Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ghosts of Taiwan Past

I recently heard from Harry Olson, who was up at Linkou during the 1970s. He sent a few photos taken by a friend of his who visited the old site around the time that the buildings were being demolished. The first one is the former main gate, the second is the operations building and the third is a barracks.

I don't normally post Linkou material here because some of the former "Dawgs" maintain an outstanding website of their own. However, I was drawn to these photos because to me they represent all of the deserted US military installations that I've visited here in the States and around the world. You can find pictures of these three buildings as they were "back in the day" at the Linkou website.

It's hard to describe the feeling when you see formerly manicured lawns that are now overgrown with weeds and once bustling communities that are now nothing more than disintegrating structures and crumbling pavement. It's all progress, I suppose, but I'm always saddened whenever I see it.

Anyway, that got me thinking about the USTDC building and the entire HSA compound. After our departure in 1979, I understand that they had some limited use by the Taiwan government but remained pretty much as they were for several years. Back in November, I posted several photos taken by Les Duffin in 1984 that showed the compound area as it was then, five years after closure. That means that everything was demolished sometime after 1984.

I was told by an American civilian living in Taipei a couple of years ago that the property stayed vacant for quite some time after demolition and before today's art museum, park and sports stadium were built. Does anyone have details of that period, or a timeline, or even some photos? If so, I'd sure love to record that information here.

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