(1) What is “Hamasen Restoration Project”?
Hamasen is the first city on reclaimed land in Taiwan and the starting point of modernized Kaohsiung. This is the area where Kaohsiung started with tap water, electricity, electric lamp, and telephone. With the first modern market, latest harbor, railway, and train station, this hundred-year-old port had witnessed the growth of Kaohsiung. Now, the city is no longer prosperous, but still with its unique street construction, plentiful cultural, historical assets, and specific sights of mountain and sea. The memory of Kaohsiung is kept in the city for people to discover. Since the development of the Pier-2 Art Center in the neighborhood won a great success and attract countless visitors, Hamasen is going to regain the prosperity by applying four main themes, which are embrace mountain, reconstruct harbor, rebuild railway, and reveal town. The plan is to perform “Hamasen dilogy” to transform the modern city of Kaohsiung and make Hamasen prosper again. This plan will be applied to the whole Hamasen area with the four main themes of embrace mountain, reconstruct harbor, rebuild railway, and reveal town. Contents of the four themes are as followed.
Robert Swinhoe, a vice consul of British Government had found Formosan rock monkey during his biology research in Shoushan. In 1929, Japanese had built Kaohsiung Shrine (Martyr's Shrine in nowadays) at the mountain side of Shoushan. The mountain of Shoushan has a symbolic meaning to the area, for it is the first impression to those who first enter Taiwan by Kaohsiung Harbor, and its political character brought along with the Shrine. It is a place full of biology resources and historical values. In order to build up an attracting and qualified trail in Hamasen, we intend to improve the existing hiking trail and connect it to main sightseeing spots.
Takao had developed from a small fishing village into a fishing harbor during Dutch Formosa Period. After the Dutch was driven away by Zheng Cheng-gong in Ming Dynasty, with a systematic reclaiming, fishing and salt business began to boom. When Qing Dynasty took over Taiwan, barbette was built on Saracen Head for military purpose, and customs office was set up in Takao in 1683 after Treaty of Tientsin. With these constructions and developments of trading business, Takao Harbor had become an important place. At the time, trading business only took place at the harbor, two shores of Cihou, and Shaochuantou. Constructions of Takao Harbor and city were not developed until Japanese Colonial Period.
Three times of harbor construction took place in Japanese Colonial Period between 1908 and 1945. After WWII, a ten-year reconstruction was planned to recover damages caused by the war. In 1958, a 12-year extending construction was performed. Afterward, container terminal and improvement projects were rapidly executed in 20 years from 1970. As for the history of harbor construction, Hamasen had successfully connected to Takao Harbor and built up a well-functioned system between land and sea. This unbreakable relationship became the value of Kaohsiung Harbor in the 20th century and also made Hamasen into the most prosperous political and financial center.
Dock Number 2 was once the terminal of Hamasen railway. As the entrepot of shipping during Japanese Colonial Period, the Dock Number 2 was full of warehouses, next to a fish market, and had a strong relationship with life and industry of Hamasen. However, after the fisherman's association was transferred to the front town, Hamasen began to degenerate and been neglected for a very long time. On the other hand, the space heading to the harbor in Shaochuantou has been blocked by buildings and disconnected the relationship with the harbor. This has not only disengaged the city view and historical trace, but also blocked the view of historical buildings, North Gate, and the British Consulate at Takow from each other.
The target of this project is to combine the free space of Hamasen Railway Museum and the Dock Number 2 in order to rebuild the history spirit of Takao Harbor in Dock Number 2, reappear the greatness of North Gate and restore the historical space of Shaochuantou, so the view of Hamasen can be whole again.
The development of Hamasen is not able to be parted from railway! In 1900, the Western Line had finished its section from Tainan to Takao. At first, Takao Temporary Station is at the foot of Shoushan. In the same year, Takao Harbor had achieved a glorious total trade amount which even beat the record of Anping Harbor. However, with its geographic disadvantages and the distance between the temporary station and dock, Takao Harbor is limited on connecting transportation between sea and land. Therefore, after the new record of total trade amount was made, Takao Harbor had limited growth in the following years. It was not until 1904 that the railway department started to think about dredging mud, reclaiming land, and extending railway. First of all, land between the temporary station and First Dock was reclaimed; then, large-scale shunting yard, roundhouse, coal storage tank, platform, footbridge, and parcel room were constructed; in the end, "Hamasen" in the south was built up. Later on, harbor construction plan was released and started up the development of Hamasen and Kaohsiung in 1908. When Kaohsiung Harbor Station had reached its peak, the daily average turnover had even reach a million NTD. By now, there are still assets of Taiwan Railways, and also national assets, in Hamasen area which are waiting to be activated.
Land reclamation is important to Takao Harbor. When the harbor was constructed in 1904, mud and sand were taken from the bottom of the harbor, and, in the same time, soil and rock were brought from Takao Mountain for the shore next to railway. The first finished part is the "Hamasen" and its neighbor area from Takao Temporary Station to the First Dock. The reclaimed land is not only used for railway, but also used on 16 new warehouses. Each warehouse can contain 7000 bags of rice and sugar, which means around a hundred thousand bags in total. With this evidence, we can tell how flourishing the transportation business was. (Reference from Hamasen History Research and its Historical Constructions Research Plan in Kaohsiung City authorized by Kaohsiung City Bureau of Culture Affairs to National Kaohsiung Normal University.) After railway, warehouse, and shipping are combined, transport efficiency and turnover were improved. In order to fit the needs of the harbor area afterwards, the first harbor construction plan and construction on first and second piers, shallow dock (the Third Dock), and land around 23,000 square meters in Hamasen (the Minatocho afterward).
The Land Reclamation Project was brought up by a Japanese business man, Asano Souichirou. He had successfully applied to Fengshan Ting for land reclamation in Takao, and from 1908, a project of six periods had begun and finished in March, 1912. Around 230,000 square meters of land was claimed in total, and except from the area next to Hamasen was included in New Hamacho, most of the land was organized into Minatocho, and the rest are planned into Yamashitacho , Shousencho, Tamachi, Yancheng Ting, Horiecho, and Cihoucho. In nowadays, the Hamasen area includes section one of Yamashitacho, section one and two of New Hamacho, and section one to five of Minatocho. Health care issues such as day light and ventilation were considered during city organization. The street was spread out from mountain side to Shousencho harbor and declined 32 degree clockwise, while the width of the street was also specially designed to make sure every block can have day light on three sides. This organization had shown Japanese environmental knowledge toward city plan.
Hamasen owns the first modern organized street, and is also the first area in Takao with tap water, electric lamp, telecommunication, and electricity. It is the political, cultural, and educational center in earily period of Japanese Colonial Period. There are a lot of historical interests and constrictions, and Japanese constructions in Hamasen. Except from recovering them, we are also building up a unique area through connecting cultural resources such as streets, houses, and spaces.
(2) Where is “Hamasen Restoration Project”?
Main application area: West and north toShoushan, east to old Hamasen railway, south to shore of Kaohsiung Harbor.
(3) Who is executing “Hamasen Restoration Project”?