Former students save historic building from demolition at National Taiwan University

Luming Hall was recognized for its historical significant by the Taipei City Culture Bureau today

Luming Hall within the NTU campus (Image by Google Maps)

Luming Hall within the NTU campus (Image by Google Maps)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Originally set to be demolished in July, a National Taiwan University (NTU) building has been saved thanks to a successful plea from an alumni group to register it as a historical building, according to CNA.

Luming Hall (鹿鳴堂) was formerly known as the university’s Second Student Activity Center and served as a congregation point for foreign-born Taiwanese students.

The Taipei City Cultural Bureau noted in a meeting in July that the building exhibited a unique blend of Chinese-style architectural characteristics mottled with Western aesthetic elements. The bureau pointed out, however, that the hall had not been well-preserved, and since renovations to turn the first floor into a shopping and dining area, it had lost some of its original appeal.

Due to its significance to many of NTU’s former students, an appeal to save the building was launched online. The team behind the proposal put forward new evidence of its historical importance, factoring in its significance to foreign-born Taiwanese and its recent use as a rally point for certain important events.

These aspects of the building’s significance were not considered during the initial meeting in July, so the case for its preservation was reopened.

An old photograph of Luming Hall in use as an activity center for foreign-born Taiwanese (CNA image)

Officials at the Culture Bureau in today’s (Nov. 30) meeting concluded that Luming Hall, constructed in 1967, acted as an important point of contact and an activity center for local and foreign-born Taiwanese, and has also been a meeting place for significant cultural and political activities. It is an example of both Modernist architectural thinking, the bureau declared, and 1960s Chinese renaissance construction.

NTU’s Vice President Chang Hsu-bing (長徐炳) said with the inclusion of Luming Hall, the university now holds 44 buildings of historical significance. He confessed that given the university’s tight annual budget on building repairs, however, maintenance of Luming Hall could pose a problem.