Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, October 20, 2008

Zoo and Children's Amusement Park

Most of us who were at USTDC, or any of the other units in Taipei, remember the Taipei Zoo and the Children's Amusement Park that were located north of the compound.

The history of the zoo can be traced back over 90 years ago. In 1914, when Taiwan was still under Japanese sovereignty, Mr. Oe, a Japanese, established a private zoological garden in Yuan-shan, in the northern suburb of Taipei City. The Japanese Government in Taiwan purchased the property the next year and turned it into a public park. After World War II, Taipei Zoo was formally taken over by Taipei City in 1946. In 1970, the amusement park next to the zoo was consolidated into a 5.8 hectare park, providing entertainment and education for several generations of children and adults.

In 1973, plans were begun to build a modern facility. Because of the limited area available at its existing location, the new facility was constructed in the Mu-Zha district in the southern part of the city. The old facility was closed in August, 1986, and the new facility held its grand opening on New Year's Day in 1987. The zoo's website can be found here.

Photo courtesy of Dennis McNelis

The Taipei Municipal Children's Recreation Center is built on the combined site of the former Yuanshan Zoo and the former Children's Amusement Park. Its name was changed to The Taipei Municipal Children's Recreation Center in 1984. The Center is divided into three theme areas with different characters: "Folk Arts World", "Amusement World" and " Science World". The Folk Arts World offers visitors the life experience of our ancestors. It was officially open to the public in January 1st 1991. The Amusement World focused mainly on the recreational activities of children and teenagers; the Science World emphasizes scientific knowledge. The IMAX Theatre was opened to the public in August 1992. The Taipei Children's Recreation Center website can be found here.

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