Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hostel #1 Today


George just sent me this great additional info on the old Hostel #1:

The Grass Mountain Hostel #1 is now Taipei Teachers' In-Service Education Center.
I searched the web in English but found very few info. The two best blogs in Chinese I found are the following:

The blog mentions the facility was used as dormitories by US military personnels until 1969.
The facility then was used by park authority until 1981 when the it became Taipei Teachers' In-service Education Center.

More photos including International Hotel and Chiang Ka- Sheik's summer villa.


Back in May, I posted a couple of photos taken by Stev Pitchford of Hostel #1 on Grass Mountain. New people being assigned to USTDC and elsewhere were often quartered there until they made other living arrangements.

Using Google Earth, Stev has located the building as it exists today. Here are those images with his comments:

I found the Grass Mountain Hostel #1 building on Google Earth and here it is. I don't know what it's called now and the area has changed a lot over the years. You can see the old swimming pool in the upper left quadrant of the first picture. Below that is the old basketball court where the Chinese kids used to run us ragged. To the right of the basketball court and just above the parking lot (which wasn't there in my time) is the hostel. The buildings immediately to the left, right, and above the hostel are all new to me. In the lower left quadrant of the picture you can see the pond that is in some of the Grass Mountain Park pictures I sent earlier.

Here is the old building. The driveway from the parking lot goes through the entrance canopy. You can see the second floor balcony sticking out under the roof on the right front side of the building. The roof with the lopped off corners on the left side of the building covers the sulfur pools. The front pool was open to the public and the back pool was for our use. I think the backs of the right wing and middle wing (not the wing containing the sulfur pools) have been cut off. If my memory is right, those wings extended back further and enclosed a little back yard.
The rectangular blue pool at the upper left is the old spring fed swimming pool. The faded green asphalt below the pool is the old basketball court.


Stev said...

George, thanks for the information about the current incarnation of the Old Grass Mountain Hostel #1. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of both the hostel and Chiang’s summer villa. Am I right in thinking the villa was destroyed by fire not too long ago?

Anonymous said...

I have seen old postcard views of the Grass Mountain Lodge from the period of Japanese occupation (1920s and 30s), but I never understood exactly where the place was or whether or not it was till standing. I follwed one of the link given in the above comments, and here is the present address of the place:

Taipei City, Beitou District, Jian Guo Street, #2.

Click here to see an interactive map site (can zoom in and out) in Chinese.台北縣汐止市新台五路一段100號9樓&organ=宇瞻科技股份有限公司&searchType=&city=&town=&road1=&road2=&keyword=&mrtStationId=&duty=&role=

Re. CKS's summer villa, known as Grass Mountain Villa (草山官邸), yes it was badly burned last year, and the police suspected arson.

Really a shame, because taking the bus up the mountain to the lodge was a nice outing from Taipei. I've heard they may re-build it.

It was a beautiful Japanese-style wooden house, that had been opened to the public for the last few years. They ran a nice cafe in there, too, and had several rooms where the work of both Taiwanese and local artists was displayed. And several rooms were left more-or-less as they were during the time it was used by CKS and his family, with relics like clothes and documents behind glass cases.

On weekends, the place drew lots of visitors.

--Scott (in Taiwan)