One day this winter I went out riding around the base of Bāguàshān 八卦山 in Changhua City 彰化市 in search of the Red Hair Well. Along the way I noticed a small cluster of old Japanese-style houses next to the hillside. Apparently these were once dormitories for teachers at the nearby school. Behind them I noticed an unusual building against the back of the hillside. The facade was obviously from the Japanese colonial era and, actually, the design of the building reminded me a lot of Gāobīngé 高賓閣, a famous old Art Deco restaurant not far from the train station. What was this place?
Back at home I went about transcribing the characters and doing a little research. The sign up top says China Electric Chemical Factory 中國電氣化學廠. One report suggests it was used to produce calcium carbide but another report seems to suggest otherwise. Either way, not much is written about this ruin online.
Naturally I did my best to get inside but was thwarted every time. There are packs of feral dogs around on both sides of the building and I couldn’t find a way in at first. I actually spent about half an hour trapped between two packs of dogs one afternoon, waiting patiently for them to lose interest before bolting across an open field. Later on I figured out that you could probably just hop a small concrete divider near the main entrance and ignore the imprecations of the dog chained up in front. I never got around to doing a proper exploration so if you’re looking for a fresh, untapped building to explore in Changhua 彰化, here’s another option.