Home   Intro   Next

Hsinchu MAAG





So, what became of the MAAG Housing Compound in Hsinchu?

As the number of MAAG residents declined in the early 1970’s, National Tsing Hua University in 1972, began to lease vacant homes from the Bank of Taiwan for faculty and student housing.  Professor Juju Wang’s family (shown above) moved into No. 23 in 1989.  Later they moved into No. 1.   


The fate of the compound: 

In 2006, fifty years after its construction in 1956, the old MAAG Hsinchu Housing Compound is to be demolished.  Its grounds will soon accommodate high-rise apartment buildings. 

The residents of the compound made the best of this sad turn of events, by gathering together in celebration of the compound’s long history of providing so many with wonderful housing and park areas in which to raise their families.  To honor the compound, the current and past residents came together for a “good bye” party, on a warm and clear day in June 2006.

The red banner being hung above proclaims “Farewell North Wing:  1956-2006, A Half Century of Memories.”  National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) designated the MAAG Housing Compound as the “North Wing” to continue the practice of the original university on the mainland, which named housing areas North, South, East and West.

The banner is being hung just outside the “new” gate.  The red brick ruin of the Japanese fuel factory is visible above the trees in the background outside the far end of the compound.  Juju Wang, in this June 2006 photo resided in home No. 1, the white home just on the right inside this gate, but, days were numbered for residents of the compound, soon everyone had to move out for the demolition equipment would soon arrive.

People inside the compound today are carrying baskets, I wonder if they contain yellow and purple ribbons. Just inside the gate, in front of house No. 1. three people, maybe Juju Wang’s family, are doing something to the tree in their front yard. 

Details relating to this photograph:

In the late 1950’s, Home No. 1 was the old residence of Colonel Spangler, his wife Alice and their children Sharon and Steven.

The red and white circular sign at the left side of this picture posts a speed limit of 16 KPH. 

The left gate post holds a sign for a commercial security company.

The top right gate post has a blue sign and a red sign which advertise services relating to moving, locksmith and sewage draining.  The larger blue sign with the prominent “100” gives the compound address as 100 Jianzhong Road, East District, Hsinchu City, Post Code 300.  The larger red and white sign says “Entry permitted only for residents and their visitors.” Below that sign is another sign for a security company.

On the right pillar is and blue and white marker indicating that the street address for the compound is “100.”  Back when the “old” gate was being used, before the gate pictured above was opened, the compound address was the number “45” and the street name was different.

At the right edge of the photograph are mailboxes for the compound residents.

Our thanks to friend Kenneth for his English translations.



This charming group of seventy-two people is part of the “last generation residents” of the Hsinchu MAAG Housing Compound, as Juju Wang describes these folks. 

Looks like there is a slight deficit of young boys here, they must have escaped to more interesting activities.

These folks look happy this pretty summer day, June 17, 2006.  Juju Wang said he was sad to leave, probably others had the same feelings.  Some may have missed the green space, the gated community and close-by green play areas for their children, the closeness of the compound families.  Others may welcome the improved security of living in a high-rise building over ground level homes.  Some may miss living in a place with such an unusual history, and some may want  more modern accommodations, for these homes were 50 years old.

Soon after this day, residents would move from the doomed compound to NTHU on-campus apartments in two waves.  Notice some of the folks are holding yellow and purple ribbons…

Before we leave, notice the red and white striped tents just behind this group.  One would assume that after the picture taking, it was time for a pot-luck or some such activity, an opportunity to talk and relate one last time before everyone dispersed to their new homes in various university buildings.  It must have been a difficult and emotional time for many that June afternoon.

No matter what they thought of their old homes, who would not have feel some sadness when remembering this compound and what was soon to occur to the grounds.  But some day, one of the youngsters in this photo will begin a historical search for his past and will come upon this photograph, and the story will pick up again.  50 years down the historical road what will sit upon the grounds then?


Juju Wang is in the front row, just above the head of the white dog, wearing a multicolor shirt of vertical stripes.



Residents were asked to tie yellow ribbons to trees for two purposes.  One reason was to welcome “homecoming” old residents who lived here in the 1970-1989 period.  The other reason, to let the ribbons serve as a farewell to the trees, which could not remain.  Half of the trees were transplanted in nearby Miaoli county, to the south of Hsinchu.

Purple ribbons were tied to houses; purple being the NTHU school color.  The Rayle’s old home, No. 3, is in the background of this photograph. 

Home        Intro    Next