Old is New
Hayashi Department Store / Tainan, Taiwan / Photograph by Tica, 2014 Summer
Hayashi Department Store was the second earliest department store of Taiwan, the oldest of southern Taiwan, built by Japanese in 1932. And it is now the six-floor oldest existing department store with the first electric elevator installed in Taiwan. During the Taiwan under Japanese rule period before World War II, Hayashi Department Store was the highest building of Tainan city and was recognized as the symbol of prosperity. Many modern merchandizes were sold at that time, including alcohol, clothes, imported products, accessories, restaurants, etc, with a hundred workers working there.
After World War II, the department store was closed and the building was preserved as historical sites without usage for a while. In 2014, after elaborate redesign and repair of the old building, Hayashi Department Store has reopened as a cultural and creative department store.
Each floor is well-planned to contain categorized shops, such as handmade products, souvenirs, porcelains, clothes, Taiwan tea and coffee shops. Preserving the old style of interior design and delicately adding on new elements, Hayashi Department Store has become a cultural center that characterizes the innovation of old culture.
Tainan is the cultural capital of Taiwan. With Integration of the old history from Japanese rule period and the living style, customs and spirit of present Tainan, it has formed a unique culture and value- Old can be preserved, propagated and innovated, and be New.