- Chinese Name: 華山1914文化創意產業園區
- Located At: Taipei City, Taiwan
- Renowned For: Huashan 1914 is an artist’s mecca and the Taiwanese counterpart to Los Angeles’ Third Street Promenade and Shanghai’s Tianzhifang.
- Did You Know That…? The district was once named after the first Japanese governor-general of Taiwan, Kabayama Sukenori, who was responsible for transferring the seat of government to Taipei in 1895. “Huashan” is the Chinese pronunciation of the Japanese family name “Kabayama.” Although the original character referred to “birch,” it was later replaced with the word for “Chinese” – both words are a homophone of “hua.”
Huashan 1914 Creative Park, a 4.5-hectare recreational area nestled in the middle of the Taiwanese capital, currently serves as Taipei’s primary creative arts center. Not only is it a popular venue for a medley of performance troupes and rock bands, it also provides shop fronts that are shared by independent artisans and craftspeople. Skateboarders and freestyling cyclists often congregate in the outer skirts of the park while the back lawns are dotted with dog owners and canine watchers.
The buildings that stand in Huashan 1914 Creative Park are actually part of a Japanese-era winery that was constructed in 1914, hence the inclusion of the date in the park’s official title. Once employing over 400 people, the distillery used to be renowned for its sake, rice wine and fruit spirits. By the year 1987, however, urbanization caught up with the city and the alcohol factory was relocated elsewhere to put an end to its water pollution.
A decade after being abandoned, the winery was being eyed by several envious groups, for the prime real estate was valued at NT$38.4 billion (approximately US$1.3 million). Golden Bough Theatre troupe made its move in 1997 – it began to use the derelict park as a performance venue and was promptly charged for misuse of government property. Nevertheless, other cultural groups soon joined in and after two years of campaigning, the ex-winery was designated a cultural hotspot in 1999.
Today, you can browse accessories and trinkets designed by Taiwan’s newest wave of designers (CDPiazza, 1914 Connection, Ayoi Aboriginal Department Store), eat to your heart’s content (Tsung’s Tea Shop, lilLAB Sushi, Al Cichetto, Casa Della Pasta, Alleycat’s Pizza, Chingye Taiwanese Cuisine), work off some calories (EasyYoga), enjoy live music from Taiwan’s finest new musicians (Legacy Taipei) or simply hang out and enjoy the atmosphere (Déjà Vu, VVG Thinking, Wind Music, Trio Café, Tea House).