Taipei-Taipei's Nanmen Market, one of the best known markets in Taiwan for traditional Chinese foods and ingredients, was crowded with shoppers on the last day it was open Sunday before being torn down and rebuilt over the next three years.
The city government-owned market, located on Roosevelt Road not far from the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, will close Monday, and its 250-plus tenants will move to a temporary market in the neighborhood to continue to do business.
The old building, which the market has called home for 38 years, will be torn down and replaced with a modern 12-floor structure that is connected to the Taipei's subway system's CKS Memorial Hall Station through its B1 and B2 floors.
It is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
Taipei authorities said the popular traditional market had to be rebuilt because the concrete used in the building was found to contain sea sand and the structure failed to meet modern earthquake-resistance standards during a safety evaluation in 2013.
In a recent interview with CNA, Nanmen Market Self-rule Association president Wang Chuan-kuo (???) said the market was formed in 1907 under Japanese colonial rule when it was called Chiensui (thousand years) Market.
After Taiwan was taken over by the Republic of China government, the market changed its name to Nanmen Market in 1946 and moved to its current location on Roosevelt Road in 1981, where it developed into one of the oldest publicly owned traditional markets in Taipei, Wang said.
Helping Nanmen Market build its reputation for drawing a broad spectrum of Chinese cuisines and ingredients, ranging from hams and sausages to noodles and rice-based pastries, was its proximity to many government buildings, including the Presidential Office.
According to Wang, many civil servants in the Republic of China government came from all around China, and their families settled in the area surrounding the market. They brought with them the specialties of the different regions in which they lived, and the market became a center for ingredients for their special dishes.
Food critic Hu Tien-lan (???) has described Nanmen Market as a Taipei landmark that houses all high-quality dried food products from around Greater China.
Some traditional Chinese pastry stalls in the market are now run by second or third generation owners who have preserved the traditional preparation methods and flavors of their products familiar to regular customs' palates for decades, said Wang, who grew up in the market's neighborhood.
Ho Hsiang-ching (???), a division chief at the Taipei City Market Administration Office, told CNA that the market's vendors all agreed to move to a temporary market at the intersection of Hangzhou South Road and Ai'guo East Road to continue doing business before the new market opens in 2022.
He said the city was able to secure their agreement because of their devotion to doing business at Nanmen Market and their loyalty to its brand and tradition.
A farewell party was planned at the old market building for Sunday evening, with the temporary market to begin a trial run on Oct. 17 before its official opening on Nov. 13, according to the city government.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel