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「府-Power To The People」

「府-Power To The People」
「府-Power To The People」 text description


府(fŭ). One simple Chinese character with enormous power, it represents the pinnacle of national authority. In dissecting the character, the lower segment 付 (fù) implies the idea of “being entrusted by the people,” a reminder that presidential power is derived from the mandate of the governed. The Presidential Office Building, therefore, embodies not power, but rather an obligation to serve. The upper segment 广 (yăn) indicates “a factory,” and symbolizes working to fulfill the people's needs and wishes. It is with this notion in mind that the exhibition has been entitled “Power to the People,” conveying the true spirit of democracy.


In 1912 a design competition for the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan was held, and a submission by Japanese designer Uheiji Nagano was judged outstanding. Designer Matsunosuke Moriyama then modified Nagano's work to complete the final design, increasing the height of the center tower from six stories to 11 stories and enriching the decorative language of the building's exterior.

In 1935 a fire broke out on the fifth floor of the Governor-General's Office. During the repair and reconstruction process, the wood and slate roof was replaced with a flat roof made of reinforced concrete and steel beams. 

In 1945, at the end of the Second World War, Taipei suffered a major bombing raid that seriously damaged the front left side of the Office of the Governor-General.

From 1946 to 1948, the Republic of China's National Government made structural repairs on the building, converting the original domed tower into a flat roof. The Office of the Governor-General was also renamed "Chieh Shou Hall."

Between 1949 and 1950, the government of the Republic of China was relocated to Taiwan.

In 1979 the building's interior was gradually renovated to address structural weaknesses in the original Baroque design, resulting in the more streamlined appearance one sees today.

In 1995 the Presidential Office Building was opened for public tours.

In 1998 the Ministry of the Interior designated the Presidential Office Building as a national historic site.

From 2001 to 2005, the building's interior and exterior underwent numerous renovations, and since 2001, the building has been illuminated at night.

In 2006 "Chieh Shou Hall" was officially renamed "Presidential Office Building."


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