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Press Releases

  • Seoul to Unveil Restored Dilkusha House, Home of Foreign Correspondent Albert Taylor Who Broke News on March 1st Movement

  • Press Releases SMG 38
    • Seoul will unveil the restored Dilkusha House, home of the late foreign correspondent Albert Wilder Taylor ahead of the 102nd anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement.
    • Taylor, a special correspondent for AP and UPI, broke the news on the nationwide independence rallies in 1919.
    • Dilkusha House will offer a glimpse into the lives of the Taylor family who lived in Seoul for decades during the Japanese occupation.
    • The House will open its doors to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays starting March 1, with access limited to online reservations but at no charge.

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, February 25, 2021 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government will unveil the restored Dilkusha House, home of the late special foreign correspondent Albert Wilder Taylor (1874-1948), on February 26, ahead of the 102nd anniversary of the March 1st Independence Movement.

    Dilkusha, a two-story “Western-style” red-brick residence built in 1923 by Taylor and his wife Mary in Haengchon-dong, Jongno-gu, was designated as the Registered Cultural Heritage No. 687 in August 2017. Its name means the “Palace of the Heart’s Delight” in Sanskrit.

    Taylor first arrived in Joseon (Korea) in 1896, in the 33rd year of Emperor Gojong’s reign, as a gold mining engineer in Pyeongan Province, and later set up his gold mining business in Chungcheong Province. He also served as a special correspondent for AP and UPI wire services, breaking the news on the nationwide independence rallies that began on March 1, 1919, that rose up against Japan’s colonial rule. He reported on the Jeam-ri Church Massacre, playing a pivotal role in sending detailed accounts of the atrocities committed by the Japanese colonialists to the outside world.

    His wife Mary Linley Taylor discovered a copy of Korea’s Declaration of Independence hidden under her bed at the Severance Hospital, where she gave birth to her son in 1919. She concealed the copy under her son’s crib to avoid the prying eyes of Japanese authorities and later helped her husband’s brother William Taylor smuggle the document and news reports into Japan, from where he conveyed the news to the rest of the world. Albert and Mary Taylor and their children made their home in Dilkusha for decades before they were forcibly deported in 1942 under a sweeping edict by the Japanese Imperialists to expel foreigners from the country. The neglected residence fell into a state of disrepair in the years that followed.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government finalized a deal with relevant ministries and organizations in 2016 to restore Dilkusha, completing its renovations in December 2020 to transform the structure into an exhibition hall that spreads over 623.78 square meters, from its basement to the two upper floors. The living rooms on the first and second floors have been restored to their original design. The remaining areas, comprising six rooms, feature an exhibit of Taylor’s news articles as well as items donated by his descendants that offer a glimpse of the lives of the Taylor family during the Japanese occupation.

    The city will hold an opening ceremony for the Dilkusha House at 4 p.m. on February 26, with guests including acting Seoul Mayor Seo Jeong-Hyup, Kim Bong-ryol, Head of the Cultural Assets Committee at the Cultural Heritage Administration, and Kim Young-jong, Mayor of Jongno-gu.

    Albert and Mary’s granddaughter, Jennifer Linley Taylor, who donated much of the items featured in the exhibit, will offer her congratulations at the opening. The event will be scaled down and kept to a minimum in light of the ongoing pandemic.

    Dilkusha House will open its doors to the public from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesdays to Sundays starting March 1, with access limited to online reservations but at no charge.

    “I would like to thank the Seoul Metropolitan Government for restoring Dilkusha as an exhibition house,” said Jennifer Taylor. “I hope that the exhibit will shed new light on the western activists who also took part in Korea’s struggle for independence.”

    “Dilkusha House offers a glimpse into what life was like living as foreigners in Seoul during the Japanese occupation and displays a significant exhibit that invokes the spirit of independence and resistance against Japan’s colonial rule,” said acting Seoul Mayor Seo. “The city will operate the House, along with the Seodaemun prison History Museum and Gyeonggyojang, home of the late activist Kim Gu, as a heritage cluster for Korea’s independence movement, encouraging our citizens’ to visit these historic sites.”