 Berlin wrote his first complete score for the Vernon and Irene Castle revue Watch Your Step that popularized "Play a Simple Melody." At that time he was also performing in vaudeville, appearing at such theaters as the London Hippodrome, where he was billed as the "king of ragtime." Drafted into the army in 1918, Berlin wrote and starred in Yip-Yip Yaphank, a service musical in which he first introduced "I Hate to Get Up in the Morning."

 

In 1919, the songwriter formed his own musical publishing company, Irving Berlin, Inc. During the 1920s Berlin wrote for a number of revues including the Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 and 1927 and his own Music Box Revues of 1921-24. In 1925, he scored his first musical comedy, The Cocoanuts, for the Marx Brothers. His work took on a more sober tone in

 

the early 1930s with two political satires, Face the Music (1932) and As Thousands Cheer (1933), the latter featuring his holiday classic, "Easter Parade." In 1935 Berlin began writing for the movies. Bing Crosby, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland owed some of their greatest hits to him. Top Hat (1935) featured Rogers and Astaire dancing to "Isn't This a Lovely Day" and "Cheek to Cheek," Crosby introduced "White Christmas" in Holiday Inn (1942), and Garland and Astaire walked up the avenue in Easter Parade (1948). On Broadway, Berlin was particularly identified with Ethel Merman who starred in his greatest hit Annie Get Your Gun (1944) and later spoofed Perle Mesta in Call Me Madam (1950).

 

In 1954 Berlin went into retirement. He returned to Broadway in 1962 with the score for Mr. President, a great popular success despite a lukewarm reception from the critics. In 1955, President Eisenhower presented Berlin with a gold medal "in recognition of his services in composing warm patriotic songs," the most famous of these being "God Bless America."

 

(PD, GH)

 

C. Howard Crane and E. George Kiehler

 

During a career that spanned almost fifty years, Charles Howard Crane designed more than two hundred theaters in the United States and some 125 more in Canada and Great Britain. Among the most widely publicized of these were his only two Broadway playhouses, the Music Box (1921) and the Guild (later the ANTA, currently the Virginia; 1924-25). Quite different from each other in appearance - - the GuiId is mode 1 ed on a Tuscan villa while the Music Box is severely Palladian in style -- both theaters display Crane's academically correct eclecticism. Crane believed that

 

theaters ought to exemplify architecture as an art of dramatization. Unlike many other theater architects of the time, who blended various historical elements into a personal style, Crane never developed a "signature" in his work.

 

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1885, Crane began his career in that city in 1904. He moved to Detroit in 1905 where he apprenticed himself to Albert Kahn. Only a year later he had become the chief draftsman for the firm of Field, Hynchman & Smith, and by 1909 he had established his own practice. His expertise in theater design and construction, and specifically in acoustics, gained him a solid reputation and kept his services in constant demand, particularly during the 1920s. At one time he employed fifty-three draftsmen who assisted him with projects in almost every major American city. In Detroit alone, he designed almost fifty theaters, the most heralded two being the Majestic (1917) and Orchestra Hall (1919).

 

Crane employed two senior associates: Ben A. Dore, chief designer in the Detroit office, who collaborated on, or was in charge of, many mid-western projects' and Kenneth Franzheim (1891-1959), who ran Crane's New York City office. Two well publicized examples of Crane and Franzheim's collaboration were the twin Selwyn and Harris Theaters in Chicago. Archie and Edgar Selwyn, both prominent New York producers, commissioned one; and Sam Harris, impressed with his architect's 1921 Music Box design, commissioned Crane to build the other. The two separate but adjoining structures were roughly the same size and consisted of similarly fashioned Renaissance style facades. Another Crane and Franzheim collaboration was the Capitol Theater and Office Building in Boston in 1926. This elaborate design incorporated a two-story Ionic colonnaded facade into a standard fourteen-story office tower with an extremely plush and decorative interior. E. George Kiehler was also a collaborator on some of Crane's theater projects, including the Music Box, but his specific contributions are not known.

 

At the height of Crane's career, shortly before the Depression, many American film studios and theater corporations had attained their greatest financial and popular success. Individual theaters and theater chains became one part of an expanding entertainment empire. Beginning in 1925, for example, the Fox Theater Corporation embarked on a campaign to build or acquire what would amount to 800 theaters by the year 1929. Crane alone was commissioned by Fox to design twenty-five new theaters. Two of them, the Detroit Fox and the St. Louis Fox, both completed in 1928, were among the largest theaters in the country. Typically for Crane, the style of the Detroit Fox blended East Indian, Byzantine and Baroque motifs. Another similar theater in the Fox chain, the Brooklyn Fox, also by Crane in 1928, had a seating capacity of 4,305, and became a famous showcase for first-run motion pictures.

 

United Artists took advantage of Crane's talents too in 1927 when they commissioned him to design the Spanish Gothic style United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. With a lobby that resembled a vaulted Spanish cathedral, the theater also featured intricate tracery and a mirrored auditorium ceiling.^

 

In 1932, one of the worst years of the Depression, Crane moved to Europe, first to Milan where he designed Italy's first skyscraper, then to London where he settled permanently. Although his reasons for leaving the United States remain unclear, Crane continued to build theaters in England and maintained his office in Detroit. Perhaps his greatest architectural challenge, and certainly his finest engineering accomplishment, resulted in 1937 in his Earl's Court Exhibition Hall, sports and amusement center. Faced with a triangular twelve-acre site above a network of railway tracks, Crane created a modern curvilinear structure with a 118-foot high arena and five exhibition halls which could be opened into one vast amphitheater seating 30,000. It also featured an Olympic-sized swimming pool which could be raised, frozen for skating, or used as a stage or playing field. All this, it Is said, was erected without stopping a single train below the construction.

 

During and after World War II, Crane rechanneled his efforts into industrial design while working on the rebuilding of London factories and the modernization of other British plants. He continued to visit the United States frequently to lecture, but resided in London until his death there in 1952.

 

(PD, FD)

 

The Music Box Theater

 

According to one account, Sam Harris first mentioned his interest in building a theater to Irving Berlin in 1919. Berlin responded, "If you ever do, I have a great title for you." "A title for a song?" asked Harris. "No, a title for a theater, the Music Box," replied Berlin.

 

The following year Harris joined with Berlin to build the Music Box Theater, shortly after the termination of Harris's partnership with George M. Coh an. Harris built the Music Box Theater specifically to house Berlin's Music Box Revues. (Harris and Berlin were joined in the venture by a mutual friend, motion picture magnate Joseph Schenck, who soon after the theater's completion sold his interest to the Shubert Organization.) A site on 45th Street was purchased from the Astor Realty Co., and on September 22, 1921 the Music Box Theater opened with an extravaganza Berlin wrote especially for the new house. The property cost $400,000, the building $600,000, and more than $240,000 was spent for Hassard Short to produce and stage the first show. Theatre Magazine's reviewer obviously thought the expense well worthwhile, for he proclaimed Berlin's Music Box Revue and the Music Box theater "a wonderful new show in a superlatively beautiful new theatre.""*

 

For another reviewer the theater and show were "the most eye-filling and appealing combination of play and playhouse that local playgoers accustomed as they are to things gorgeous theatrically -- have ever been treated to." "Say It With Music" became Berlin's theme song for the theater and for his Music Box Revues of 1921, 1922, 1923, and 1924.

 

The Music Box was one of the small number of theaters built in the 1920s for an individual producer, rather than for a large organization like the Shuberts or the Chanins. Harris and Berlin turned to C. Howard Crane for an unusual and individual design that would mark the theater as the home of Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues.

 

Crane's design for the Music Box combined Palladian and Adamesque motifs from an architectural tradition that was essentially English and neo-Georgian. Its most prominent feature was a delicate limestone Ionic

 

colonnade screening the gallery, with pedimented doorways and finely designed lanterns. The bays on either side were framed by double pilasters and punctuated by Palladian windows on the second level, and a single window on the third. The theater was then crowned by a mansard roof with four dormer windows and a decorative wrought-iron balustrade running the length of the 100 foot theater. As described by the contemporary architectural press:

 

The delicate limestone colonnade and gallery with its finely designed doorways and lanterns is the central feature. Pylon like at the sides the structural masses give strength and proportion to the design and the mansard roof with its dormer windows and balustrades is decidedly a crowning feature. The freedom of the front from the blatant electric advertising sign is a relief. Two signs of small size designed and proportioned in keeping with the whole scheme proclaim the purpose of the building and the marquise-a concession to the needs of a stormy night-is so submerged as not to obtrude to the detriment of the composition.

 

The overall effect of Crane's design for the Music Box was distinctly domestic. The combination of Palladian and neo-Georgian elements was suggestive of a grand country house. Such an approach was not new to the

 

theater district; a number of earlier theaters built as headquarters/homes for theatrical impresarios followed similar themes. David Belasco's Stuyvesant Theater (today the Belasco) used a neo-Georgian facade to suggest an Intimate, if luxurious, 1ivingroom housing his productions. Winthrop Ames's Little Theater used a similarly styled facade to suggest a domestic home for his intimate "little theater" productions, and his architects, Ingalls & Hoffman, did something similar for Henry Miller's Theater a few years later. Contemporary with the Music Box was the Theater Guild's home (also designed by Crane), whose Italian pa1azzo-inspired facade deliberately evoked the homes of the Renaissance princes who patronized the theatrical arts. This connection between neo-Georgian architecture and intimate theater appears to have been generally understood at the time, and a contemporary architectural periodical noted of the Music Box:

 

This small theatre seats one thousand and is designed for the so-called "intimate" production. This idea is well carried into the design by the use of the style of the Georgian period following the delicacy of domestic architecture more than the monumental.

 

From the first the Broadway critics were impressed with the beauty and refinement of the Music Box's design. Jack Lait of Variety called it "the daintiest theatre in America," and the Evening Telegram's reviewer dubbed it "a theatre unparalleled....so beautiful and so satisfying that its like is not to be found here or even on the continent.." For the Herald's reviewer the Music Box's facade provided a welcome contrast to the more mundane theater buildings then going up in the Broadway area:

 

The audience which gathered to witness the brilliant opening of the Music Box last night had its first surprise on approaching the building. The new theater actually has a front -- it even deserves to be called a facade -- Vith pillars and other dignified architectural decorations....

 

The architectural press was equally enthusiastic, though perhaps less colorful in its praise. A number of journals published photos, plans, and descriptions of the Music Box. The American Architect-Architectural Review devoted eight pages to Crane's playhouse in the February 1, 1922, issue, calling it one of the most "artistic additions to New York's large number of theaters." The journal added "how remarkable" the Music Box was "for the quiet dignity of its desien and in its plan for those elements of comfort and luxurious ease____"

 

A few years later in the American Spirit in Architecture, Talbot Hamlin ranked the Music Box "among the most beautiful of modern theaters" saying:

 

It is in a modernized Adam style, and borrows much from our own native tradition in its quiet wall and roof surfaces and its delicately proportioned loggia. Proportion, detail, atmosphere make its facade a true ornament to the city, and prove that gayety is quite compatible with repose and dignity.

 

Berlin presented a Music Box Revue in each of the next four years. He moved on to other creative projects after 1925 but maintained his controlling interest with Sam Harris in the Music Box Theater. Their careful supervision of outside productions using the theater gave the Music Box an outstanding performance record: in its first twenty-five years only three shows ran less than 100 performances.

 

Today Irving Berlin retains a share in the ownership of the Music Box Theater -- "What the hell does a songwriter want with a theater?" he said in 1971. "I've sold real estate, but I've held on to the Music Box. It's a sentimental interest." The Music Box remains remarkably intact inside and out, its facade largely unaltered from the day it was built.

 

The Music Box as a Playhouse^

 

Irving Berlin's Music Box Revues occupied the Music Box Theater for its first four years. The Mail called the Revue of 1922 "four hours of jazz, girls, gorgeous costuming, spectacles that at times were dazzling, dancing acrobatics, arui all the hurly-burly of color movement associated with its predecessor."

 

The first straight play produced at the Music Box following Berlin's Revues was The Cradle Snatchers (1925), whose cast included the young Humphrey Bogart. Two more hit comedies followed, Chicago with Charles Bickford and Francine Larrimore in 1926 and Philip Barry's Paris Bound with Hope Williams in 1927. Music returned to the theater in 1928 with Cole Porter's Paris starring the glamorous Irene Bordoni. The following year Clifton Webb, Fred Allen and Libby Holman appeared in the Little Show revue. In 1931, the third edition of this series also appeared at the Music Box featuring Bea Lillie's rendition of Noel Coward's "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." For the most part, however, during the 'thirties the Music Box was given over to the the works of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart who either together or in collaboration with others supplied the house with one hit after another. The decade opened with Kaufman and Hart's first joint effort,

 

Once in a Lifetime, a Hollywood satire with Jean Dixon that convulsed audiences for 410 performances. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind collaborated on the Music Box's next production, the Gershwin musical Of Thee Sing, which ran 446 performances in 1931-32 and won the first Pulitzer Prize awarded to a musical. Subsequent productions involving Kaufman or Hart included Dinner at Eight (1932, Kaufman and Edna Ferber), As Thousands Cheer (1933, book by Hart), Merrily We Roll Along (19 34, Kaufman and Hart), First Lady (1935, Kaufman and Katherine Dayton), Stage Door (19 36, Kaufman and Ferber) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (19 39, Kaufman and Hart). Kaufman also directed all of the above productions as well as John Steinbeck's dramatization of his novel Of Mice and Men which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1938.

 

Following the death of Sam Harris in 1941 the Music Box was leased to independent producers on a show-by-show basis. Continuing to attract strong productions, it retained its reputation as one of the most successful theaters on Broadway. Contributing to this success was Mike Todd's Star and Garter, a rowdy revue starring Gypsy Rose Lee that racked up an impressive 605 performances in 1942-43. Rodgers and Hammerstein's productions of John Van Druten's I Remember Mama also enjoyed great success with 714 performances in 1944-45. The young Marlon Brando made his Broadway debut in this production which also starred Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka. Other notable productions from the forties included Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke (1948) and the Maxwell Anderson-Kurt Weill musical Lost in the Stars (1949).

 

The fifties were marked by a happy association between the Music Box and playwright William Inge who supplied the theater with three hits: the Pulitzer Prize winning Picnic (1953), Bus Stop (1954), and Dark at the Top £f the Stairs (1958). Other highlights of the 'fifties included Separate Tables which featured a Tony Award-winning performance by actress Margaret Leighton, and Five Finger Excercise which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play of the 1959/60 season.

 

During the 1960s the Music Box housed a number of distinguished dramas, inc luding A Far Country (1961) with Steven Hill and Kim Stanley, and The Homecoming (1967) with Ian Holm and Vivien Merchant. Its most popular attraction, however, was a romantic comedy Any Wednesday (1964) which ran 983 performances and and garnered paeans of praise from the critics for actress Sandy Dennis.

 

Two thrillers dominated the 1970s, Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth (1970), a British import with Anthony Quayle and Keith Baxter, and Ira Levin's Deathtrap (1978), the Music Box's longest running play to date. In addition there was another long running comedy with Sandy Dennis, Absurd Person Singular (1974), and a revue of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Side by Side by Sondheim (1977), with Millicent Martin and Julie McKenzie. In recent years the Music Box has housed the stark drama Agnes of God (1983) with Elizabeth Ashley, Geraldine Page and Amanda Plummer, a charming revival of Noel Coward's Hay Fever (1985) with Rosemary Harris and Roy Dotrice, and a critically acclaimed production by the Royal Shakespeare Company of Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1987).

 

The success of the Music Box as a theater may be best summarized in the words of Moss Hart:

 

The Music Box is everybody's dream of a theatre. If there is such a thing as a theatre's making a subtle contribution to the play being given on its stage, the Music Box is that theatre. Except for the Haymarket Theatre in London, I know of no other that possesses so strong an atmosphere of its own, as living and as personal, as the Music Box. Even in broad daylight, as we stepped inside its doors and into its darkened auditorium, there was an undefinable sense that here the theatre was always at its best.

 

Description

 

The Music Box Theater has a symmetrically-organized facade which is wider than it is high. The ground floor, which is of stone (with concrete infill and patches) is dominated by its doorways. Four pairs of original bronze and glass doors adorned with curvilinear motifs, lead into the ticket lobby at the right (east). These are flanked by original bronze -painted wood and glass signboards, framed by colonnettes with grotesques and crowned by stylized pediments (of sheetmetal over wood) composed of waves f 1 ank ing lyres in wreath surrounds. A modern marquee extends out over the entrance doors. Three pairs of original bronze and gl ass exit doors from the auditorium are flanked by similar s ignboards of bronze -painted iron, and doorways, that to the east with a single door, and that to the west with a decorative painted wrought - iron gate at the foot of the fire stairs. Decorative iron railings flank the two granite steps leading from the gate. Two large original iron signboards are placed on the wall adjacent to the recessed paired bronze stage doors.

 

A single bronze stage door in an iron frame is at the western end. These two stage door openings flank a single original sign board. The ground floor is surmounted by a cornice with a wide Adamesque frieze containing vertical ribs, urns, and swags. The major portion of the facade, rising from the ground floor base, is faced with stone and is organized into a colonnaded center section with flanking end bays. Double-height fluted columns with stylized Corinthian capitals are linked by wrought-iron railings with cast-iron panels which shield a recessed portion of the facade. The gallery thus created serves as the exit for a set of fire stairs at the east and for the three doorways from the balcony level of the auditorium. These doorways have pane led doors and are surmounted by entablatures with urn- and swag-adorned friezes supporting triangular pediments (at the outer doors) and a scrol led broken pediment with pineapple finial (at the center door). Three wrought-iron and glass lanterns are suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The end bays are flanked by pilasters with stylized Corinthian capitals.

 

A Palladianesque window with fan-filled tympanum is placed at the second floor of each bay. The windows have multi-paned casement sash. At the third floor of each bay is a window with a simple molded surround. The sash are mul ti-paned casements. A vertical sign projects from the wall of the eastern bay. An entablature with rosette-adorned frieze, dentils, and modi 11ioned cornice spans the facade. This is surmounted by a slate -covered sloping roof punctuated by round-arched sheetmetal dormers with multi-paned sash. Wrought - and cast - iron railings are placed above the cornice and at the roofline.

 

- From the 1987 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Designed in 1924 as a Lodge for the Order of the Elks, the building remains as one of the finest examples of the neo-classic revival style that grew in popularity during the 1920s. After the Elks left the building it operated as the Henry Clay Hotel for almost 40 years, then as a YWCA until 1988. This building was restored by City Properties and now has retail shops, condos, office space and rental space for events. This building is a great example of the adaptive reuse of a building, combining all the different uses into one property.

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the facility is adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Royal Botanic Gardens, between Sydney and Farm Coves.

 

Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the facility formally opened on 20 October 1973 after a gestation beginning with Utzon's 1957 selection as winner of an international design competition. The Government of New South Wales, led by the premier, Joseph Cahill, authorised work to begin in 1958 with Utzon directing construction. The government's decision to build Utzon's design is often overshadowed by circumstances that followed, including cost and scheduling overruns as well as the architect's ultimate resignation.

 

Though its name suggests a single venue, the project comprises multiple performance venues which together are among the busiest performing arts centres in the world — hosting over 1,500 performances each year attended by some 1.2 million people. The venues produce and present a wide range of in-house productions and accommodate numerous performing arts companies, including four key resident companies: Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. As one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than seven million people visit the site each year, with 300,000 people participating annually in a guided tour of the facility.

 

Identified as one of the 20th century's most distinctive buildings and one of the most famous performing arts centres in the world, the facility is managed by the Sydney Opera House Trust, under the auspices of the New South Wales Ministry of the Arts. The Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.

 

The facility features a modern expressionist design, with a series of large precast concrete "shells", each composed of sections of a sphere of 75.2 metres (246 ft 8.6 in) radius,[12] forming the roofs of the structure, set on a monumental podium. The building covers 1.8 hectares (4.4 acres) of land and is 183 m (600 ft) long and 120 m (394 ft) wide at its widest point. It is supported on 588 concrete piers sunk as much as 25 m (82 ft) below sea level.

 

Although the roof structures are commonly referred to as "shells" (as in this article), they are precast concrete panels supported by precast concrete ribs, not shells in a strictly structural sense. Though the shells appear uniformly white from a distance, they actually feature a subtle chevron pattern composed of 1,056,006 tiles in two colours: glossy white as well as matte cream. The tiles were manufactured by the Swedish company Höganäs AB which generally produced stoneware tiles for the paper-mill industry.

 

Apart from the tile of the shells and the Bradfield Highway. Significant interior surface treatments also include off-form concrete, Australian white birch plywood supplied from Wauchope in northern New South Wales, and brush box glulam.

 

Of the two larger spaces, the Concert Hall is in the western group of shells, the Joan Sutherland Theatre in the eastern group. The scale of the shells was chosen to reflect the internal height requirements, with low entrance spaces, rising over the seating areas up to the high stage towers. The smaller venues (the Drama Theatre, the Playhouse and the Studio) are within the podium, beneath the Concert Hall. A smaller group of shells set to the western side of the Monumental Steps houses the Bennelong Restaurant. The podium is surrounded by substantial open public spaces, and the large stone-paved forecourt area with the adjacent monumental steps is regularly used as a performance space.

 

The Sydney Opera House includes a number of performance venues:

 

Concert Hall: With 2,679 seats, the home of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and used by a large number of other concert presenters. It contains the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, the largest mechanical tracker action organ in the world, with over 10,000 pipes.[citation needed]

Joan Sutherland Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 1,507 seats,[17] the Sydney home of Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet. Until 16 October 2012 it was known as the Opera Theatre.

Drama Theatre: A proscenium theatre with 544 seats, used by the Sydney Theatre Company and other dance and theatrical presenters.

Playhouse: An end-stage theatre with 398 seats.

Studio: A flexible space with a maximum capacity of 400, depending on configuration.

Utzon Room: A small multi-purpose venue, seating up to 210.

Recording Studio

Outdoor Forecourt: A flexible open-air venue with a wide range of configuration options, including the possibility of utilising the Monumental Steps as audience seating, used for a range of community events and major outdoor performances. The Forecourt will be closed to visitors and performances in 2011–2014 to construct a new entrance tunnel to a rebuilt loading dock for the Joan Sutherland Theatre.

 

Other areas (for example the northern and western foyers) are also used for performances on an occasional basis. Venues are also used for conferences, ceremonies and social functions.

 

The building also houses a recording studio, cafes, restaurants, bars and retail outlets. Guided tours are available, including a frequent tour of the front-of-house spaces, and a daily backstage tour that takes visitors backstage to see areas normally reserved for performers and crew members.

 

Planning began in the late 1940s, when Eugene Goossens, the Director of the NSW State Conservatorium of Music, lobbied for a suitable venue for large theatrical productions. The normal venue for such productions, the Sydney Town Hall, was not considered large enough. By 1954, Goossens succeeded in gaining the support of NSW Premier Joseph Cahill, who called for designs for a dedicated opera house. It was also Goossens who insisted that Bennelong Point be the site: Cahill had wanted it to be on or near Wynyard Railway Station in the northwest of the CBD.

 

An international design competition was launched by Cahill on 13 September 1955 and received 233 entries, representing architects from 32 countries. The criteria specified a large hall seating 3,000 and a small hall for 1,200 people, each to be designed for different uses, including full-scale operas, orchestral and choral concerts, mass meetings, lectures, ballet performances and other presentations.

 

The winner, announced in 1957, was Jørn Utzon, a Danish architect. According to legend the Utzon design was rescued from a final cut of 30 "rejects" by the noted Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen. The prize was £5,000. Utzon visited Sydney in 1957 to help supervise the project. His office moved to Palm Beach, Sydney in February 1963.

 

Utzon received the Pritzker Architecture Prize, architecture's highest honour, in 2003. The Pritzker Prize citation read:

 

There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.

  

The Sydney Opera House was formally opened by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, on 20 October 1973. A large crowd attended. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned. The opening was televised and included fireworks and a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9

 

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design. Furthermore, the bridge is ubiquitously known to Sydneysiders simply as "the Bridge".

 

Under the direction of Dr J.J.C. Bradfield of the NSW Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by British firm Dorman Long and Co Ltd of Middlesbrough and opened in 1932. The bridge's design was influenced by the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City.[5] It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level. It was also the world's widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.

 

The southern (CBD) end of the bridge is located at Millers Point in The Rocks area, and the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. There are six original lanes of road traffic through the main roadway, plus an additional two lanes of road traffic on its eastern side, using lanes that were formerly tram tracks. Adjacent to the road traffic, a path for pedestrian use runs along the eastern side of the bridge, whilst a dedicated path for bicycle use only runs along the western side. Finally, between the main roadway and the western bicycle path are two lanes used for railway tracks, servicing the T1 North Shore Line for Sydney Trains.

 

The main roadway across the bridge is known as the Bradfield Highway and is about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) long, making it one of the shortest highways in Australia.

 

The building of the bridge was under the management of Bradfield. Three other people heavily involved in the bridge's design and construction were Lawrence Ennis, Edward Judge, and Sir Ralph Freeman. Ennis was the engineer-in-charge at Dorman Long and Co and the main on-site supervisor (Bradfield visited occasionally throughout the project and, in particular, at many key stages of the project, to inspect progress and make managerial decisions), Judge was chief technical engineer of Dorman Long, and Freeman was hired by the company to design the accepted model in further detail. Later a bitter disagreement broke out between Bradfield and Freeman as to who actually designed the bridge. Another name connected with the bridge's design is that of Arthur Plunkett.

 

Even during its construction, the bridge was such a prominent feature of Sydney that it would attract tourist interest. One of the ongoing tourist attractions of the bridge has been the south-east pylon, which is accessed via the pedestrian walkway across the bridge, and then a climb to the top of the pylon of about 200 steps.

 

Not long after the bridge's opening, commencing in 1934, Archer Whitford first converted this pylon into a tourist destination. He installed a number of attractions, including a café, a camera obscura, an Aboriginal museum, a "Mother's Nook" where visitors could write letters, and a "pashometer". The main attraction was the viewing platform, where "charming attendants" assisted visitors to use the telescopes available, and a copper cladding (still present) over the granite guard rails identified the suburbs and landmarks of Sydney at the time.

 

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 saw tourist activities on the bridge cease, as the military took over the four pylons and modified them to include parapets and anti-aircraft guns.

 

In 1948 Yvonne Rentoul opened the "All Australian Exhibition" in the pylon. This contained dioramas, and displays about Australian perspectives on subjects such as farming, sport, transport, mining, and the armed forces. An orientation table was installed at the viewing platform, along with a wall guide and binoculars. The owner kept several white cats in a rooftop cattery, which also served as an attraction, and there was a souvenir shop and postal outlet.[48] Rentoul's lease expired in 1971, and the pylon and its lookout remained closed to the public for over a decade.

 

The pylon was reopened in 1982, with a new exhibition celebrating the bridge's 50th anniversary. In 1987 a "Bicentennial Exhibition" was opened to mark the 200th anniversary of European settlement in Australia in 1988.[51]

 

The pylon was closed from April to November 2000 for the Roads & Traffic Authority and BridgeClimb to create a new exhibition called "Proud Arch". The exhibition focussed on Bradfield, and included a glass direction finder on the observation level, and various important heritage items.

 

The pylon again closed for four weeks in 2003 for the installation of an exhibit called "Dangerous Works", highlighting the dangerous conditions experienced by the original construction workers on the bridge, and two stained glass feature windows in memory of the workers.

  

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei Railway Station front

Rail

Main articles: Taiwan High Speed Rail and Taiwan Railway Administration

 

Beginning in 1983, surface rail lines in the city were moved underground as part of the Taipei Railway Underground Project.[91] The Taiwan High Speed Rail system opened in 2007. The bullet trains connect Taipei with the west coast cities of New Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, and Tainan before terminating at Zuoying (Kaohsiung) at speeds that cut travel times by 60% or more from what they normally are on a bus or conventional train.[92] The Taiwan Railway Administration also runs passenger and freight services throughout the entire island.

Bus

 

An extensive city bus system serves metropolitan areas not covered by the metro, with exclusive bus lanes to facilitate transportation.[41] Riders of the city metro system are able to use the EasyCard for discounted fares on buses, and vice versa. Several major intercity bus terminals are located throughout the city, including the Taipei Bus Station and Taipei City Hall Bus Station.[93]

Taipei Songshan Airport

Airports

Main articles: Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taipei Songshan Airport

 

Most scheduled international flights are served by Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in nearby Taoyuan City. Songshan Airport at the heart of the city in the Songshan District serves domestic flights and scheduled flights to Tokyo International Airport (also known as Haneda Airport), Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, and about 15 destinations in the People's Republic of China. Songshan Airport is accessible by the Taipei Metro Neihu Line; Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is accessible by the Taoyuan International Airport MRT system.

Ticketing

 

In 1994, with the rapid development of Taipei, a white paper for transport policies expressed the strong objective to "create a civilised transport system for the people of Taipei." In 1999, they chose Mitac consortium, which Thales-Transportation Systems is part of. Thales was then selected again in 2005 to deploy an upgrade of Taipei's public transport network with an end-to-end and fully contactless automatic fare collection solution that integrates 116 metro stations, 5,000 buses and 92 car parks.[citation needed]

Education

West Site of National Taiwan University Hospital

 

24 universities have campuses located in Taipei:

 

National Taiwan University (1928)

National Chengchi University (1927)

National Defense Medical Center (1902)

National Defense University (1906)

National Taipei University (1949)

National Taipei University of Business (1917)

National Taipei University of Education (1895)

National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Science (1947)

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (1974)

National Taipei University of Technology (1912)

National Taiwan College of Performing Arts (1957)

National Taiwan Normal University (1946)

National Yang-Ming University (1975)

Taipei National University of the Arts (1982)

University of Taipei (2013)

  

Tamkang University (1950)

Soochow University (1900)

Chinese Culture University (1962)

Ming Chuan University (1957)

Shih Hsin University (1956)

Shih Chien University (1958)

Taipei Medical University (1960)

Tatung University (1956)

China University of Technology (1965)

 

National Taiwan University (NTU) was established in 1928 during the period of Japanese colonial rule. NTU has produced many political and social leaders in Taiwan. Both pan-blue and pan-green movements in Taiwan are rooted on the NTU campus. The university has six campuses in the greater Taipei region (including New Taipei) and two additional campuses in Nantou County. The university governs farms, forests, and hospitals for educational and research purposes. The main campus is in Taipei's Da-An district, where most department buildings and all the administrative buildings are located. The College of Law and the College of Medicine are located near the Presidential Building. The National Taiwan University Hospital is a leading international center of medical research.[94]

 

National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU or Shida) likewise traces its origins to the Japanese colonial period. Originally a teacher training institution, NTNU has developed into a comprehensive international university with demanding entrance requirements. The university boasts especially strong programs in the humanities and international education. Worldwide it is perhaps best known as home of the Mandarin Training Center, a program that offers Mandarin language training each year to over a thousand students from dozens of countries throughout the world. The main campus in Taipei's Da-An district, near MRT Guting Station, is known for its historic architecture and giving its name to the Shida Night Market, one of the most popular among the numerous night markets in Taipei.

Chinese language program for foreigners

 

Taiwan Mandarin Institute (TMI) (福爾摩莎)

International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) (國際華語研習所) of National Taiwan University

Mandarin Training Center (MTC) (國語教學中心) of National Taiwan Normal University

Taipei Language Institute (中華語文研習所)

 

www.brockholes.org/

  

Brockholes is a new kind of nature reserve, an unreserved reserve owned and managed by The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside.

 

There's lots to see and do at Brockholes, you can hunt out our floating Visitor Village with a restaurant, shops and Welcome Centre or explore our family-friendly hides, walking trails and play area.

  

www.brockholes.org/visit

  

At Brockholes you can explore our beautiful reserve, see the wildlife that call it ‘home’ or hunt out our Visitor Village with restaurant and shops, all of which float (yes really!) on one of our lakes.

 

Our floating Visitor Village features a gift shop and a restaurant providing stunning views across the lake. You can also discover our interactive Welcome Centre and learn all about the wildlife that you could see on-site. Be sure to call in to pick up a welcome leaflet that will help you plan your day. You can view the reserve map in our Welcome Leaflet here to help you plan your first visit.

  

2013/14 Opening Times:

 

4th November 2013 to 31 March 2014 10am-4pm

1st April 2014 to 31st October 2014 10am-5pm

 

Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day only

  

Car Park Charges

 

We don't charge for entry and any profits made here go back into looking after the reserve. So every time you pay for parking, treat yourself in the shop or enjoy some lunch, you are helping look after the reserve and the wildlife that visits us!

  

Sorry no dogs allowed!

 

There is a good reason! Dogs can disturb wildlife, especially nesting birds. If your dog was to get too close to a nesting bird it would cause the mother to leave the nest. So to avoid any accidents we ask that you don’t bring your dog. (Assistance dogs are welcome.)

  

Explore the reserve

 

Brockholes is one of the best sites in the UK for many species of bird and has one of the largest strips of ancient woodland in the county. You can take a stroll by the River Ribble, explore our woods or enjoy the lakes on site, which have all been specially designed to attract all kinds of wildlife for you to see!

  

Walks around Brockholes

 

What can I see at Brockholes?

Read about the happy habitats we've been working hard to create at Brockholes.

Watch out!

  

The Visitor Village floats on water and there are lots of areas of open water on the reserve. Take care in these areas and keep an eye on any children with you. The following activities are not allowed on the reserve:

 

Barbecues and fires

Fishing

Swimming

  

Please do not feed the birds

 

Big gulls know it’s much easier to find food when we leave it lying around rather than finding their own lunch. Here at Brockholes we have lots of species breeding with us, little ringed and ringed plover, lapwing, oystercatcher and redshank. Unfortunately the big gulls will eat the chicks of these special birds so if we feed the gulls and encourage them to stay there is a big chance that they will eat our important chicks, so please do not feed the birds and take your leftover picnic away with you.

  

www.brockholes.org/our-journey

  

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has been working on developing Brockholes for nearly 20 years, here is an overview of our journey.

 

1992 Lancashire Wildlife Trust first contests the quarrying of Brockholes.

 

27 November 2006 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has four weeks to raise £50,000 to buy the Brockholes site, near Preston, and protect it from development. Brockholes sits next to J31 of the M6 and is the size of 120 football pitches.

 

15 January 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust makes the biggest land purchase in its history - thanks to donations from Wildlife Trust members, and an investment of £800,000 from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) under the Newlands scheme. The project to buy and develop Brockholes is also supported by The Tubney Charitable Trust.

 

3 May 2007 Ian Selby is appointed as Brockholes project manager. Ian has 20 years' experience of managing the North West's canal network for British Waterways, followed by environmental regeneration work. Sophie Leadsom, Brockholes' new reserve manager, has worked in conservation for 14 years.

 

July 2007 The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced the launch of a new open competition to design new visitor facilities.

 

5 October 2007 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the shortlist for the new multi-million pound visitor centre. 61 architects from all over Europe submitted designs. The five were Adam Khan Architects, Arca, Architecture 2B, AY Architects, McDowell + Benedetti.

 

25 February 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and partners announce the winner of its competition to design a visitor facility. Adam Khan Architects was selected for its inspirational design concept: "A Floating World". Designed as a cluster of buildings constructed largely of wood and other sustainable materials, it resembles an ancient marshland village.

 

April 2008 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust announced the completion of its first phase of preparatory work, including the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.

 

March 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust secured £8million of funding from the North West Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The investment was made under ‘Newlands’, a NWDA and Forestry Commission programme that is regenerating brownfield land across the Northwest into economically viable community woodland.

 

Summer 2009 Volunteers gave us 134 hours of their time to help propagate our own reed seedlings on-site. We ended up with 20,000 new redd seedlings ready to plant out around our new visitor centre, creating two hecatres of brand new reedbed.

 

August 2009 The Lancashire Wildlife Trust were granted detailed planning permission for the site.

 

December 2009 Contractors first day of work as they begin to construct the iconic floating visitors centre. Press conference being held with a ‘cutting of the first sod’

 

November 2010 A herd of longhorn cattle move into Brockholes to graze the reserve.

 

December 2010 BBC Countryfile fronted by Julia Bradbury visit Brockholes to film a feature that airs in January 2011.

 

March 2011 Brockholes makes history as the Visitor Village is floated for the first time.

 

Easter Sunday 2011 Brockholes opens its doors to the public for the first time!

  

www.brockholes.org/happy-habitats-brockholes

  

Happy habitats at Brockholes

 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust are using their expertise to create habitats that will encourage lots of different species to visit the site, read more about the work we are doing on the reserve...

  

Number 1 Pit

 

Uniform and steep, the edges around the original gravel pit used to look very different. The island looked different too – an egg-shaped piece of land sticking out of the water by three metres. These land profiles weren’t great for the bird species and aquatic invertebrates we wanted to attract. So, with bulldozer and digger we pushed earth into the lake to create shallow, underwater ledges and peninsulas where birds can roost and feed, safe from predators. Diving ducks, such as Great Crested Grebe, now hunt for fish in the deep water.

  

Nook Pool

 

The edge of this pool has been planted with reed to create places for small fish and aquatic invertebrates like dragonfly larvae to hide and grow, away from predator fish. The shelter provided by the vegetation provides an ideal hunting ground for lots of species of dragonfly including the impressive Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly.

  

Meadow Lake

 

This shallow lake is great for bird watching: when the water level is down, wading birds feed on small invertebrates in the exposed mud. This lake has some of the richest water plant life in and around it, including White Water Lily and Cuckooflower. The reed fringes are becoming well established and hold some of the largest populations of birds on site. The islands provide safe roosting and breeding areas, we keep the vegetation short so the birds can watch out for predators.

  

Boilton Marsh

 

This area is part of our newly created wet grassland habitat. We remodelled 17,000 cubic metres of quarry spoil to create 10 hectares of wet grassland with nearly 2km of channels and five pools. This is the ideal habitat for breeding wading birds such as Lapwing, Redshank and Snipe. We now graze traditional breeds of cattle and sheep that thrive on the coarse grasses and rushes and provide the low grassland sward that encourages wading birds to nest.

 

The channels and pools are kept topped up by using a high-level reservoir, filled from Number One Pit by way of a solar pump.

  

Woodland

 

Brockholes is fringed by the ancient woodland of Boilton, Red Scar and Tunbrook Woods. Woodland has grown here for thousands of years and developed a very rich variety of wildlife. Looking after our trees and paths will help the woodland to thrive and enable you to see the wildlife safely.

  

Reedbeds

 

Reedbeds are home to Sedge Warblers, Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings and Water Rail. We protect the new reed from grazing birds like Coot, Mute Swan and Canada Goose, by erecting chicken wire fences and baling string barriers. It will take several years before our lak fringes start to look like reedbeds. You might notice that the Visitor Village has been nestled in reedbed. This helps it to blend into the reserve and allows you to hear the song and chatter of the birds that nest there.

  

www.brockholes.org/brockholes-partners-and-funders

  

Brockholes partners and funders

  

For the past ten years, The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have been working to secure this site of national environmental importance, and restore habitats to their full potential.

 

The £8.6 million of regeneration funding was provided for the Brockholes Wetland and Woodland Reserve project has been granted under 'Newlands' - a £59 million, Northwest Regional Development Agency and Forestry Commission programme to transform brownfield land into durable community woodland, which act as catalysts for economic, social and environmental gain.

 

The Lancashire Environmental Fund awarded £446,000 for the development of the education facilities, hides and infrastructure on the site. Tubney Charitable Trust granted £350,000 for Biodiversity and Natural England DEFRA's Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund awarded circa. £300,000. The Environment Agency granted £50,000 for the continued development of Brockholes.

 

The support of these funders helped make Brockholes a reality, as did the amazing support from our public appeal, which raised an amazing £63,000 - the most successful public appeal the Lancashire Wildlife Trust has ever run!

  

www.brockholes.org/volunteer

  

Volunteering at Brockholes

  

Around 200 volunteers have now been recruited, inducted and trained to begin volunteering at Brockholes, so we offer an enormous thank you to all who are helping it make such a big impact on our visitors... Volunteers truly are the face of Brockholes.

 

There are currently some exciting opportunities to be had volunteering here at Brockholes. Please have a look below at roles (you can click on the titles to download a full role description) which might suit you and click here to register, mentioning Brockholes and the role on the form.

  

Seasonal Activities Volunteer

 

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

 

Running throughout all school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

 

The Seasonal Activities Volunteer role is ideal for friendly, outgoing people who want to utilise their creative skills and help visitors – in particular children – enjoy the reserve. You will work alongside other volunteers to plan and deliver a variety of activities including pond dipping, guided walks, bird watching. The role will also include assisting with larger events such as our Extreme Adventure Weekend and Craft Fayres. Support will be given to you by the Events & Communications Manager.

 

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

 

For full details on the role and what it entails, click here.

  

Seasonal Retail & Visitor Services

 

Our seasonal activities program is the ideal opportunity for young people aged 16-23 to get involved here at Brockholes.

 

As a volunteer for Retail & Visitor Services you will provide a warm welcome for visitors, helping to ensure that their Brockholes experience is a positive one. You will help visitors by providing them with information about products on sale in our gift stores and help them plan their visit by telling them about the various events and activities we have on offer.

 

The role suits a friendly, outgoing person who has an interest in wildlife and conservation.

 

Running throughout the school holiday periods, you are expected to volunteer for 7 hours per week (normally one full day).

 

This placement is perfect for those undertaking various award schemes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh award, as over the course of the summer you have the opportunity to gain upto 50 volunteering hours.

  

Each volunteer will be required to undergo a minimum of 1 and a half days training before they start. If you’d like to find out more or ask questions about any of these roles do not hesitate to get in touch with Catherine Haddon, Volunteering Support Officer on 01772 324 129 or email volunteer@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/awards

  

Awards

 

Brockholes has scooped many high profile awards since opening in April 2011:

 

2013 Lancashire Tourism Award for Best Conference/Meeting venue

 

VisitEngland's Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) 'Excellent'

 

Green Tourism Gold Award

 

Customer at the Heart Award

 

Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Awards 'Marketing Campaign of the Year'

 

National Wood Award

 

BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ for the interim design stage

 

Chartered Institute of Building Services – Building of the Year 2011

 

Civic Trust Award

 

Civic Trust Special Award for Sustainability

 

Highly Commended in portfolio of Newlands sites in Landscape Awards

 

CIWEM Living Wetlands award

 

Greenbuilds award

 

Green Apple Awards for the Visitor Centre

 

Sustainable Project of the year – 2012 Building Awards

 

RICS North West – Overall award

 

RICS North West – Tourism and Leisure

 

RICS NW – Design & Innovation

 

RIBA North West Building of the Year

 

RIBA North West Sustainability Award

 

RIBA Award for top 50 new buildings in the UK

  

www.brockholes.org/business-0

  

Brockholes is an award winning-venue, which floats on one of our lakes - the only one of its kind in the UK.

 

Combine this unique design with access straight off the M6, a beautiful nature reserve, ample parking and on site catering, and you have found yourself the perfect venue for your next event. View our Conference Brochure here.

 

We think Brockholes is the natural place to do business, our dedicated centre can cater for 50 to 130 delegates.

 

We have a choice of two conference rooms and a reception/break-out area.

  

www.brockholes.org/conference-packages

  

At Brockholes we want you to be in control of your event as much as possible. This is why we have created these basic packages, enabling you to tweak each element to build an individual event.

 

Alternatively, we can cater to your specific requests if you require half day, early morning or evening hire.

 

Here is an overview of our conference packages, please contact us for a quote.

 

Our Conference brochure can be viewed in digi-book format here.

  

Day Delegate Package

  

Private room hire from 9am - 5pm

Tea and coffee served on arrival with bacon rolls

Mineral water for each guest

Tea and coffee served mid-morning

Buffet lunch served with tea, coffee and fresh fruit platter

Tea, coffee and biscuits served mid-afternoon

Use of a flip chart, screen and projector

Recycled pen and notepad for each delegate

Dedicated co-ordinator to assist you throughout the planning to delivery of your meeting

24 Hour Delegate Package

 

All of the above plus;

 

Three course dinner

Full breakfast

Accommodation in a standard bedroom at our recommended accommodation supplier

  

Accommodation

 

Preferential rates are available on request from a local hotel when booking through the Brockholes Sales Team.

 

We can tailor our packages to suit your needs. Make the UK's first floating venue your next choice

 

Please contact us for more information or to arrange a meeting or showround with our Conference Sales Co-ordinator

 

Call us on 01772 872005 or enter your details below and we will contact you to discuss your requirements.

  

www.brockholes.org/sponsorship-opportunities

  

Sponsorship Opportunities

  

Brockholes is an award winning nature reserve owned and manages by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which was opened in 2011. The 250 acre reserve is already attracting record numbers of breeding birds and around 170,000 visitors each year. Brockholes runs a wide range of events throughout the year and has a particularly strong offer for families. Events include wild families, school holiday clubs, school and community group visits, self led trails and larger festivals during the summer holidays.

 

The key marketing campaigns run targeting families include Christmas, Summer and Easter. Each campaign targets a series of family focused publications across the North West, with a monthly average reach online of over 40,000 people through the website and social media. Advertising and direct marketing campaigns have an average reach of 70% of the total North West population.

  

Sponsorship and Partnership Opportunities

 

Summer at Brockholes sees a host of family events each year, from school holiday clubs to open air theatre, guided walks to family fun. Over the Summer period, Brockholes expects to welcome over 60,000 visitors. The marketing campaign is multi channel and will reach a wide audience of families across the North West. Brockholes has also been featured in the National Press for some of the unique events run. We have some new opportunities for sponsorship and partnership, which will allow your business to raise brand awareness and fulfill part of your Corporate Social Responsibility by supporting Brockholes and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

 

Summer at Brockholes Headline Sponsorship £4500

 

Expose your brand to thousands of families across the North West.

- Logo on all Summer promotional material

- Inclusion in all four of the Summer e-news and Lancashire Wildlife Trust e-news

- Sponsor Feature on Brockholes.org

- On site promotion

- Promotion through social media channels

- Inclusion in all PR activity

- Temporary use of Brockholes logo on promotional material directly related to the partnership

  

Wild Families Sponsorship £4000 per year

  

Our Wild Families events are always fully booked. With themes ranging from scarecrow hunts to nature detectives, each event provides quality family time for family members of all ages. Events are run throughout school holidays.

-Logo on marketing materials for Wild Families

-Inclusion in PR for trail launch

-Inclusion in social media activity

-Inclusion in Brockholes e-news

  

Seasonal Trail Sponsorship £500 per trail

Each visitor to Brockholes can collect their free seasonal trail on arrival. The trail helps visitors to explore the reserve, learn more about what to see and how the reserve changes with the season and challenges them to spot things.

-Logo on sponsorship trail

-Inclusion in PR for trail launch

-Inclusion in social media activity around the trail

  

Half term at Brockholes £1500

-Logo on all marketing materials

-Inclusion in launch PR

-Social media promotion

  

Annual Headline Sponsorship £10,000

- Logo inclusion on all Promotional Material

- Dedicated web page on Brockholes.org

- On site promotion

- Dedicated stand area on key event days

- Promotion through Brockholes and LWT e-news, member magazine

- Promotion through social media channels

- Inclusion in all PR activity

-Discounted delegate rate on our conference facilities

 

Children's Corner £500

 

Would you like to help brighten up the children's corner in our restuarant for our younger visitors?

 

-Inclusion in PR activity

 

-Recognition in the children's area

 

-Inclusion in activity to our database promoting the new area

  

To talk to us more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Ruth Gaskell rgaskell@lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129.

  

www.brockholes.org/commercial-opportunities

  

Commercial Opportunities

  

Make Brockholes your business

 

Businesses are being offered an opportunity to become partners in a North West tourism and wildlife success story.

 

Brockholes nature reserve is entering the second phase of development which will provide commercial opportunities for other businesses and boost local employment.

 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust attraction attracted 185,000 people to its nature reserve and the first ever floating visitor village in the UK, last year. It is looking to top that visitor figure this year.

 

Just off the M6 at Preston and easily accessible from anywhere in the UK, Brockholes has received more than 30 regional and national awards despite only opening in 2011. Visitors continue to pour in despite the reserve being surrounded by the attractions of Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool.

 

The business has shown year-on-year growth and, as a result, is seeking commercial partners for the next phase of development.

 

Anne Selby, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust said “Brockholes has performed incredibly well despite being launched in a recession. We have steered the business through the stormy weather and achieved fantastic results.

 

“We are now looking to move into the next phase of development. As a conservation charity, we want to ensure our focus remains on the nature conservation of the reserve, whilst ensuring the commercial income supports this work. We are looking for expressions of interest at this stage and asking businesses to be creative with their proposals.”

 

The Visitor Village has a restaurant, shops, conference centre, welcome centre and education centre. Major companies have made use of the conference centre including RBS and Aldi. The surrounding nature reserve is continuing to grow, with an increasing population of resident creatures and rare visitors like red kite, bittern and otter.

 

Anne continued: “Brockholes received funding for the initial start up and development phases but it was always designed to be a self-sustaining model. By making the most of the commercial opportunities and keeping these balanced carefully with the needs of nature, we believe we can continue to success of Brockholes into the future and achieve even more fantastic results for wildlife, our wide range of visitors and the tourism economy”.

 

Opportunities include retail, water sports (non-motorised), indoor play provision, events partners and mobile food concessions. However, the Trust is open to hear if any investors would wish to develop sympathetic commercial facilities on the site.

 

An opportunity information pack is available by request from:

Karen Williams Karen.Williams@brockholes.org

 

Expressions of interest should initially be made to

Lindsey Poole, Commercial Development Manager lpoole@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/groups

  

Group Visits

 

Whether it’s a full day out or just a quick stop off on the way to your destination, Brockholes is the ideal place for groups to visit.

 

There's so much for all ages to see and learn about at Brockholes. Everyone from toddlers to seniors will find something to fascinate them, whether through our exciting range of organised events, or by just wandering around the site.

 

We are passionately committed to lifelong learning for all – our belief is that everyone should leave knowing something they didn't when they arrived! The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has over a decade of experience in delivering environmental education, so you can relax, enjoy the surroundings and be sure to come away both enchanted and enlightened...

 

We have several options for various groups, each with a variety of benefits. For more information click on the relevant link below…

 

Coach Groups

School Groups

Community Groups

 

To enquire about group visits please call 01772 872000 or email info@brockholes.org. Or leave your details on the form below and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

  

Coach Groups

 

Situated next to Junction 31 on the M6, we are the ideal stop for coach trips, whether it is for a short stop, as a green motorway services, or as part of a full day visit.

 

​Free entry for coaches and convenient coach drop-off point

 

We have a variety of walking trails for your group to explore, ranging from half an hour to 2 hours in length.

 

We have our floating visitor village that features a stunning waterside restaurant, 2 unique gift shops and a welcome centre with exhibits, which are ideal should your guests decide for something less active (or if the weather lets you down)!

 

All our buildings are fully accessible, while the vast majority of our paths are well surfaced, level and suitable for wheelchairs.

 

We now have a more convenient drop-off point exclusively for coaches and in addition have a number of benefits for coach groups:

 

• Free entry to the reserve and visitor centre

• Free coach parking

• Refreshment voucher for the coach driver

• Free familiarisation visit for group organisers

• Free meet and greet at the coach (on request)

• Free Brockholes welcome leaflet and trail guide

• Free events and activities throughout the year (visit our events calendar for details)

• Free play area

• Pre-booked guided tours (available at an extra charge)

• Adapted toilets available at the visitor centre

 

Please note that there is a 4 metre high bridge on the entrance to Brockholes. We also advise all coaches to let us know of their visit in advance by calling us on 01772 872000.

 

For any further information please just call 01772 872000, email info@brockholes.org

  

School Groups

 

Our 250 acre nature reserve and Visitor Village is a great place for school groups to visit. Children can learn about the geological history and how the quarrying has shaped the land today. And because we are a new nature reserve, you can watch it grow! It is also home to the UK's first floating Visitor Village.

 

Most importantly of all, the children will be able to see that Brockholes is home to a host of wildlife, with many different species of bird popping by throughout the year, along with brown hare, dragonfly and deer to name a few!

  

Facilities

 

Your school will have use of the education centre on our floating visitor village and you will have at least one Education Officer dedicated to your group throughout the day.

 

Plus... NEW FOR 2014!

 

Next year your school will be able to get even closer to nature at Brockholes by booking an education session in our new purpose-built bird hide classroom, right on the edge of the lake!

 

The hide will overlook No 1 Pit Lake which is home to many different species of birds and you'll also be able to look across to the new sand martin wall, which will provide valuable breeding habitat when they arrive in spring.

 

Why not your details below if you'd like us to keep to informed of these exciting new developments!

  

Programmes

 

We offer a wide range of programmes including:

 

Big Adventure in a Miniature World

Life Cycles

Migration and Hibernation

Environmental Art

Geography and Geology

​Forest School

 

You can read more about the education programmes available at Brockholes here. ​

  

Education Team

 

Our Education Team are based at Brockholes and have a huge amount of experience in inspiring young people about the natural world. They are a lively bunch and pride themselves on creating an exciting and memorable experience for your school. You can read about how great our team is here: Meet the Education Team.

  

Outreach

 

Can't get to us? Then we can come to you! Our outreach education programme is very popular and offers a wide range of programmes for those who are unable to reach Brockholes.You can view our Outreach Programmes here.

 

For any information just call us on 01772 872000 for more information, email eduadmin@lancswt.org.uk

  

Community Groups

 

Brockholes is a great place to bring your community group, whether it's the Scouts, Guides, Cubs, Brownies or Beavers or a rambling or photography group, there is something for everyone!

 

As well as exploring our stunning nature reserve you can enjoy an activity such as a guided walk, a mini-beast hunt or an environmental art session.

 

You can visit Brockholes during the day or we have special community group evenings when the reserve is open beyond our usual opening hours. Group activities usually take place between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

  

Forest Schools

 

Forest Schools is a unique outdoor learning experience that improves children's self-esteem, confidence and abilities.

 

Brockholes provides an inspirational setting for Forest Schools sessions and training, and is conveniently located just off junction 31 of the M6 at Preston.

 

Our Forest School sessions are designed and delivered by our experienced and fully qualified Education Team including our Level 3 Trained Forest Schools Practioner.

 

Our next Forest Schools adult training session will be running in October. To find out more about Forest School sessions at Brockholes please call 01772 872017 or email kphillips@lancswt.org.uk

  

www.brockholes.org/shop

  

Shop til you flock

 

Why not drop into our two on-site shops, The Nest and Village Store, which are packed with all sorts of goodies. We've a variety of products from local beverages and food, to cards and books and crafts and jewellery. They are the perfect place to pick up a unique gift... and there's plenty of treats for the little ones too!

  

The Nest

 

The Nest is home to an inspiring collection of gifts, jewellery, books, toys, arts & crafts. Discover what's inside The Nest here.

  

The Village Store

 

The Village Store stocks a wide range of products, from locally sourced food and drink treats to bird food, garden accessories and wildlife books. Come and look inside here.

  

Membership of the Wildlife Trust

 

Brockholes is a Lancashire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. You can become a member today or talk to our friendly staff members and volunteers on your next visit to Brockholes. Gift membership is available in The Nest or you can buy it online here.

  

www.brockholes.org/eat

  

Our restaurant is the perfect place to stop and watch the world go by with panoramic views of our lake. Scrumptious homemade dishes and a taste bud tingling selection of Lancashire's finest local produce are all here to tempt you, along with fair trade tea and coffee.

 

Our restaurant is open from 10am to 5pm.

  

www.brockholes.org/very-special-occasions

  

Brockholes is a fantastic place for your very special occasions.

 

Our floating venue is one of the newest and most unique in Lancashire and promises you and your guests an unforgetable event whatever the occasion.

 

We have a dedicated function centre that can accomodate weddings, christenings and all sort of functions.

 

The clean, contemporary finish of our venue means that you have the perfect opportunity to put your own stamp on your event, with a flexible range of catering available from our on-site restaurant.

 

We have a dedicated Conference and Events Co-ordinator that will be available to help you plan your special occasion.

  

Very Special Weddings

 

We had our first wedding celebration September 2011 and since then it's been all go with Wedding Fayres and lots more bookings for this year and next. Find out more about weddings at Brockholes here.

  

Very Special Christenings

 

Brockholes is a real family friendly venue for a Christening celebration that you will remember for years to come. Find out more here.

 

For general enquiries about holding a function at Brockholes please call 01772 872005 or email philip.dunn@brockholes.org.

  

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States

 

A collaborative project of the Federal Public Works Administration and the newly established New York City Housing Authority, the Williamsburg Houses are notable as one of the earliest housing developments in the United States to reflect the ideas of the modern movement in architecture. In the 1920s Williamsburg was one of the most densely populated sections of Brooklyn and nearly six hundred, mostly frame, structures were demolished to create the 23.3 acre site. Proposed in 1934, this residential complex was skillfully designed by the Williamsburg Associated Architects during 1935 and most units were occupied by 1938.

 

The partnership included Richmond H. Shreve, of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, the architects of the Empire State Building, and William Lescaze, the Swiss-born architect who helped introduce the “International” style on the eastern seaboard. Lescaze was responsible for the design, which includes twenty 4-story structures on four “super” blocks turned at 15 degree angles to the street grid. Oriented to the sun and prevailing winds, this unusual layout produced a series of large and small courts, many of which flow into a large public space at the center of each block. A light-colored palette distinguishes the facades, executed in tan brick and exposed concrete.

 

Among the most prominent features are the entrances, marked by blue tile and projecting stainless steel canopies, and the handsome streamlined storefronts. The complex was widely discussed by contemporary critics and more than 25,000 New Yorkers applied for 1,622 apartments. During the mid-1990s, the buildings underwent an extensive restoration which included the replacement of all exterior materials. Sponsored by the Housing Authority, in consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, these alterations were remarkably sensitive and in the 4th edition of the AIA Guide to New York City the “revivified” complex was called “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS

 

Housing the Masses

 

From the rowhouse to the apartment building, New York City has been a laboratory for innovative housing. Beginning after the Civil War, apartments, variously known as French Flats and tenements, were built to house the city’s surging population. Immigrants, for the most part, crowded into unregulated tenements, structures that maximized profits for developers while providing few amenities that we take for granted today, such as light, air, and private bathrooms.

 

Despite government efforts to legislate minimum standards in 1867 and 1879, initially private individuals took the most significant steps to make decent housing affordable to all. Several pioneering examples were located close to the Brooklyn waterfront, including the Home and Tower Buildings , the Astral Apartments and Riverside . The later complex surrounded a large tree-shaded courtyard incorporating a music pavilion and areas for drying laundry. Despite these, and a few innovative Manhattan developments, the majority of New Yorkers continued to live in substandard conditions.

 

The passage of the New Tenement Law in 1901 improved the situation, requiring that multiple dwellings be built on significantly larger lots, with fire escapes and separate “privies” for each family. After World War I, the garden apartment came into vogue. While most were built for the middle class, especially in Jackson Heights, a significant group were sponsored by unions and cooperative organizations that wished to provide members with inexpensive apartments. Significant examples include the Amalgamated Houses on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and the “Coops” built in the Bronx by the United Workers Cooperative Association .

 

The first significant act of government intervention occurred in 1926 with the passage of the New York State Housing Law. Promoted by Governor Alfred E. Smith to encourage construction through the formation of local authorities that would sell bonds or seek federal funds, it had little impact until 1934 when the New York City Housing Authority was established. The authority’s first project, aptly called the First Houses , was located in Manhattan’s East Village. Begun as a rehabilitation program involving the demolition of every third structure, due to structural problems the eight brick buildings were entirely rebuilt.

 

Throughout the early Depression, government-subsidized housing remained a controversial issue. Consequently, it was first promoted as worker relief, organized to create jobs but not compete with the commercial market. The first federal agency to involve itself with housing was the Reconstruction Finance Corporation which was created in 1932 to provide low-interest loans to limited-dividend housing corporations. Of the two loans it made, one was toward the construction of Knickerbocker Village . Built for the Fred F. French Company, this Chinatown-area development consists of two 12-story buildings, both enclosing an interior courtyard.

 

In mid-1933, as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Housing Division of the Public Works Administration was established. What made this agency different from its predecessor, the RFC, was that it would be directly involved in the planning and construction of low-income housing. The program was a great success and over the next three and half years it collaborated on the design and construction of 51 projects in 36 cities, including the Harlem River Houses and the Williamsburg Houses.

 

The passage of the Wagner-Steagall Bill by the United States Congress in September 1937, strengthened the federal government’s commitment to housing, but shifted greater control to local authorities. The first New York City housing project to be financed under this program was the Red Hook Houses in Brooklyn. Future construction, which would amount to more than half a million low-rental units nationwide by 1957, would be funded primarily through low-interest loans.

 

Site

 

The Williamsburg Houses are located in northwestern Brooklyn, approximately one mile east of the Williamsburg Bridge and two blocks south of Grand Street, a lively commercial thoroughfare. Founded as part of the town of Bushwick in the mid17th century, Williamsburg was incorporated as a village in 1827. The community prospered and by 1852 it was the 20th largest city in the nation. Three years later, Williamsburg became part of Brooklyn and was commonly referred to as the Eastern District. Although ferry service was important to the area’s development, it was the planning and construction of a second East River crossing, the Williamsburg Bridge, that caused the most dramatic growth.

 

Proposed in 1883, the bridge was completed with much fanfare in 1903, serving pedestrians, bicycles and horse-drawn vehicles. In subsequent decades, Williamsburg rivaled the Lower East Side in population and density. The Brooklyn Eagle claimed in 1920 that the bridge was part of the busiest traffic center in the nation and that a single block north of it was the most crowded in the world. Conditions in the neighborhood continued to deteriorate throughout the decade, so much so that the population began to decline.

 

In October 1933, the Federal Works Administration established a slum clearance committee to study conditions throughout New York City. Richmond H. Shreve, who would later serve as chief architect of the Williamsburg Houses, was named director. Based on the committee’s recommendations, $25 million was set aside for a housing program in New York City. Under the direction of the NYCHA, a more comprehensive study was undertaken in 1934, focusing on fourteen neighborhoods, including Williamsburg. The PWA reported:

 

When the study was completed the blighted slum area of the Williamsburg section stood out as the best example where the most good could be done in wholesale clearance work.

 

Of 93 blocks studied, a grid of 12 was identified for redevelopment in Williamsburg. These blocks were chosen because property values were relatively low and the owners were willing to sell. Most of buildings were mixed-use, incorporating retail spaces at ground level and apartments above. Each lot was carefully documented: 90% of the structures were at least forty years old, 70% were built of wood, 78% had no central heating, and 67% had no private toilets. Such statistics were used to paint an extremely bleak picture of life there:

 

But the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to official surveys, is unique in that its slums bear the stamp of dull listlessness and despair . . . Laissez faire, exploitation, and land speculation have robbed the community of its natural potentialities for development and orderly urban life.

 

Public amenities were also in short supply; there were few schools and there were almost no parks.

 

Architects

 

Five architects were appointed to the NYCHA’s architectural board in May 1934: Richmond H. Shreve of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon, Matthew W. Del Gaudio , William Lescaze , Arthur C. Holden , and James F. Bly. As members of the board, their initial role was advisory. They would act as the authority’s chief architect, overseeing the design and construction of municipal housing citywide.

 

In June 1934 an open competition was held to choose the architects who would work on the Williamsburg Houses and other NYCHA projects. The program guidelines did not specify the location, but the grid chosen closely resembled the long blocks where the Williamsburg Houses would be built. Of 278 architects who participated, 5 of the 22 selected were assigned to the Brooklyn project: Samuel Gardstein, of Holmgren, Volz & Gardstein, G. Harmon Gurney , of Gurney & Clavan, John W. Ingle Jr., Paul Trapani , and Harry Leslie Walker .

 

In June 1935, a contract was signed with the Williamsburg Associated Architects. The partnership consisted of ten men: the five architects selected by jury, as well as the five members of the architectural board. Among them, Shreve had the most experience with large projects, having worked on a succession of major Manhattan skyscrapers, most notably, the Empire State Building .

 

A graduate of the College of Architecture at Cornell University , he began his career as a member of the school’s faculty and later joined the firm of Carrére & Hastings in New York City where he distinguished himself as having a “genius for the solution of operational and administrative problems.” Whereas prior to the Depression he mainly worked on office buildings, in his later years Shreve was associated with residential developments, most notably the Vladeck Houses on the Lower East Side, and Parkchester , a development with more than twelve thousand apartments in the Bronx. During the late 1930s, he also served as a member of the board of design for the New York World’s Fair.

 

Design

 

Of the three initial projects built by the NYCHA and the PWA, the Williamsburg Houses were the most innovative. Shreve appointed Lescaze as the chief designer, responsible for the plan and elevations. In the 1930s, he was at the height of his career, profiled in publications read by professionals and the layman. Born near Geneva, Switzerland, in 1896, he studied in Zurich with the architect Karl Moser in 1915-19 and for a brief period worked in Paris with Henri Sauvage, an important designer of apartment buildings. Lescaze moved to the United States in 1920 and after working in Cleveland and New York City, formed a partnership with George Howe, a Philadelphia architect, in 1929.

 

Their association lasted four years and produced one architectural masterpiece, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society building, completed in 1932. During the mid-1930s, he was extremely active, working on unrealized plans for the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, as well as building three of the earliest modern-style townhouses in Manhattan, his own house and studio, completed in 1934, as well as the Raymond C. and Mildred Kramer and Edward and Dorothy Norman houses. He also designed, with Albert Frey, the Chrystie-Forsyth Houses. Planned in 1931, this unrealized proposal was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s so-called “International Style” exhibition of 1932.

 

One of the most unique aspects of the Williamsburg Houses is the plan. To create the 23.3 acre complex, twelve blocks were acquired by the city, and the two east-west streets were closed to traffic to create four “super” blocks. All but one extend three full blocks from north to south, except part of the block between Manhattan and Graham Avenues that was set aside for a new junior high school and play area.

 

The development of New York City was closely tied to its gridiron. Introduced in 1811, it resulted in a city of predictable intersecting streets and avenues. In 1835, a similar plan was approved for Brooklyn and by the early 1850s the streets that cross through the site of the Williamsburg Houses had opened.

 

Most were named for area residents, such as Daniel Maujer, a lawyer and alderman, John and James Lorimer Graham, land jobbers, and James Scholes, a local land owner. The impact of this approach is visible throughout New York City, establishing blocks and lots of equal size and dimensions. Residential developers benefitted immensely, commissioning rowhouse and tenement designs that could be repeated without regard to location.

 

By the end of the 19th century, there was relatively little open space in Manhattan and Brooklyn. As part of the City Beautiful movement, various attempts were made to loosen the grid’s hold, first through the passage of the Small Parks Act in 1887, which focused on tenement neighborhoods, and later, by situating major civic structures in plazas. Similar ideas shaped the development of garden apartments which came into vogue after 1910. One of the primary characteristics of this type of multiple dwelling was reduced site coverage.

 

In most cases, such as in the Jackson Heights Historic District, the buildings were set around the perimeter of each block, enclosing large private gardens, but in other situations, such as at the Harlem River Houses, a “crankshaft” arrangement was adopted, creating a mixture of interior and exterior courts.

 

Lescaze borrowed freely from both the garden apartment tradition and architects associated with European modernism. In his earliest design, each block incorporated six U-shaped structures arranged around a narrow central court. A later design was considerably more irregular. Turned at an angle to the street, there were fewer but larger buildings.

 

Many aspects of this proposal were integrated into the final design. The Williamsburg Houses are configured in three ways, with footprints suggesting a capital “H,” small “h,” and “T.” All have small spurs and extensions, resembling crossbars. By adding this feature the number of courtyards was significantly increased. Within each block are six buildings ; at the north and south are the “H” and “h” configurations, and in the middle, the “T”s.

 

The decision to turn the buildings at a 15 degree angle to the street grid proved controversial. PWA accounts described it in functional terms, explaining that the orientation would provide tenants with more sun and take advantage of the prevailing northwest breezes. During the previous decade, many architects and planners experimented with similar ideas. One of the earliest built examples “to deviate from the geometry of the New York gridiron” was the Mesa Verde apartments in Jackson Heights. Designed by Henry Atterbury Smith and based on an earlier proposal from 1917, the development featured two rows of six “closed L buildings” set at 45 degree angle to the surrounding streets.

 

Lescaze, however, was more likely to have been influenced by European sources. During the 1920s, he frequently returned to Europe, a period when leading architects were involved in the design of social housing. Many favored the “tower in the park” approach in which free-standing high-rise structures stood in continuous open space. Writing in English in 1935, Walter Gropius concluded that apartment blocks should “command a clear view of the sky, over broad expanses of grass and trees which separate the blocks and serve as playgrounds.”

 

Another source of inspiration might have been Ernst May who oversaw the design and construction of many low-rise housing estates in Frankfurt. In his Bruchfeldstrasse development of 1926-27, designed with C. K. Rudloff, one section was arranged in an overlapping zig-zag configuration. As in Williamsburg, each unit had corner windows, providing tenants with uninterrupted views of a central garden.

 

Many writers were skeptical about the benefits of Lescaze’s plan. Hamlin argued that the layout would convert the courts “into perfect channels for Project for a group of factories. our most vicious northwest winds.” He was told that

 

the arrangement had, in fact, been chosen for aesthetic reasons, to “break up the street facades” and “allow the feeling of space to weave in and out on the street fronts. This goal was definitely achieved, producing an environment that was new and distinctive. The flowing spaces that Lescaze planned are less monumental and more intimate than those experienced in most housing projects, juxtaposing wedge-shaped lawns with semi-enclosed courtyards and large open plazas. As originally built, no fences interrupted the spaces and the areas adjoining the curving concrete walks were paved with cobblestone.

 

The Elevations

 

Equally modern were the elevations. Lescaze was attracted to the expressive and aesthetic qualities of modern materials. Particularly unusual was the decision to use a light-colored palette. Built from reinforced concrete, the walls were originally enclosed with a sand-cast brick that was variously described by observers as bright tan, yellowish, pinkish, and grayish warm pink. One of the most notable features was the exposed concrete floor plates which express the structure and division between the floors while giving the complex a strong horizontal appearance. Talbot Hamlin observed:

 

The effectiveness of the buildings is undoubted. The striping of brick and concrete and the contrast of the light walls which front the stair towers make a vivid picture . . .

 

Prior to the mid-1930s, red brick was the most frequently used material in housing developments, used throughout Jackson Heights and in the First Houses and Harlem River Houses. The proposal to break with this tradition generated considerable debate. While the general scheme was approved in June 1935, it was not until October that specific materials were selected. Presumably, the PWA wished to standardize the building process and reduce costs. Frederick Ackerman, technical director of the NYCHA, defended Lescaze’s proposal. He wrote the authority’s chairman, Langdon W. Post:

 

. . . the “effect” of the Project will depend very largely upon the texture and quality of the exterior wall. Unless the exterior wall possesses a greater intrinsic interest than one made of common brick then the resultant effect is certain to be a bleak, barren and unusually forbidding mass of building:

 

One might readily mistake the At Williamsburg, the buildings stand as freestanding objects, finished on all sides and approachable from multiple directions. No facade dominates and the apartment entrances face both the streets and courtyards. For those unfamiliar with the layout, the angled plan may have been somewhat disorienting. To make it easier to navigate, signs were installed throughout the complex and Lescaze skillfully designed the entrances, making dramatic use of color and form. Like Le Corbusier, he was an “accomplished” painter and frequently used color, especially blue, to enliven wall surfaces. Another possible model was May’s housing development at Praunheim where contrasting colors were used to give the projecting stair towers a distinctive appearance.

 

Within the courtyards are as many as five entrances. Each is sheltered by a small cantilevered aluminum marquee and is flanked by square blue terra-cotta tiles. The entrances that are located at the far end of the larger courtyards are set at a angle. In these instances, the tiles spread onto the adjoining walls and extend above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. Other tile treatments project slightly forward, or are recessed above the doors to the roof. An entrance is also located in the covered breezeway. Reached by a short flight of stairs connecting both the street and courtyard, the more public street facade had an asymmetrical character, incorporating projecting blue tiles to one side and a wide aluminum marquee.

 

Construction

 

To prepare the site for construction, 568 buildings were demolished on 349 lots and approximately 5,400 people were relocated. A 1935 report described the population as divided equally between American born, Italian born, and other nationalities. Most were semi-skilled workers, employed in manufacturing, or as clerks, truck drivers, and construction workers.

 

Demolition commenced in June 1935 as PWA supervisor Elizabeth Ross dug a crowbar into the facade of 197 Manhattan Avenue, near Ten Eyck Street. In the months that followed:

 

Steam shovels and picks played a tune to rival that of the pipes of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. From every dank basement and crumbling wall rats fled in droves. Backyards disgorged an assortment of rusted cans, trash, filth and litter that would have discouraged the most voracious goat.

 

Ground was broken on January 3, 1936. Following a brief ceremony in the rain, public officials addressed an audience of five hundred at Public School 196. During April 1936, the first foundations were poured at the southwest corner of Manhattan Avenue and Stagg Street. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia was in attendance, followed by “a few hundred interested onlookers and an army of schoolboys.”

 

As the foundations neared completion, the PWA solicited bids for construction. Starrett Brothers & Eken was awarded the $7. 5 million contract for the first 18 buildings in October 1936. A subsequent contract, for construction of buildings No. 5 and 18, was signed in late April 1937.

 

Founded by Paul Starrett and William Aiken Starrett and Andrew J. Eken in 1922, the firm was responsible for such high-profile buildings as the New York Life Insurance Company Building , Bank of Manhattan Building , McGraw-Hill Building , and Empire State Building . The Starrett Brothers worked closely with Shreve on the Empire State Building and it is likely that this relationship helped secure the contract for the Williamsburg Houses. William Starrett acknowledged the importance and complexity of this issue when he said:

 

It is the hope of people who are discussing this problem that those same brains that put together the great skyscrapers . . . will turn toward this.

 

Starrett Brothers & Eken later built Parkchester , Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

 

The cornerstone was laid in October 1936. It contained an aerial view of the site, a copy of the federal act creating the PWA, as well as an autographed copy of Jacob Riis’s timeless account of slum conditions, How the Other Half Lives, donated by his widow. Construction progressed rapidly, and aside from minor walk-outs by metalworkers and painters, the first six buildings were ready for occupancy with a year, in September

 

Publicity

 

The Williamsburg Houses was the largest and costliest project built by the PWA. With 1,622 apartments, it was more than twice the size of the Harlem River Houses. The approximate cost was $12.8 million. It was described by the PWA as part of “demonstration program” and numerous public events were held. In a letter to Post, Shreve stated:

 

As this project is the beginning of what, in a way, is a housing community experiment and as the public attitude toward housing will be largely controlled by the success or failure of such an experiment, it is of importance that every effort be made to make the first experiment successful.

 

In this context, how the project was perceived was of the utmost importance. Once the design had been approved, a scale model was built by the PWA and exhibited at banks in Brooklyn Heights and Williamsburg during late 1935 and 1936. This presentation was accompanied by a series of posters documenting the site, including photographs of earlier buildings and their demolition, as well as projected floor plans. The New York Times reported the model:

 

. . . throws into graphic relief the application of the new principle of multiple housing, providing more air, sunlight and recreational facilities and involving a departure from the solid-block construction.

 

The idea of using public funds to create low-income housing was relatively new and much of the language used in speeches and press releases heralded it as a major advance. At the site, signs were posted, calling Williamsburg the “Largest Low Rental Development in the USA.” At the ground-breaking, public officials evoked the memory of Alfred T. White, whose Brooklyn developments were among the first attempts to improve low-income housing in the nation.

 

Mayor LaGuardia thanked the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for his support, as did Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, who described slums as a “vicious project of that old order whose passing, we hope, is at hand.” While some critics equated the federal housing program with socialism, most speakers saw it as a defense of democracy.

 

In November 1935, Post had contacted the PWA, requesting that the complex be called the “Ten Eyck” Houses. No explanation was given, but it is likely that the request was made to distinguish the new development from the larger surrounding neighborhood.

 

Ten Eyck Street was one of two east-west streets closed to create the site and it was probably named for the Dutch family whose Brooklyn lineage extended back to at least the 18th century. In the immediate area also lived William Ten Eyck, who during the mid-19th century served as the deacon of the Reformed Church of South Bushwick . Post’s request was quickly approved. The new name, however, was not widely used and a 1938 PWA publication refers to the development as the Williamsburg Houses.

 

On October 28, 1936, the construction site was briefly visited by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt. According to the New York Times, ten thousand school children and five thousand adults “cheered the President’s passage through the streets bordering the housing project.”

 

Three “model” apartments were opened for public view in July through August 1937. Furnished with loans from various Brooklyn department stores, they were presented at 180 Maujer Street. Post was an early visitor and he described the apartments as a “demonstration of what can be done, this is the most valuable contribution to social progress that the New Deal has made.” An average of 1,200 persons a day visited. In September 1937, a second group of apartments opened at 176 Maujer Street, including one decorated entirely with “reconditioned furniture.” In a related development, during April and May 1938, the WPA created an exhibit in a storefront office at 212 Graham Avenue. Organized by William Friedman of the art teaching division, the display was changed periodically to demonstrate different apartment layouts and decoration. Nine experts spent five months preparing the exhibit, hoping that it would influence local residents and provide a model for future public housing developments. A music branch, at 176 Maujer Street, also provided lessons in theory, voice, and various instruments.

 

Tenants

 

According to the Brooklyn Eagle, the Williamsburg Houses were “one of the most perfect home sites in the word . . . an eagerly sought spot to live.” Income and need formed the basis of selection and no tenant could earn more than five times the annual rent. Preference was also given to former residents of the site.

 

The first tenants began to occupy their apartments on September 30, 1937. The New York Times devoted at least two articles to “Moving Day,” as did the Brooklyn Eagle. As part of the operation, each tenant’s belongings were moved to a fumigation plant for sterilization near the intersection of Bushwick Avenue at Scholes Street.

 

This procedure was described as a “wise precaution against the spread of disease.” Bessie and Louis Grabkowitz were recognized by the NYCHA as the first official tenants. A week’s rent, of less than seven dollars, was paid and they were given keys to their new apartment. Two to five rooms in size, units featured steam heat, hot and cold water, as well as electric stoves and refrigerators. Residents praised their new homes, commenting on the appliances and abundant sunlight.

 

By the end of 1937, most apartments were occupied. A community newspaper, the Projector, began publishing on a semi-monthly basis in December 1937. In April 1938, the complex was completed. In addition to the twenty residential buildings, there were retail spaces, facing the north-south streets. The PWA reported:

 

To insure efficient, sanitary commercial services, 49 stores and shops within the project, distributing drugs, groceries, appliances, and general merchandise, have been leased to private individuals.

 

The storefronts were executed in a sleek Moderne style. To the north and south, they curved away from the street, recalling the streamlined designs of Erich Mendelsohn, as well as J. J. P. Oud’s Kiefhoek development of 1925. The prominent metal parapets were blue, matching the color of the apartment entrances. Despite their polished design, a significant number failed to attract and retain tenants. Consequently, in 1945 ten unleased spaces, near the corners of Maujer and Leonard Streets, and Scholes Street and Bushwick Avenue, were converted to apartments.

 

Tenants enjoyed a variety of useful services. At the center of the complex, on Graham Avenue stood the stripped classical-style William J. Gaynor Junior High School , and opposite it, Building No. 11 housed a nursery school. Incorporated into the building’s south court and featuring a large play terrace, Hamlin described its glass-fronted design as “pleasant” and “delightful.” In addition, a new Moderne-style health center was built directly across from the complex, on Maujer Street.

 

Throughout the development were “social and craft rooms.” These basement spaces were originally used for classes, clubs, and meetings and many were decorated with large colorful murals. In contrast to the majority of WPA murals that were executed in style of social realism, the Williamsburg murals were non-objective. Lescaze favored “abstract and stimulating patterns” and Burgoyne Diller who headed the Federal Art Project, wrote that:

 

The decision to place abstract murals in these rooms [of the Williamsburg Housing Project] was made because the areas were intended to provide a place of relaxation and entertainment . . . The more arbitrary the color, possible when not determined by the description of objects, enables the artist to place an emphasis on its psychological potential to stimulate relaxation.

 

Of twelve murals commissioned, at least five were installed. In the early 1990s, the deteriorated canvases were restored and moved to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. They include works by the American painters Ilya Bolotowsky, Paul Kelpe, and Balcomb Greene.

  

Critical Reception

 

The opening of the Williamsburg Houses was treated as major news and writers used the event to analyze the project and express their own views about the role of public housing and the importance of modern architecture. Some of the earliest comments came from the architect Walter Gropius, former director of the Bauhaus in Germany. On a visit to New York City in April 1937 he was interviewed by H.I. Brock in the New York Times. They traveled together throughout the city, visiting both new skyscrapers and the nearly-complete Brooklyn development. Gropius was impressed and praised the unusual plan, saying that Lescaze:

 

. . . seems to have solved the problem of space and light very successfully and economically, and it has the great advantage of being spread over enough land to make it worthwhile as a sample of planned development.

 

Lewis Mumford was the first critic to publish a substantial review in February 1938. As a persistent advocate for public housing, he used the opportunity to evaluate the “outlines of the new order of building.” He praised the PWA for eschewing “overpriced building lots” and instead assembling large sites in quieter areas where streets could be closed to traffic to create gardens and playgrounds. Considerable attention was paid to the slanted orientation. Although he described it as “a bit queer,” he liked the way it separated the residences from the street and that it gave the appearance that the architects were concerned about providing tenants with ample sunlight.

 

Talbot Hamlin published the most-detailed analysis. In this review, he addressed both PWA projects, calling them “a new vision of democracy ... they are better than the most expensive apartments on Park Avenue.” Despite such praise, he expressed mixed feelings. While he found the buildings “fresh and inventive and alive,” he was disturbed by the “shockingly low” standards of construction. He also admired the “imaginative and carefully studied detailing,” but criticized the landscaping as little more than adequate. The WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, shared similar views, quoting Hamlin’s review, and praising the design of the individual buildings.

 

In the years since completion, the Williamsburg Houses have been a frequent subject for architectural historians. Many, starting with the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, have placed the development within the context of European modernism. In an exhibition celebrating the museum’s 10th anniversary and the opening of its new building, it was the only architectural work represented that was located in New York City. In a brief essay on housing, the curators highlighted the “triple-size superblocks,” that form an “oasis of open space,” but criticized the adjoining school building as a lost opportunity to create a “truly important work.” Photographs of the complex were also included in Forms and Functions of Twentieth-Century Architecture , in sections devoted to city planning and concrete construction.

 

G. Holmes Perkins wrote in the city planning section that despite faults, the complex “may be held up as patterns for tomorrow.” Richard Pommer, in one of the most insightful discussions of Depression-era housing in the United States, criticized the angled plan, calling Lescaze a “versatile pasticheur” who used visual effects without logic or relation to function. Robert A. M. Stern shared this view, writing in 1980 that it “seems overrated.” Richard Plunz, in A History of Housing in New York City, credited the project as the start of a “brief but intense struggle” to determine the aesthetic direction government-built housing would take. All four editions of the AIA Guide to New York City have praised the Williamsburg Houses. The 1968 edition called it a “very successful solution to the problem of low-rent subsidized housing,” and in 2000 “the best public housing project ever built in New York.”

 

Subsequent History

 

Conveyed by the federal government to the NYCHA in 1957, the Williamsburg Houses continue to serve their original purpose, housing more than three thousand New Yorkers. Major alterations were first proposed in 1980 and significant work took place during 1985-91. At this time, the original casement windows were replaced with bronze-colored aluminum sash and the blue terra cotta that surrounded the entrances, with tan “Morocco” glazed brick.

 

In a remarkable turnaround, during the mid1990s, the facades were restored. What began as continued maintenance, soon evolved into a major architectural project, requiring an outside contractor and consultation with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Under the supervision of Neil Cohen of the NYCHA, the elevations were completely reskinned, the parapets replaced, as well as the chimneys, railings, and terra-cotta banding. In addition, new canopies, doors, lighting fixtures, and signage were fabricated.

 

The approximately $70 million project was executed with great sensitivity; there was an article in the real estate section of the New York Times and the NYCHA was the recipient of the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy , which praised the participants for restoring the complex to “better-than-new condition.” Restoration of the storefronts, except along Bushwick Avenue, was completed in 2002.

 

The high standards set by the design of the Williamsburg Houses have rarely been matched. Innovative in terms of scale, plan, and aesthetics, it remains one of the most pleasant and architecturally-distinguished housing developments in New York City.

 

Description

 

There are twenty walk-up buildings in the 23.3acre Williamsburg complex and a total of 1,620 apartments. These buildings are numbered from 1 to 20 and each entrance has its own street address, for instance, “112 Maujer Street.” Stainless steel signs, with pin-mounted numbers and letters, identify each entrance.

 

The site extends four blocks east to west, from Bushwick Avenue to Leonard Street, and three blocks north to south, from Maujer to Scholes Streets. The principal north-south artery is Graham Avenue. Between Maujer and Scholes Streets, Ten Eyck Street and Stagg Street are closed to vehicles. These winding east-west paths are called Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk. They are identified by large pin-mounted stainless steel letters attached to the building facades and are visible along the north-south streets. Throughout the complex are wall-mounted cantilevered lighting fixtures. These glass and aluminum fixtures are reproductions of the originals.

 

Three of the four blocks have a tree-shaded open space at center. At present, non-historic benches, play equipment, and basketball courts are located here. Most lawns are enclosed by low iron fences. Though not original, these fences pre-date the 1990s. Pole-mounted lighting fixtures are occasionally used to illuminate these areas.

 

All buildings materials are non-historic. Each structure is four stories tall and clad in ochre-colored brick. Exterior concrete spandrel beams are exposed at each floor. To disguise patches to the concrete, the beams are coated with a grey-colored water repellency finish. The entrances are flanked by blue structural glazed facing tiles that are approximately 12 by 12 inches. Blue mortar was used to minimize the joint lines. A canopy projects in front of each entrance . Made of stainless steel, they incorporate recessed down lights. Some canopies are supported by a single pipe column. The entrance doors and sidelights are made of stainless steel.

 

Each door has a grid of four small square windows. Breezeways serve a dual purpose: reached by two sets of stairs, they provide an additional north-south passage, as well as entry to apartments. Most of the stairs are flanked by stainless steel railings. The bronze anodized aluminum windows, installed in the 1980s, are all one-over-one. Arranged as single windows or in pairs, they have concrete sills and meet the concrete spandrels above. The smaller windows light the bathrooms. Single windows and pairs are located where the facades meet, often creating triple-width openings at the cantilevered corners.

 

There are three general building configurations. All are original to the complex. They include eight buildings with “H” shaped floor plans, six with floor plans that suggest a small letter “h,” and six buildings with “T” shaped floor plans. While the “H” and “h” types alternate along Maujer and Scholes Streets , the “T” shaped buildings are located only between Ten Eyck Walk and Stagg Walk.

 

The “H” buildings are nearly symmetrical, with almost identical north and south courtyards. At the center of each court is either a projecting center section or breezeway. The apartments are reached by four distinct entrances, each with a different tile treatment. They include: corner, wide, recessed between the door and the roof, and incorporated within a breezeway. Each entrance leads to interior stairs. The windows that light the stairs are arranged in horizontal grids of six and eight panes. Except for the recessed variant, the tiles project slightly and rise above the parapet to the stair bulkhead. The opposite side of the breezeway has no tilework. Reached by stairs, each breezeway incorporates two concrete columns and a metal door. The “h” buildings are similar to the “H” buildings, except one court is partially enclosed.

 

The “T” buildings have shallow courts. The top of the ‘T” has three entrances, each framed with blue tiles. A pair of entrances are also found facing each other in one of the side courts, and occasionally on the opposite side, as well. Building No. 11, located on the east side of Graham Avenue, is unique due to the presence of a nursery school at the wider south end. To accommodate this function, the entrances were moved and the court at the south end was enclosed. The south wall of school is clad with glass blocks, many of which are original. A concrete shed, at the center of the wall, is not historic and there are plans for removal. From the south facade extends a raised play area that is enclosed by a fence. Along the east side of the building, facing Graham Avenue, a non-historic ramp with metal railings has been constructed.

 

Commercial storefronts parallel the streets and adjoin the apartment buildings in various locations. The materials are non-historic, but the new elevations closely resemble the originals. The largest storefronts are located on either side of Graham Avenue, between Maujer Street and Ten Eyck Walk . Smaller retail spaces are located along Graham Avenue ; on Leonard Street ; and on Bushwick Avenue . They have a stream-lined character and curve away from the street at both ends. One story tall, they have granite bases and are clad with stainless steel and metal that has a baked-on blue porcelain finish. Above the storefronts runs the blue metal parapet, crowned by a stainless steel roof rail. Lighting was added above the storefronts, and security gates, when the stores are open, roll up and are neatly hidden within the facades. Large glass blocks or plate glass are used throughout. Along Bushwick Avenue, the modifications are less sympathetic and a vertical grid of older decorative concrete block occasionally interrupts the facade.

 

- From the 2003 NYCLPC Landmark Designation Report

Phoenix, Arizona

 

9754

In an effort to improve its overall shopping experience, Oakbrook Center has undergone the largest renovation in its history; enhancing its common areas and expanding them to accommodate special events and social gatherings.

 

One of the Center’s noteworthy additions is a new vortex inspired water feature located at one of the complex’s main entrances. The fountain’s innovative design creates multiple effects with a single jet. The basin alternatively drains and fills, building up to form a bubbling pool before gradually ebbing away, revealing brightly illuminated columns of water arranged within the spiral. Over 50 of Crystal’s nozzles and LED lights entertain shoppers throughout the day.

YOUNG HOMELESS MAN | SAN FRANCISCO | DECEMBER 29, 2007.

 

the crowd is crushing and oppressive. joyful tidings of retail cheer. the clouds hover just beyond reach. the rain patters lightly; an incessant timepiece. and a figure rests like a stone beneath; drawn to the earth but apart from it. ground down.

 

it was acid that started the trip. dropped at 16. a welcoming introduction. a young "cole" no more. and texas couldn't hold his burn for long. nor jails dampen it. at 21 he flew; but was wanted. he made it to california, but would serve again and more in texas before he was 25. and elsewhere after.

 

but his love stood by him. a drifter who got a job and apartment to support and console him in jail. and thirteen years later they would be together; drifting homeless or shacked in $35 hotels.

 

no one's ever done more. certainly not the woman who carried him in her womb; but no further. perhaps her father did as much, caring for the child alone; but he died when an eight year old needs more. and adoption was a hollow thing at best.

 

yes, this drifter stood by him unlike the others.

 

but then, again, no more. a month or more alone. and counting.

 

yet he's here for heroin more than anything else. or anyone. the city has endless supply and sale pricing. so he has that.

 

and the dope was good for christmas. though he missed extra company. he struggles with recent memories; but is sure of both these.

 

so he's looking for someone new. that's really on his mind. but john is equally in his head.

 

because he still cares for him. and he still keeps up with him. and watches out for him.

 

he wants to be sure john doesn't get burned too hard by the new flame.

 

"sometimes you deserve it. and sometimes you want it; it's fun for a while."

 

but it can go too far and get too deep.

 

so he's keeping an eye out for his friend.

 

that's all.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.tomstonegallery.com/

Minneapolis, Minnesota

 

An empty retail space in the largest mall in America.

 

0091

++++++ from Wikipedia ++++++

 

Taipei (/ˌtaɪˈpeɪ/), officially known as Taipei City, is the capital city and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially known as the Republic of China, "ROC"). Sitting at the northern tip of the island, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City. It is about 25 km (16 mi) southwest of the northern port city Keelung. Most of the city is located on the Taipei Basin, an ancient lakebed bounded by the two relatively narrow valleys of the Keelung and Xindian rivers, which join to form the Tamsui River along the city's western border.[5] Formerly known as Taipeh-fu during Qing era and Taihoku under Japanese rule, Taipei became the capital of the Taiwan Province as part of the Republic of China in 1945 and recently has been the capital[a] of the ROC since 1949, when the Kuomintang lost the mainland to the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.

 

The city proper is home to an estimated population of 2,704,810 in 2015,[6] forming the core part of the Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area which includes the nearby cities of New Taipei and Keelung with a population of 7,047,559,[6][7] the 40th most-populous urban area in the world—roughly one-third of Taiwanese citizens live in the metro district. The name "Taipei" can refer either to the whole metropolitan area or the city proper.

 

Taipei is the political, economic, educational, and cultural center of Taiwan island, and one of the major hubs of Greater China. Considered to be a global city,[8] Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.[9] Railways, high-speed rail, highways, airports, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by two airports – Taipei Songshan and Taiwan Taoyuan. Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include Taipei 101, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Dalongdong Baoan Temple, Hsing Tian Kong, Lungshan Temple of Manka, National Palace Museum, Presidential Office Building, Taipei Guest House, Ximending, and several night markets dispersing over the city. Its natural features such as Maokong, Yangmingshan, and hot springs are also well known to international visitors.

 

As the capital city, "Taipei" is sometimes used as a synecdoche for the Republic of China. Due to the ongoing controversy over the political status of Taiwan, the name Chinese Taipei is designated for official use when Taiwanese governmental representatives or national teams participate in some international organizations or international sporting events (which may require UN statehood) in order to avoid extensive political controversy by using other names.

 

Contents

 

1 History

1.1 First settlements

1.2 Empire of Japan

1.3 Republic of China

2 Geography

2.1 Climate

2.2 Air quality

2.3 Cityscape

3 Demographics

4 Economy

5 Culture

5.1 Tourism

5.1.1 Commemorative sites and museums

5.1.2 Taipei 101

5.1.3 Performing arts

5.1.4 Shopping and recreation

5.1.5 Temples

5.2 Festivals and events

5.3 Taipei in films

6 Romanization

7 Government

7.1 Garbage recycling

7.2 Administrative divisions

7.3 City planning

8 Transportation

8.1 Metro

8.2 Rail

8.3 Bus

8.4 Airports

8.5 Ticketing

9 Education

9.1 Chinese language program for foreigners

10 Sports

10.1 Major sporting events

10.2 Youth baseball

11 Media

11.1 Television

11.2 Newspapers

12 International relations

12.1 Twin towns and sister cities

12.2 Partner cities

12.3 Friendship cities

13 Gallery

14 See also

15 Notes

16 References

17 External links

 

History

Main article: History of Taipei

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument and tourist attraction in Taipei.

 

Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area.[10] In 1875, the northern part of the island was incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture.

 

The Qing dynasty of China made Taipeh the temporary capital of Fujian-Taiwan Province in 1886 when Taiwan was separated from Fujian Province.[11][12] Taipeh was formally made the provincial capital in 1894.

 

Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh) as its capital, in which the city was administered under Taihoku Prefecture. Taiwan's Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from this period.[13]

 

Following the Japanese surrender of 1945, control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC) (see Retrocession Day). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.[14][15] In 1990 Taipei provided the backdrop for the Wild Lily student rallies that moved Taiwanese society from one-party rule to multi-party democracy. The city is today home to Taiwan's democratically elected national government.

First settlements

 

The region known as the Taipei Basin was home to Ketagalan tribes before the eighteenth century.[16] Han Chinese mainly from Fujian Province of Qing dynasty China began to settle in the Taipei Basin in 1709.[17][18]

 

In the late 19th century, the Taipei area, where the major Han Chinese settlements in northern Taiwan and one of the designated overseas trade ports, Tamsui, were located, gained economic importance due to the booming overseas trade, especially that of tea export. In 1875, the northern part of Taiwan was separated from Taiwan Prefecture and incorporated into the new Taipeh Prefecture as a new administrative entity of the Qing dynasty.[13] Having been established adjoining the flourishing townships of Bangka, Dalongdong, and Twatutia, the new prefectural capital was known as Chengnei (Chinese: 城內; pinyin: chéngnèi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: siâⁿ-lāi), "the inner city", and government buildings were erected there. From 1875 (still Qing era) until the beginning of Japanese rule in 1895, Taipei was part of Tamsui County of Taipeh Prefecture and the prefectural capital.

 

In 1885, work commenced to create an independent Taiwan Province, and Taipei City was temporarily made the provincial capital. Taipei officially became the capital of Taiwan in 1894.[citation needed] All that remains from the Qing era is the north gate. The west gate and city walls were demolished by the Japanese while the south gate, little south gate, and east gate were extensively modified by the Kuomintang (KMT) and have lost much of their original character.[19]

Empire of Japan

The Taihoku Prefecture government building in the 1910s (now the Control Yuan)

 

As settlement for losing the First Sino-Japanese War, China ceded the island of Taiwan to the Empire of Japan in 1895 as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. After the Japanese take-over, Taipei, called Taihoku in Japanese, was retained as the capital and emerged as the political center of the Japanese Colonial Government.[13] During that time the city acquired the characteristics of an administrative center, including many new public buildings and housing for civil servants. Much of the architecture of Taipei dates from the period of Japanese rule, including the Presidential Building which was the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan.

 

During Japanese rule, Taihoku was incorporated in 1920 as part of Taihoku Prefecture. It included Bangka, Twatutia, and Jōnai (城內) among other small settlements. The eastern village of Matsuyama (松山庄, modern-day Songshan District, Taipei) was annexed into Taihoku City in 1938. Upon the Japanese defeat in the Pacific War and its consequent surrender in August 1945, the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party) assumed control of Taiwan. Subsequently, a temporary Office of the Taiwan Province Administrative Governor was established in Taipei City.[20]

Republic of China

With President Chiang Kai-shek, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to a crowd during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

 

In 1947 the KMT government under Chiang Kai-shek declared island-wide martial law in Taiwan as a result of the February 28 Incident, which began with incidents in Taipei but led to an island-wide crackdown on the local population by forces loyal to Chiang. Two years later, on December 7, 1949, Chiang and the Kuomintang were forced to flee mainland China by the Communists near the end of the Chinese Civil War. The refugees declared Taipei to be the provisional capital of a continuing Republic of China, with the official capital at Nanjing (Nanking) even though that city was under Communist control.[14][15]

 

Taipei expanded greatly in the decades after 1949, and as approved on December 30, 1966 by the Executive Yuan, Taipei was declared a special centrally administered municipality on July 1, 1967 and given the administrative status of a province.[18] In the following year, Taipei City expanded again by annexing Shilin, Beitou, Neihu, Nangang, Jingmei, and Muzha. At that time, the city's total area increased fourfold through absorbing several outlying towns and villages and the population increased to 1.56 million people.[18]

 

The city's population, which had reached one million in the early 1960s, also expanded rapidly after 1967, exceeding two million by the mid-1970s. Although growth within the city itself gradually slowed thereafter[20] — its population had become relatively stable by the mid-1990s — Taipei remained one of the world's most densely populated urban areas, and the population continued to increase in the region surrounding the city, notably along the corridor between Taipei and Keelung.

 

In 1990 Taipei's 16 districts were consolidated into the current 12 districts.[21] Mass democracy rallies that year in the plaza around Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall led to an island-wide transition to multi-party democracy, where legislators are chosen via regularly scheduled popular elections, during the presidency of Lee Teng-Hui.

Geography

The city of Taipei, as seen from Maokong.

 

Taipei City is located in the Taipei Basin in northern Taiwan.[22] It is bordered by the Xindian River on the south and the Tamsui River on the west. The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north,[5] where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Qixing Mountain, the highest (inactive) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The northern districts of Shilin and Beitou extend north of the Keelung River and are bordered by Yangmingshan National Park. The Taipei city limits cover an area of 271.7997 km2,[23] ranking sixteenth of twenty-five among all counties and cities in Taiwan.

 

Two peaks, Qixing Mountain and Mt. Datun, rise to the northeast of the city.[24] Qixing Mountain is located on the Tatun Volcano Group and the tallest mountain at the rim of the Taipei Basin, with its main peak at 1,120 metres (3,670 ft). Mt. Datun's main peak is 1,092 metres (3,583 ft). These former volcanoes make up the western section of Yangmingshan National Park, extending from Mt. Datun northward to Mt. Caigongkeng (菜公坑山). Located on a broad saddle between two mountains, the area also contains the marshy Datun Pond.

 

To the southeast of the city lie the Songshan Hills and the Qingshui Ravine, which form a barrier of lush woods.[24]

Climate

 

Taipei has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate[25][26][27] (Köppen: Cfa).[28] Summers are long-lasting, hot and humid, and accompanied by occasional heavy rainstorms and typhoons, while winters are short, generally warm and generally very foggy due to the northeasterly winds from the vast Siberian High being intensified by the pooling of this cooler air in the Taipei Basin. As in the rest of Northern Taiwan, daytime temperatures of Taipei can often peak above 26 degrees Celsius during a warm winter day, while they can dip below 26 degrees Celsius during a rainy summer's afternoon. Occasional cold fronts during the winter months can drop the daily temperature by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius, though temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees Celsius.[29] Extreme temperatures ranged from −0.2 °C (31.6 °F) on February 13, 1901 to 39.3 °C (102.7 °F) on August 8, 2013, while snow has never been recorded in the city besides on mountains located within the city limit such as Mount Yangmingshan. Due to Taiwan's location in the Pacific Ocean, it is affected by the Pacific typhoon season, which occurs between June and October.

 

Air quality

 

When compared to other Asian cities, Taipei has "excellent" capabilities for managing air quality in the city.[31] Its rainy climate, location near the coast, and strong environmental regulations have prevented air pollution from becoming a substantial health issue, at least compared to cities in southeast Asia and industrial China. However, smog is extremely common and there is poor visibility throughout the city after rain-less days.

 

Motor vehicle engine exhaust, particularly from motor scooters, is a source of air pollution in Taipei. There are higher levels of fine particulate matter and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the mornings because of less air movement; sunlight reduces some pollution.[32] Occasionally, dust storms from Mainland China can temporarily bring extremely poor air quality to the city.[33]

Cityscape

Taipei viewed from Tiger Mountain, with Taipei 101 on the left.

Demographics

 

Taipei City is home to 2,704,810 people (2015), while the metropolitan area has a population of 7,047,559 people.[6] The population of the city has been decreasing in recent years while the population of the adjacent New Taipei has been increasing. The population loss, while rapid in its early years, has been stabilized by new lower density development and campaigns designed to increase birthrate in the city. The population has begun to rise since 2010.[6][34][35]

 

Due to Taipei's geography and location in the Taipei Basin as well as differing times of economic development of its districts, Taipei's population is not evenly distributed. The districts of Daan, Songshan, and Datong are the most densely populated. These districts, along with adjacent communities such as Yonghe and Zhonghe contain some of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world.[34]

 

In 2008, the crude birth rate stood at 7.88% while the mortality rate stood at 5.94%. A decreasing and rapidly aging population is an important issue for the city.[34] By the end of 2009, one in ten people in Taipei was over 65 years of age.[36] Residents who had obtained a college education or higher accounted for 43.48% of the population, and the literacy rate stood at 99.18%.[34]

 

Like the rest of Taiwan, Taipei is composed of four major ethnic groups: Hoklos, Mainlanders, Hakkas, and aborigines.[34] Although Hoklos and Mainlanders form the majority of the population of the city, in recent decades many Hakkas have moved into the city. The aboriginal population in the city stands at 12,862 (<0.5%), concentrated mostly in the suburban districts. Foreigners (mainly from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines) numbered 52,426 at the end of 2008.[34]

 

Economy

 

As the center of Taiwan's largest conurbation, Taipei has been at the center of rapid economic development in the country and has now become one of the global cities in the production of high technology and its components.[37] This is part of the so-called Taiwan Miracle which has seen dramatic growth in the city following foreign direct investment in the 1960s. Taiwan is now a creditor economy, holding one of the world's largest foreign exchange reserves of over US$403 billion as of December 2012.[38]

 

Despite the Asian financial crisis, the economy continues to expand at about 5% per year, with virtually full employment and low inflation. As of 2013, the nominal GDP per capita in Taipei city is lower than that in Hong Kong by a narrow margin according to The Economist(Nominal GDP per capita in HK is US$38181 in 2013 from IMF).[39] Furthermore, according to Financial times, GDP per capita based on Purchasing Power Parity(PPP) in Taipei in 2015 is 44173 USD, behind that in Singapore(US$48900 from IMF) and Hong Kong(US$56689 from IMF).[40]

 

Taipei and its environs have long been the foremost industrial area of Taiwan, consisting of industries of the secondary and tertiary sectors.[41] Most of the country's important factories producing textiles and apparel are located there; other industries include the manufacture of electronic products and components, electrical machinery and equipment, printed materials, precision equipment, and foods and beverages. Such companies include Shihlin Electric, CipherLab and Insyde Software. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city.

 

Services, including those related to commerce, transportation, and banking, have become increasingly important. Tourism is a small but significant component of the local economy[42][43] with international visitors totaling almost 3 million in 2008.[44] Taipei has many top tourist attractions and contributes a significant amount to the US$6.8 billion tourism industry in Taiwan.[45] National brands such as ASUS,[46] Chunghwa Telecom,[47] Mandarin Airlines,[48] Tatung,[49] and Uni Air,[50][51] D-Link [52] are headquartered in Taipei City.

Culture

Tourism

See also: List of tourist attractions in Taipei

 

Tourism is a major part of Taipei's economy. In 2013, over 6.3 million overseas visitors visited Taipei, making the city the 15th most visited globally.[53] The influx of visitors contributed $10.8 billion USD to the city's economy in 2013, the 9th highest in the world and the most of any city in the Chinese-speaking world.[54]

Commemorative sites and museums

The National Palace Museum

 

The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a famous monument, landmark and tourist attraction that was erected in memory of General Chiang Kai-shek, former President of the Republic of China.[55] The structure stands at the east end of Memorial Hall Square, site of the National Concert Hall and National Theater and their adjacent parks as well as the memorial. The landmarks of Liberty Square stand within sight of Taiwan's Presidential Building in Taipei's Zhongzheng District.

The National Taiwan Museum

 

The National Taiwan Museum sits nearby in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park and has worn its present name since 1999. The museum is Taiwan's oldest, founded on October 24, 1908 by Taiwan's Japanese colonial government (1895-1945) as the Taiwan Governor's Museum. It was launched with a collection of 10,000 items to celebrate the opening of the island's North-South Railway.[56] In 1915 a new museum building opened its doors in what is now 228 Peace Memorial Park. This structure and the adjacent governor's office (now Presidential Office Building), served as the two most recognizable public buildings in Taiwan during its period of Japanese rule.[56]

Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines

 

The National Palace Museum is a vast art gallery and museum built around a permanent collection centered on ancient Chinese artifacts. It should not be confused with the Palace Museum in Beijing (which it is named after); both institutions trace their origins to the same institution. The collections were divided in the 1940s as a result of the Chinese Civil War.[57][58] The National Palace Museum in Taipei now boasts a truly international collection while housing one of the world's largest collections of artifacts from ancient China.[58]

 

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines stands just 200 metres across the road from the National Palace Museum. The museum offers displays of art and historical items by Taiwanese aborigines along with a range of multimedia displays.

 

The Taipei Fine Arts Museum was established in 1983 as the first museum in Taiwan dedicated to modern art. The museum is housed in a building designed for the purpose that takes inspiration from Japanese designs. Most art in the collection is by Taiwanese artists since 1940. Over 3,000 art works are organized into 13 groups.

 

The National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101 in Xinyi District is named in honor of a founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen. The hall, completed on May 16, 1972, originally featured exhibits that depicted revolutionary events in China at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Today it functions as multi-purpose social, educational, concert and cultural center for Taiwan's citizens.[59]

Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, aka "old city hall"

 

In 2001 a new museum opened as Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei. The museum is housed in a building that formerly housed Taipei City government offices.[60]

Night view of a fully lit Taipei 101

Taipei 101

 

Taipei 101 is a 101-floor landmark skyscraper that claimed the title of world's tallest building when it opened in 2004, a title it held for six years before relinquishing it to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and constructed by KTRT Joint Venture, Taipei 101 measures 509 m (1,670 ft) from ground to top, making it the first skyscraper in the world to break the half-kilometer mark in height. Built to withstand typhoon winds and earthquake tremors, its design incorporates many engineering innovations and has won numerous international awards. Taipei 101 remains one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world and holds LEED's certification as the world's largest "green" building. Its shopping mall and its indoor and outdoor observatories draw visitors from all over the world. Taipei 101's New Year's Eve fireworks display is a regular feature of international broadcasts.

Performing arts

Taiwan's National Concert Hall at night

 

The National Theater and Concert Hall stand at Taipei's Liberty Square and host events by foreign and domestic performers. Other leading concert venues include Zhongshan Hall at Ximending and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall near Taipei 101.

 

A new venue, the Taipei Performing Arts Center, is under construction and slated to open in 2015.[61][62] The venue will stand near the Shilin Night Market[63] and will house three theaters for events with multi-week runs. The architectural design, by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, was determined in 2009 in an international competition.[64] The same design process is also in place for a new Taipei Center for Popular Music and Taipei City Museum.[65]

Shopping and recreation

Main article: Shopping in Taipei

 

Taipei is known for its many night markets, the most famous of which is the Shilin Night Market in the Shilin District. The surrounding streets by Shilin Night Market are extremely crowded during the evening, usually opening late afternoon and operating well past midnight. Most night markets feature individual stalls selling a mixture of food, clothing, and consumer goods.

The busy streets of Ximending at night

 

Ximending has been a famous area for shopping and entertainment since the 1930s. Historic structures include a concert hall, a historic cinema, and the Red House Theater. Modern structures house karaoke businesses, art film cinemas, wide-release movie cinemas, electronic stores, and a wide variety of restaurants and fashion clothing stores.[66] The pedestrian area is especially popular with teens and has been called the "Harajuku" of Taipei.[67]

Eastern district at night

 

The newly developed Xinyi District is popular with tourists and locals alike for its many entertainment and shopping venues, as well as being the home of Taipei 101, a prime tourist attraction. Malls in the area include the sprawling Shin Kong Mitsukoshi complex, Breeze Center, Bellavita, Taipei 101 mall, Eslite Bookstore's flagship store (which includes a boutique mall), The Living Mall, ATT shopping mall, and the Vieshow Cinemas (formerly known as Warner Village). The Xinyi district also serves as the center of Taipei's active nightlife, with several popular lounge bars and nightclubs concentrated in a relatively small area around the Neo19, ATT 4 FUN and Taipei 101 buildings. Lounge bars such as Barcode and nightclubs such as Spark and Myst are among the most-visited places here.

Eslite Bookstore in Xinyi District

 

The thriving shopping area around Taipei Main Station includes the Taipei Underground Market and the original Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store at Shin Kong Life Tower. Other popular shopping destinations include the Zhongshan Metro Mall, Dihua Street, the Guang Hua Digital Plaza, and the Core Pacific City. The Miramar Entertainment Park is known for its large Ferris wheel and IMAX theater.

 

Taipei maintains an extensive system of parks, green spaces, and nature preserves. Parks and forestry areas of note in and around the city include Yangmingshan National Park, Taipei Zoo and Da-an Forest Park. Yangmingshan National Park (located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the central city) is famous for its cherry blossoms, hot springs, and sulfur deposits. It is the home of famous writer Lin Yutang, the summer residence of Chiang Kai-shek, residences of foreign diplomats, the Chinese Culture University, the meeting place of the now defunct National Assembly of the Republic of China, and the Kuomintang Party Archives. The Taipei Zoo was founded in 1914 and covers an area of 165 hectares for animal sanctuary.

 

Bitan is known for boating and water sports. Tamsui is a popular sea-side resort town. Ocean beaches are accessible in several directions from Taipei.

Temples

Built in 1738, Longshan Temple is one of the oldest temples in the city.

Street corner shrine, Taipei 2013

 

Taipei is rich in beautiful, ornate temples housing Buddhist, Taoist, and Chinese folk religion deities. The Longshan Temple, built in 1738 and located in the Wanhua District, demonstrates an example of architecture with southern Chinese influences commonly seen on older buildings in Taiwan.

 

Xinsheng South Road is known as the "Road to Heaven" due to its high concentration of temples, shrines, churches, and mosques.[68][69] Other famous temples include Baoan Temple located in historic Dalongdong, a national historical site, and Xiahai City God Temple, located in the old Dadaocheng community, constructed with architecture similar to temples in southern Fujian.[70] The Taipei Confucius Temple traces its history back to 1879 during the Qing Dynasty and also incorporates southern Fujian-style architecture.[71]

 

Besides large temples, small outdoor shrines to local deities are very common and can be spotted on road sides, parks, and neighborhoods. Many homes and businesses may also set up small shrines of candles, figurines, and offerings. Some restaurants, for example, may set up a small shrine to the Kitchen god for success in a restaurant business.[72]

New Year's Eve fireworks at Taipei 101

Festivals and events

 

Many yearly festivals are held in Taipei. In recent years some festivals, such as the Double Ten Day fireworks and concerts, are increasingly hosted on a rotating basis by a number of cities around Taiwan.

 

When New Year's Eve arrives on the solar calendar, thousands of people converge on Taipei's Xinyi District for parades, outdoor concerts by popular artists, street shows, round-the clock nightlife. The high point is of course the countdown to midnight, when Taipei 101 assumes the role of the world's largest fireworks platform.

 

The Taipei Lantern Festival concludes the Lunar New Year holiday. The timing of the city's lantern exhibit coincides with the national festival in Pingxi, when thousands of fire lanterns are released into the sky.[73] The city's lantern exhibit rotates among different downtown locales from year to year, including Liberty Square, Taipei 101, and Zhongshan Hall in Ximending.

 

On Double Ten Day, patriotic celebrations are held in front of the Presidential Building. Other annual festivals include Ancestors Day (Tomb-Sweeping Day), the Dragon Boat Festival, the Ghost Festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival).[73]

 

Taipei regularly hosts its share of international events. The city recently hosted the 2009 Summer Deaflympics.[74] This event was followed by the Taipei International Flora Exposition, a garden festival hosted from November 2010 to April 2011. The Floral Expo was the first of its kind to take place in Taiwan and only the seventh hosted in Asia; the expo admitted 110,000 visitors on February 27, 2011.

Taipei in films

  

Romanization

  

The spelling "Taipei" derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T'ai-pei.[75] The name could be also romanized as Táiběi according to Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.[76][77]

Government

 

Taipei City is a special municipality which is directly under the Executive Yuan (Central Government) of ROC. The mayor of Taipei City had been an appointed position since Taipei's conversion to a centrally administered municipality in 1967 until the first public election was held in 1994.[78] The position has a four-year term and is elected by direct popular vote. The first elected mayor was Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party. Ma Ying-jeou took office in 1998 for two terms, before handing it over to Hau Lung-pin who won the 2006 mayoral election on December 9, 2006.[79] Both Chen Shui-bian and Ma Ying-Jeou went on to become President of the Republic of China. The incumbent mayor, Ko Wen-je, was elected on November 29, 2014 and took office on December 25, 2014.[80]

 

Based on the outcomes of previous elections in the past decade, the vote of the overall constituency of Taipei City shows a slight inclination towards the pro-KMT camp (the Pan-Blue Coalition);[81] however, the pro-DPP camp (the Pan-Green Coalition) also has considerable support.[82]

 

Ketagalan Boulevard, where the Presidential Office Building and other government structures are situated, is often the site of mass gatherings such as inauguration and national holiday parades, receptions for visiting dignitaries, political demonstrations,[83][84] and public festivals.[85]

Garbage recycling

 

Taipei City is also famous for its effort in garbage recycling, which has become such a good international precedent that other countries have sent teams to study the recycling system. After the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) established a program in 1998 combining the efforts of communities, a financial resource named the Recycling Fund was made available to recycling companies and waste collectors. Manufacturers, vendors and importers of recyclable waste pay fees to the Fund, which uses the money to set firm prices for recyclables and subsidize local recycling efforts. Between 1998 and 2008, the recycling rate increased from 6 percent to 32 percent.[86] This improvement enabled the government of Taipei to demonstrate its recycling system to the world at the Shanghai World Expo 2010.

Administrative divisions

 

Taipei City is divided up into 12 administrative districts (區 qu).[87] Each district is further divided up into urban villages (里), which are further sub-divided up into neighborhoods (鄰).

Map District Population

(Jan. 2016) Area

(km2) Postal

code

 

Beitou 北投區 Běitóu Pei-t'ou Pak-tâu 257,922 56.8216 112

Da'an 大安區 Dà'ān Ta-an Tāi-an 312,909 11.3614 106

Datong 大同區 Dàtóng Ta-t'ung Tāi-tông 131,029 5.6815 103

Nangang 南港區 Nángǎng Nan-kang Lâm-káng 122,296 21.8424 115

Neihu 內湖區 Nèihú Nei-hu Lāi-ô͘ 287,726 31.5787 114

Shilin 士林區 Shìlín Shih-lin Sū-lîm 290,682 62.3682 111

Songshan 松山區 Sōngshān Sung-shan Siông-san 209,689 9.2878 105

Wanhua 萬華區 Wànhuá Wan-hua Báng-kah 194,314 8.8522 108

Wenshan 文山區 Wénshān Wen-shan Bûn-san 275,433 31.5090 116

Xinyi 信義區 Xìnyì Hsin-yi Sìn-gī 229,139 11.2077 110

Zhongshan 中山區 Zhōngshān Chung-shan Tiong-san 231,286 13.6821 104

Zhongzheng 中正區 Zhōngzhèng Chung-cheng Tiong-chèng 162,549 7.6071 100

 

City planning

 

The city is characterized by straight roads and public buildings of grand Western architectural styles.[88] The city is built on a square grid configuration, however these blocks are huge by international standards with 500 m (1,640.42 ft) sides. The area in between these blocks are infilled with lanes and alleys, which provide access to quieter residential or mixed-use development. Other than a citywide 30 kilometres per hour (19 mph) speed limit, there is little uniform planning within this "hidden" area; therefore lanes (perpendicular to streets) and alleys (parallel with street, or conceptually, perpendicular to the lane) spill out from the main throughways. These minor roads are not always perpendicular and sometimes cut through the block diagonally.

 

Although development began in the western districts (still considered the cultural heart of the city) of the city due to trade, the eastern districts of the city have become the focus of recent development projects. Many of the western districts, already in decline, have become targets of new urban renewal initiatives.[88]

Transportation

Platform of Wende Station on the Taipei Metro system.

 

Public transport accounts for a substantial portion of different modes of transport in Taiwan, with Taipei residents having the highest utilization rate at 34.1%.[89] Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. Respect for traffic laws, once scant, has improved with deployment of traffic cameras and increasing numbers of police roadblocks checking riders for alcohol consumption and other offenses.

 

Taipei Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.[41] A contactless smartcard, known as EasyCard, can be used for all modes of public transit as well as several retail outlets. It contains credits that are deducted each time a ride is taken.[90] The EasyCard is read via proximity sensory panels on buses and in MRT stations, and it does not need to be removed from one's wallet or purse.

Metro

Main article: Taipei Metro

 

Taipei's public transport system, the Taipei Metro (commonly referred to as the MRT), incorporates a metro and light rail system based on advanced VAL and Bombardier technology. There are currently five metro lines that are labelled in three ways: color, line number and depot station name. In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Taipei Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.

 

In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Taipei with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.

Taipei R