Sōngshān District 松山區 has long been a major hub for the railway industry in Taiwan. It is home to the Taipei Railway Workshop, a sprawling maintenance depot and rail yard presently undergoing renovations into a full-scale museum. The Western Trunk Line 縱貫線 also runs through the district, although it is completely underground now, following the path of Civic Boulevard 市民大道 for much of its length. I went poking around the area sometime in 2016 and stumbled upon a block of dilapidated homes wedged into a small parcel of land at the tail end of the railway workshop. It turns out these are former railway worker dormitories (sùshè 宿舍) dating back to the Japanese colonial era.
Taiwan still has hundreds or perhaps even thousands of old Japanese dormitories like these so I didn’t have high hopes they’d be preserved—but as of 2021 it appears this group of dorms will be integrated into ongoing plans to transform the Taipei Railway Workshop into a museum. It doesn’t hurt that this block of homes faces the Songshan Cultural and Creative Park 松山文創園區 and the future Taipei Dome, both of which are (or will be) big attractions in the city.
Only one other detail is worth mentioning: from sleuthing around on Google Street View it is clear that these homes were already long-abandoned in 2009. Seven long years of exposure have taken their toll on these old homes, but if the restoration effort follows patterns seen elsewhere, most of these homes will be rebuilt from the foundation.
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