Taipei Air Station - 1966 - - - " What you have in the end are memories"......... Photo Courtesy of Richard Reesh.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Visiting the old "MND" Building

A new photo of what we used to call the Ministry of National Defense"MND" building. In the early years, many of our folks worked in this building.

The building is now the Presidential Office Building.

By chance, an article in the newspaper made reference to a new web site coming on-line for the Presidential Office. I visited the site and noticed that an "Open House" was scheduled for Saturday, 3 July 2010.

I headed out after breakfast on the MRT for National Taiwan University Hospital station which is the stop closest to the old MND building.

Saturday was a clear fresh day, the sun was hot, the skies just about clear and a great day to take everyone along on my walk to the Open House.

My video begins just outside the old National Taiwan University "NTU"
Hospital MRT station in the 228 Peace Park, called Central Park back in the day.

I could not take video inside of the MND Building, only still photos, so the walk from the park to the entrance of the building is all I have. But, it's worth watching, you get a feel for the area today, and it will certainly bring back memories.

Click here for the Walk to the MND Building Video.

A couple of notes, push up the video resolution on You Tube to 480p, which gives you a larger and clearer picture, and crank up your audio slider to easily listen to my commentary as we walk along the streets...

These folks operate like the airport, everything out of your pockets and walk through the metal detector before you are allowed to make your way around the building and into the front central entrance. I understand security and the vigilant measures.

I appreciated the opportunity to visit the building. I had walked past the building on the sidewalk a couple of times on my way to the Military Museum and Hero House Military Hotel. On those walks I was cautioned by military guards not to take photographs and I came away with the feeling that I would never get any closer than the sidewalks surrounding the building. The place crawls with security personnel, cameras and vehicles.

I was in Taipei for nearly 3 years during the mid 1960s when you could have just walked-in anytime when in uniform. But, back then, I was always busy and who cared about visiting another office building if you had no reason to be there.

Funny how our priorities change as we age.

Walking up the driveway toward the main entrance where dignitaries are welcomed.

It was exciting to be there this beautiful Saturday in July, and a special honor being afforded the opportunity to enter through the main doors of this beautiful old structure.

Who walked up these carpeted entrance steps in the past?

As you stand in the beautiful grand entrance room, the bust of Dr. Sun Yat-sen peers down onto the grand room and entrance way.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen

The Taiwan Heritage Reception Room

The President's Hall. Used for receiving Heads of State and guests.

The WW II. Instrument of Surrender document. Notice some of the signatures.

I looked closely at this document and it appears to be an original. I have no idea how many copies were signed, but I would guess each signatory was given a copy.

Here it is! Formosa is returned to "The Republic of China."
This is only a press release, but there is other materiel in the building saying the same thing.
I'm sure these documents are available other places on the Internet for further review.

Chiang Kai-shek's military hat.

I really like this hat!

There are two court yards in the old building. One contains a pond with "Koi" fish. The fish quickly headed for me when I stuck my head out over the water.

I took video of the beautiful fish.

I am claiming a technicality...
I was outside the building in the Court Yard....

On the court yard level, most of the rooms contain museum type displays of the building's history and the Republic of China in Taiwan and her leaders.

The displays are crisp, clear and interesting. Some of them had English notes, unfortunately, most were only in Chinese.

I was fortunate to get a photo taken with President Ma who happened to be in the building when I visited.

NOT................. but, the rest of this post is true..........

Of course, please leave your comments or suggestions below,
or email me,

From Taipei, Sunday, the 4th of July 2010 - Tsi Gen....


sarj said...

Kent these walking video tours are great and the photos of the MND building are fantastic. I never knew what a great building it was. It is kept up so mice. The city is certainly a lot cleaner than in our day. Keep up the good work it is most appreciated by everyone I am sure. Thank you .

Don said...

Very cool, Kent. I never made it to MND but the place came up in conversation pretty frequently where I worked.

Thanks for the tour. Tell your buddy Ma that I said hi.

titojohn said...

Kent, Great pictures. I visited the MND building almost daily during my first tour (63/64.) I was an armed communications courier. I would deliver messages from the COMUSTDC communications centr to the MND communications center which was located at the north side of the building.

Thanks for all the udates, they bring back many fond memories.


Anonymous said...

The [MND] designation of the building hardly ever occurred to people living on the island that speak Taiwanese, Japanese or Mandarin. It's the building signifies the highest authority of governing over the Islands. It is commonly referred to as 總督府 or 總統府. It certainly is possible that in US military circle it was once referred to as MND building in between of the two names.