台北之家成立經緯
她,令當年的尼克遜,在擔任美國副總統來到台灣訪問時,沒住豪華大酒店,
卻看上這棟老洋房,還在這裡睡過幾個晚上。
她,保存了原來的古典風情,讓藝術不做過多裝扮,
令人體會藝術原來是現代人生活的養分,很容易親近,也很容易消化。
她,以歷史為中山北路注入了一抹亮麗袺C,
以古蹟建築傳唱中山北路百年風流雅緻的人文歷史。

她,台北之家
一百年過去了,中山區的「敕使街道」已更名為「中山北路」,成為台灣五星級飯店密度最高的街道,也是許多本土企業的重要根據地。一座原本已經被潮流遺棄的舊房舍,重新有了時代新使命。在台北這樣一個大都會裡,因為熱情的匯聚、發散、交流,凝聚成為一項可以實現的理想,開拓出一個魅力無窮的空間即使你不是台北人,也等著你的參與……。

前世今生
英法聯軍,清廷戰敗,咸豐8年(1858)簽訂天津條約,台灣被迫開港通商。同治元年(1862)淡水首先正式開關徵稅,直到同治4年(1865)1月,基隆、打狗、安平等南北四個口岸全部開放。美國雖是最早要求台灣開放貿易,但在台灣設立外國領事館,卻是以英國最早,其次為德國、荷蘭,他國大多委託英國在台領事代理。美國初期以駐廈門領事兼辦台灣事務,直到同治13年(1874)才設常駐副領事於旗後(今高雄),同時以英國駐淡水副領事兼任美國駐淡水副領事。    
日治初期,明治30年(1897)3月,美國始置代辦領事一員,隸屬長崎領事管轄,館址設在淡水,以達維遜(James W•Davidson)擔任該職。明治31年(1898),領事館遷至大稻埕建昌後街隆興洋行內( Smith Barer & Co.)。
大正2年(1913),改設正領事一員,駐大稻埕千秋街33番地華利洋行內(Filed Hastus & Co.);大正5年(1916)11月17日,駐台灣領事館改稱「駐台北領事館」。不久,館址遷移至台北市大正町(今中山北路二段東側)2丁目24番地。昭和元年(1926),由「台灣土地建物株式會社」在台北市御成町4丁目9番地,即今台北之家所在地,建立領事館,之後一直沿用到戰後。新領事館地基面積有375坪,係美國政府向台灣土地建築公司租用,因此美國一度欲購地擁有,但為臺灣總督府婉拒。當時,台北御成町敕使街道(今中山北路二段),為城內通往圓山神社的主要道路,昭和16年(1941)12月,太平洋戰爭爆發,美日兩國宣戰,領事館業務即日停辦。

中美關係
二次戰後,民國35年4月,美國開辦駐台北領事館,兩年後升格為總領事館。民國38年中華民國政府播遷台灣,美國於同年12月30日,任命師樞安(Robert Strong)為駐台北總領事館領事,不久裁撤,改設大使館,館址初期暫設在台北市重慶南路2段4號(前故總統嚴家淦官邸),之後再遷中正西路116~118號為正式館址,另設海軍武官處於中山北路2段18號現址。  
民國39年,藍欽(Karl L.Rankin,1953-1957)為美國駐中華民國大使館臨時代辦暨公使,並於民國42年由艾森豪總統指派昇任為駐華大使,藍欽大使選擇這棟外觀典雅且綠樹環繞的建築物做為官邸。其後之五任大使莊萊德(Everett F.Drumright,1958-1962)、柯爾克(Ian G. Kirk,1962-1963)、賴特(Jerauld Wright,1963-1965)、馬康衛(Walter P.McConaughy, 1966-1974)、安克志(Leonard Unger,1974-1978)等人皆居於此。
民國67年,「中」美建交,翌年1月我政府中止對美外交關係,美國駐台北的大使館於2月28日關閉。民國68年,美國完成「台灣關係法」(Taiwan Relation Act),同年4月16日,設駐「台北辦事處」開始辦公,兩國繼續非官方實質關係往來。
民國43年簽署「中美共同防禦條約」、民國46年美軍事顧問團上士槍殺劉自然事件、民國49年艾森豪總統訪台、民國60年中華民國退出聯合國、民國68年中美斷交等事件,皆與本建築物與歷任大使息息相關。歷任大使對台北的文化藝術亦相當關注,黃君壁、藍蔭鼎、余光中、陳若曦等皆曾是官邸座上客。故此建築不僅是中美關係的見證,也是台北文化發展的地標之一。然而,隨著1979年中美斷交後,領事館於該年度 2月28日關閉,最後一任大使安克志離台,建築物始正式關閉使用。內政部於民國86年2月20日指定本建築物為第三級古蹟。

建築風格
外觀為白色的二層樓洋式建築,風格類似美國南方的殖民式樣,平面略成方形,入口朝北,東側突出迴廊可供遮蔽之用,室內則採中央走廊梯間佈局,廊柱為簡潔的希臘柱式。

蛻變成家
從民國68年到民國86年的十八年間,這棟建築物處於荒煙蔓草中,閒置多時,成為第三級古蹟後,為妥善維護古蹟空間,由台北市文化局疾呼奔走,經台積電文教基金會贊助新台幣六千萬元,將建築物本體修復後,委託由侯孝賢導演擔任理事長的【台灣電影文化協會】經營。經各方審慎規劃後,決定將其活化為以電影文化為主的藝文空間,本建築物定名為「台北之家」,並於民國91年11月10日正式開館。

舊園新意
一處原本荒蕪的美麗庭園,在古蹟活化、新生的理念下,舊物加新意,夢想在此完成。
【台灣電影文化協會】將台北之家的經營主題定位為「結合古蹟魅力與電影藝術,成為創意交流的場域」。希望為國內藝文創意產業工作者提供一個聚會場所,一個創意的發生點。透過影展、講座、工作坊等各種活動,讓跨領域的意見得以交流,進而激發更多創意。期待古蹟空間與電影結合,產生新的樣貌,讓古蹟的歷史意義結合影像藝術,增廣文化視野,並涵養文化深度。


It was the place that the late U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon fell for while on visit to Taiwan; he stayed in this old mansion instead of grand hotel suites for nights on end.It preserves its classical charms intact and rids art of redundant decoration, conveying to people the notion that art is an edifying source to modern life, which is as easy to approach as it is to absorb.
It paints a brush of colorful glamour on Zhongshan North Road with its rich history; its historic architecture is a living testament to the century-old cultural and literary history of Zhongshan North Road.
It is the Taipei Film House
A century elapsed, and the original “Teshi Avenue” is reincarnated in the present “Zhongshan North Road.” It is now a grand boulevard lined with the most luxury hotels in Taiwan, and an important hub of local enterprises as well. An old mansion threatened with oblivion in time is now presented with a new epochal mission. In a metropolis like Taipei, due to the aggregation, diffusion, and interaction of passion of each and everyone involved, the Taipei Film House materializes an ideal and creates a space of infinite allure and fascination.

Past Lives and Reincarnation

At the defeat of the Ching court in the Anglo-French Allied Forces Invasion, the Treaty of Tianjin was signed in Xiangeng 8 (1858), and Taiwan was forced to open its ports for trade and commerce as a consequence. In 1859, American Envoy John E. Ward asked for Chaozhou and Taiwan to open their markets for trade. Through various complications, Tamsui was the first to institute the customs and levy taxes in Tongzhi 1 (1862); by January of Tongzhi 4 (1865), Keelung, Takau, and Anping were all open to commerce. Though the United States was the first to ask Taiwan to open its trade and commerce, the U.K. was the first to set up a consulate in Taiwan. Germany and the Netherlands came after, while most other countries entrusted their affairs to the British Consul in Taiwan.

As for the United States, at first the counsel in Xiamen was also responsible for affairs in Taiwan. It was not until Tongzhi 13 (1874) that the United States stationed a resident Vice Consul in Cihou (present-day Kaohsiung), and assigned the post of American Vice Consul in Tamsui to the British Vice Consul in Tamsui.

In the first years of Japanese rule, the United States first stationed in March of Meiji 30 (1879) a consular agent in Tamsui, in subordination to the Consul in Nagasaki. The first consular agent was James W. Davidson. In Meiji 31 (1898), the consulate was moved to the site of Smith Barer & Co. on Jianchang Rear Street in Dadaocheng. In September of Meiji 35 (1902), the then Consul Julian H. Arnold sent a letter of inquiry to the Civil Governor of the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General for a new site for the establishment of the consulate. In May next year, the Civil Governor handpicked the site of the erstwhile fort behind Ximen Street in Taipei, which occupied an area of 872 pings. Unfortunately, unfavorable condition brought the plan to a halt.

In Taisho 2 (1913), an official consul was assigned and stationed at Filed Hastus & Co. in Dadaocheng. In Taisho 5 (1916), the Consulate in Taiwan was renamed as “Consulate in Taipei.” Soon after, the site of the consulate was moved to 24, Taishomachi 2-chome. On December 8th, 1926 (Showa 1), tthe consulate was established at the site of the present building by Taiwan Real Estate Co., Ltd, which persisted until after the postwar years. The site covers an area of 375 pings, and was on loan from Taiwan Real Estate Co., Ltd; therefore the U.S. government once hoped to acquire the land, but the plan was vetoed by the Office of the Taiwan Governor-General. At that time, the present Sec.2
of Zhongshan North Road was the high street from downtown Taipei to the Yuanshan Shrine. In December of Showa 16 (1941), the Pacific War broke out, and the two nations proclaimed war, thus the consular services were ceased immediately. Overall, the American Consulate in Taiwan had been moved five times during the Japanese rule.

Sino-US Relations

After the end of World War II, the United States established its Consulate in Taipei in April of 1946, which was elevated to the status of Consulate General two years later. In February 1949, the R.O.C. government was relocated in Taiwan; on December 30th of the same year, the U. S. designated Robert Strong as the Consul General responsible for the Consulate in Taipei, which was replaced soon by the American Embassy. The initial site had been on 4, Sec. 2, Chungqing South Road, Taipei (the former residence of the late President Yan Jia-gan). The embassy was later moved to the official site of 116-118, Zhongzheng West Road, with the subordinate Navy Military Attache Office on 18, Sec 2, Zhongshan North Road. 
Karl L. Rankin (1953 – 1957) was appointed the temporary charge d’affaires and envoy for the American Embassy in R.O.C., who was later promoted to the rank of ambassador by President Eisenhower in 1953. It was Ambassador Rankin who chose this elegant and arboreous building as the ambassadorial residence. The five ensuing ambassadors, Everett F. Drumright (1958 – 1962), Ian G. Kirk ( 1962 –1963), Jerauld Wright (1963 - 1965), Walter P. McConaughy (1966 – 1974), and Leonard Unger (1974 – 1978), all made their residence in this building.

The United States established diplomatic relations with mainland China in 1978. In January 1979, the R.O.C. government severed diplomatic relations with the United States, and the U.S. Embassy in Taipei was shut down on February 2nd. In 1979, the United States instituted Taiwan Relation Act; on April 16th of the same year, AIT/T commenced service. The unofficial yet substantial relationship between the two countries persists to this day.

The signing of Sino-US Mutual Defense Treaty in 1954, the shooting of Liu Ziran by MAAG sergeant in 1957, President Eisenhower’s visit to Taian in 1960, the withdrawal of R.O.C. from the United Nations in 1971, and R.O.C.’s severance of diplomatic relations with the United States in 1979—all these events share a close connection with this building and the ambassadors residing therein.

Every ambassador played a significant role in the development of art and culture in Taipei;distinguished guests to the Embassy included Huang Jun-Bi, Lan Yin-Ding, Yu Kuang-Chung, Chen Ruo-Xi, etc. Therefore this building is not only a testament to the Sino-US relations, but also a landmark in the cultural development of Taipei.

Nevertheless, with diplomatic ties terminated in 1979, the consulate was shut down in February of the same year. the building was put out of use following the departure of the last ambassador Mr. Leonard Unger.

Architectural Style

The architecture itself is a two-story Western mansion with white exterior walls, in the style of colonial American south. The whole premises are slightly rectangular, with the hallway facing north. The jutting veranda on the east side offers perfect shade and shelter. The interior layout is designed around the central staircase; the simple and quaint colonnade is reminiscent of the Doric order.

Metamorphosis

In the eighteen years from 1979 to 1997, this building had been out of use and buried among tall grasses. Nevertheless, following its registry as the municipal historic site and through the advocacy and mediation of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, the main building underwent complete renovation thanks to the NT$60 million donation made by TSMC Education and Culture Foundation. Subsequent operation and management of the building was entrusted to the “Taiwan Film & Culture Association,” of which the celebrated filmmaker Hou Hsiao-Hsien serves as the chairman. After deliberate organization and planning, with contributions from various parties, it was decided that the facility would be revitalized as a cultural space dedicated to cinematography. The building was thus christened "Taipei Film House" and was inaugurated on November 10, 2002

A Breath of New Life

A quaint garden long deserted has been renovated with the goal of revitalizing the historic site and become the place where dreams come true.

Taiwan Film & Culture Association defines the core value of the Taipei Film House as “a site combining the quaint charm of a historic site and cinematography and providing a locus for creative interactions” It is hoped that this place will serve as a watering hole for local creative artists, a place where creativity takes flight. Interdisciplinary ideas may be exchanged through diverse activities including film festivals, seminars, and workshops, in order to inspire more creative thinking. It is highly expected that a brand new look may emerge through the integration of the historic site and cinematography, fusing the historical significance therein with visual arts, and thus broaden our cultural field of view and cultivate a profound sense of culture.

   
 
  Add 台北市中山區中山北路二段18號 (捷運中山站旁)
No.18, Sec. 2, Zhongshan N. Rd., Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City 104, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Tel 886-2-2511-7786  Fax 886-2-2560-5222

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