Taipei City Gates, Old City Maps and 1935 Expo

Links to a few interesting documents I came across about Taipei City:

This link is a good read on the construction and deconstruction of the Taipei City Walls/Gates:
Reading Taipei: Cultural Traces in a Cityscape - JOSEPH R. ALLEN

“There were originally five city gates. In accordance with the Chinese ritual concept of the administrative city, South Gate, leading to the Xindian area, was designated the primary gate, and so named “Lizheng men” (Beautiful Main Gate). But as noted above, for Taibeifu the most important gates were the ones along the west and north walls because these led to the important suburbs of Mengjia and Dadaocheng, bastions of the Quanzhou and Zhangzhou sub-ethnic communities. Lesser South Gate, located in the southwest corner of the city, was a special gate financed by the gentry member Lin Benyuan of Banqiao; the architect was Chen Yingbin. It is said Lin, whose family was from Zhangzhou, did not want to have to pass through Mengjia (which was dominated by the Quanzhou group) on his way to the city; nor did he want to make the long detour through South Gate, so he had this gate built.”

Link to a good collection of old Taipei City maps and a narrative to the map collection. (same author)

Link to a .pdf about the 1935 Taiwan Expo with some interesting photos:
Exhibiting the Colony, Suggesting the Nation: The Taiwan Exposition, 1935 (same author)

Just read Allen’s “Reading Taipei.” Anyone who wants a brief introduction to Taipei’s architectural history (and, inevitably, its political history) should check it out. He is particularly good on the “innovative and enlightened rule” of the Japanese administrators, and on the symbolic meanings attached to the East Gate (emigre Chinese nationalism) versus the North Gate (survival and reassertion by the Taiwanese). Mostly, though, it is just a good overview of the historical facts.