The House of AP Correspondent Albert Taylor,
the first to report the March 1st Independence Movement overseas,
“Dilkusha,” to be open to public in 2019 restored by Seoul in 70 years
– Seoul Metropolitan Government-Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Cultural Heritage Administration, and Jongno-gu signed a “Memorandum of Understanding on Dil Kusha Restoration” on 26th (Fri)
· On 26th (Fri) 7:30~8:30 a.m. The Plaza Hotel Seoul 4th floor (Oak Room)
– Seoul Metropolitan Government will be in charge of restoration, management, and operation, and government financial support will be given if necessary
– Restoration and transformation into exhibition space are scheduled to be completed by 2019, the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement
– Granddaughter (Jennifer Taylor) will visit around March 1st, and will donate 349 articles left by the late Taylor couple to Seoul Museum of History
□ Red brick house named, “Dil Kusha (Hindi word meaning “utopia,” and “a palace of hope”),” where the US AP special correspondent Albert Wilder Taylor (1875~1948) lived after building it himself, who accused Japan of its military rule on Joseon back in the days of March 1st Independence Movement in 1919, and who reported all over the world the facts about peaceful, non-violent resistance movement by Koreans against the Japanese.
□ Seoul Metropolitan Government will restore Dil Kusha, located in the north of Sajik Tunnel in Haengchon-dong, Jongno-gu, to its original form, and will open it to the public in 2019, which marks the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement.
□ After its construction in 1923, Albert Taylor lived in Dil Kusha with his wife for about 20 years before he was deported to the US by the Japanese in 1942. With a mix of the British and American housing styles, the house is made up of 1 underground floor, and 2 aboveground floors (plottage 462㎡, gross area 623.76㎡). It is important data in studying the developmental aspects of modern architecture during the Japanese colonial rule.
□ Seoul Metropolitan Government revealed it will make an “Agreement on the Restoration, Management, and Utilization of Dil Kusha” with Ministry of Strategy and Finance(the current Management Office of Dil Kusha), Cultural Heritage Administration(register right holder of registered cultural properties, scheduled to be General Management Office after registration), and Jongno-gu(designation and management center of disaster dangerous facility), and sign a business agreement on 26th (Fri) at 7:30~8:30 a.m. in Oak Room of 4th floor in The Plaza Hotel Seoul.
○ Lyu Gyeong-gi, Seoul Metropolitan Government Vice-Mayor 1 for Administrative Affairs, Song Un-seok, Vice Minister for Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Kim Jong-jin, Vice Administrator for Cultural Heritage Administration, and Kim Yeong-jong, Mayor of Jongno-gu Office, will be participating at the event to sign the agreement.
□ The major contents of the agreement are: ▴Early settlement of the condition of occupation without permission based on related statute and institution such as “Framework Act on the Management of Disasters and Safety” ▴Opening of the house in 2019 after completing restoration of its original forms to mark the 100th anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement ▴Regeneration of the region’s culture and economy by creating castle town around Haeng-chon area near Dil Kusha.
□ Seoul Metropolitan Government will play the main role in restoration, management, and operation of Dil Kusha, and the government promised to give financial support to the city if necessary.
□ In particular, as most people living in Dil Kusha without permission are socially and economically vulnerable class, based on the fundamental rule that the people are cared for within the boundaries recognized by the law and system, the City, Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Cultural Heritage Administration, and Jongno-gu plan to make detail the agreement with the direction of solving the problem as early as possible through various political means.
○ Currently in Dil Kusha, 23 people from 12 families are living without permission. Most of them are socially and economically vulnerable class such as the disabled.
○ Due to long-term occupation without permission, the inside and outside of the building have been deformed and damaged, receiving D level in Precision Safety Diagnosis in 2015. It was revealed that ejection of the residents and urgent preservation measures of the building are needed to be put in place.
□ With its great preservation values in terms of history and architectural history, Dil Kusha has been examined for registration for national registered cultural property since 2001. In 2006, upcoming registration plans were scheduled by Cultural Heritage Administration, but since its nationalization in 1963, the issue of occupation without permission became problematic in the long term, and since then the house has been damaged without cultural property registration or management being conducted.
□ Seoul Metropolitan Government agreed with Ministry of Strategy and Finance, Cultural Heritage Administration, and Jongno-gu that preservation and management condition of Dil Kusha should be improved fundamentally, and its value as cultural heritage should be restored. By examining the ways to solve the issue multilaterally, the parties came to make the agreement and sign the business agreement by visiting Dil Kusha several times and hosting joint meetings from Sep. 2015 to Feb. 2016.
□ Jennifer Taylor, the granddaughter of Albert Taylor who constructed Dil Kusha, is planning to visit Korea around March 1st Independence Movement Day. She is visiting Seoul, the hometown of her father and Albert Taylor’s son the late Bruce Taylor, to mark his birthday, who was born the night before the March 1st Independence Movement in 1919, and spent his childhood days in Korea.
○ Jennifer Taylor is an artist working as media (collage) artist and singer song-writer in the US, France, and Italy.
□ Jennifer Taylor will visit Dil Kusha, where her grandparents and her father lived, and “Yanghwajin Foreign Cemetery” in Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, where her great-grandfather and grandfather are laid to eternal sleep.
○ After being deported to US, Albert Taylor passed away in Jun. 1948 in the US, and following his will, “I want to be buried in Korea,” he is currently enshrined in Yanghwajin Foreign Cemetery.
□ Especially on 2nd (Wed), she will visit Seoul Museum of History to donate all the articles (a total of 349 items) such as clothes, documents, and letters, the articles left by the late Albert Taylor couple, and the couple’s collections from the days they lived in Seoul.
○ In his visit to Korea in 2006, the late Bruce Taylor, father to Jennifer Taylor, also donated important photo data regarding history and culture of Seoul back in the days of Japanese colonial rule (photograph of Gojong’s national funeral in 1919, and panoramic photograph of Seoul in the 1920s), which Albert Taylor had owned.
□ Among the articles to be donated this time, the photographs of the inside and outside of the building when Albert Taylor couple was living in Dil Kusha are included, and the city expects they will be important reference materials in the restoration of Dil Kusha.
□ Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to exhibit various visual and auditory documents including the donated articles from the Taylor family inside the building after restoration of Dil Kusha, thereby introducing the activities and life of Albert Taylor who reported March 1st Independence Movement and Jeam-ri Massacre Incident for the first time around the world.
□ Furthermore, after restoration of Dil Kusha, a “Walking Tourism Belt” that connects heritages with rich history of Korea’s modern and contemporary times, such as Deoksugung Palace Jungmyeong-jeon(Historic Site No.124), former Russian Legation(Historic Site No.253), the US Legation (Seoul Metropolitan Government Tangible Cultural Property No.132), French Legation site(undesignated), former Seodaemun Prison(Historic Site No.324), and Gyeonggyojang House(Historic Site No.465), will be created.
□ Lyu Gyeong-gi, Seoul Metropolitan Government Vice-Mayor 1 for Administrative Affairs said, “Business agreement with the related agencies for Dil Kusha restoration is the first step in the restoring the remains of Albert Taylor back to their own place as their status requires, who contributed to the birth of the Republic of Korea.” He added, “We will do our best in the restoration process so that through Dil Kusha, many tourists at home and abroad can know and understand not only the meaning of the March 1st Independence Movement in world history, but also the activities of Albert Taylor and many freedom fighters who contributed to the spread of March 1st Independence Movement.”