East 42nd at the Crossroads of the World

Several years ago, my brother Albert (http://www.albert-wu.com/ [1]) and I dug up the history of the building housing the Taiwan Cultural Center in New York City. This was a project funded generously by the founder of 科見美語, Kojen English Centers [2] based in Taipei, Taiwan. I’m reproducing the text here, completed on April 6, 2005, and the document is also uploaded at the Scribd link below.

Introduction: East 42nd at the Crossroads of the World

When one mentions the street name 42nd Street to a non-New Yorker, the instant response usually consists of images of Broadway Theaters, Times Square, New Year’s Eve parties, the Crossroads of the World and the 24-Hour Corner. To the New Yorker, however, the mention of the street 42nd Street usually immediately evokes the question: “East or West?” Although technically the same thoroughfare, East and West 42nd Street encapsulate two completely foreign and alien cultures. As one traverses from West to East 42nd Street, the transformation becomes drastically visible—the glitzy, glamorous entertainment center of the world gives way to the cultured serenity of Bryant Park and the New York Public Library. Continuing east down 42nd Street, one encounters Grand Central Station and its glorious neo-classical façade, and the hustle and bustle of commuters coming and going to destinations near and far. Yes, if there is any connection between East and West 42nd Street, it is the constant crowds—there is never a single moment of rest on this street. Continuing further east, one sees the towering Chrysler building, as well as the Chanin, Lincoln and Daily News Building. Finally, just before reaching the banks of the East River, the United Nations Secretariat comes into view, signaling an international end to this brief tour down the crossroads of the world.

The new Taiwanese Cultural Office is located at 1 East 42nd Street, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. A stone’s throw away from both the New York public library and Grand Central Terminal, the building rises fifteen floors above perhaps some of the most important real estate in New York City. The sidewalks are constantly filled to the brim with executives carrying attache cases, walking so fast that one would assume it was a speedwalk competition. Yet, intersecting 42nd Street on a perpendicular axis is 5th Avenue, the shopping street, the Champs-Elysses of New York. Salespeople and hot dog vendors trying to market their product intermingle with tourists and window shoppers. The East side is big business; during normal business hours, from 9-5, there is never a dull moment. Somehow, Taiwan has entered into the heart of the lifeline of New York City.

I. East 42nd Street Before 1900: Poverty, Filth, and Irish Gangs

East 42nd street has not always been the intersection of big business, finance and cultural institutions the way that it is now. Beginning in 1827, the wealthy New York Greenwich Village families still considered the area of 42nd street as the “suburbia” and “upstate” of New York City proper. These wealthy New York families, such as the Winthrops, the DeVoors, the Beekmans, and the Brevoorts, built their “country mansions” in the area. All of these families would eventually have buildings, streets or neighborhoods in this area of the city named after them.

Despite the image of the East 42nd street district as being a country vacation resort, it was in fact, far from it in reality. The east side of midtown was dominated by glue factories, slaughterhouses, breweries, coal barges, and gas works, primarily serviced by the poorer Irish immigrants who had just arrived in America. The heavy concentration of factories, coupled with high density of poverty within the area naturally created a high level of waste and public health problems. As late as 1860, the East River dockside was still infested with garbage dumps, which attracted various smelly and dangerous wild animals there. As Marc Eliot writes in his book on 42nd Street, “it was not uncommon for goat carcasses to lie in the street for weeks, its bones picked clean by river rats the size of dogs.”
The East Side had such a high concentration of slaughterhouses and rookeries it was designated as the final destination for New Jersey cattle brought across the Hudson and driven in herds to the East Side across 42nd Street. 42nd Street thus became known as “Blood Alley.” As a result of the cattle herd’s daily journey, 42nd Street became widened and flattened, and the city set apart 42nd Street as one of the thirteen river-to-river thoroughfares in Manhattan.

From the 1850s to the 1890s, the powerful Irish Rat Gang controlled the quarter-mile riverside turf that started from the East River and extended all along the Eastern shore of 42nd street. As mentioned before, Irish immigrant tenants dominated the tenements houses that were nearly uninhabitable, and infested with disease, sickness and poverty. In response to these conditions, the powerful Irish Rat Gang, led by a young thug named Tommy “Paddy” Corcoran ruled the tenements and “rookeries” that dotted the eastern 42nd street shore. Under his leadership, the decrepit tenement houses were referred to as “Corcoran’s Roost,” and members of the Rat Gang became known as “Corcoran’s Roosters.”

Corcoran’s Roosters earned whatever honest living they could by selling goat’s milk and cheese, and meat from cattle that they would steal from the daily 42nd street cattle journeys. The Roosters sold most of their products to the wealthy residents in their “suburbian country mansions.” To supplement their “income,” the young street hoodlums robbed, mugged, or even murdered the wealthy clientele that they politely catered to in the day. By 1855, many of these prominent families, sick of the constant threats from the gangs and the noise, stink, and filth decided to abandon the area, pushing the neighborhood into further poverty. Corcoran’s Roosters had grown so powerful that even the police feared them, as they maintained control fearlessly and ruthlessly in the East midtown district.

II. The Winds of Change: Cornelius Vanderbilt and His Ambitions

Conditions began to change in the late 1870s, with the progress of urban development and the development of major mass transportation in New York City. The end of the Civil War saw an unprecedented amount of expansion of railroads and railways across the America, and New York was no exception. In New York, in 1853, ten major railroad lines were consolidated and merged into the New York Central Railroad—one line that ran between Albany and Buffalo. In 1867, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the millionaire steamboat baron who had built his fortune off transporting thousands of Union soldiers by sea during the Civil War, decided to shift his attention instead to land transportation by selling all of his holdings in sea transportation, and purchased the New York Central Railroad, eventually declaring himself as the President of the entire line. Vanderbilt had previously already acquired the Hudson River and Harlem Railroad, and Vanderbilt consolidated the railroad companies into one giant monopoly. By the end of the 1860s, Vanderbilt single-handedly controlled an integrated rail system of 408 locomotives, 445 passenger cars, 132 baggage cars, 9,026 freight cars, and 740 miles of track. His territory of operations extended as far west as Chicago. Without a doubt, he controlled the most powerful transportation company in all of America. In order to help accommodate his expanding empire, Vanderbilt needed a central terminal where he could control and centralize his operations. He chose the existing Harlem Railroad Depot on the northern end of Fourth Avenue, which stretched over three city blocks, from 42nd Street to 45th Street. Vanderbilt also decided to choose 42nd Street as the depot’s location for pragmatic reasons. Starting in 1858, steam locomotives had slowly been banned from crowded areas below 42nd street, due to public complaints about noise, pollution, traffic, and fatal accidents. New York City therefore needed a central terminal station away from the increasingly crowded, dense areas of downtown. Yet, even the move of the central depot displeased certain people, as some quickly criticized the location as being placed “at the end of the earth” as most of Manhattan’s urban population was concentrated downtown. Yet, Vanderbilt’s vision would prove to be pragmatically effective.

A major overhaul of the Harlem Railroad Depot began in 1869, and the end result was the original Grand Central Depot. Vanderbilt had a vision that the railroad depot would not only greatly enhance public transportation, but push urban development ahead as well. By 1871, Grand Central Depot was unveiled, and it dominated the area of 42nd street. Despite being criticized as being too far from the center of New York City life, the Depot’s architecture itself received rave reviews in the press and the public. The 42nd street area was similarly infused with a huge increase of traveling populations. By the 1880s, 300 trains arrived in New York City daily, with passengers arriving from Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana.

However, Paddy Corcoran’s Roosters still preyed on the increasing pedestrian traffic in and around Grand Central Depot, stealing and mugging from the pedestrians in a final attempt to regain control of the streets. Vanderbilt, furious at the city’s timidity and inability to control the Roosters, organized his own police force to roam the streets and rid the area of the Irish Rat Gang forever. Vanderbilt’s goon squads roamed 42nd street with guns, clubs, knives, and chains—brutally attacking anybody they suspected as being part of Corcoran’s gang. Very soon, Paddy Corcoran’s Roosters were scattered into the city’s underworld, effectively rendering them defunct.

III. The New Grand Central and a Revitalized District

At the turn of the century, the public demanded for safer and cleaner transportation, and called for New York Central to modernize its railway system. By the end of 1902, the railway company was committed to the electrification and construction of a new terminal. With the discovery of electricity and the elimination of the steam engine, there was no longer a need for an open rail yard, and the concept of “air rights” developed. Not only would the planners and the architects design a building and terminal, but also develop the whole area surrounding the Grand Central Station. New York Central proposed that multilevel terminal with electrified tracks underground, and a new terminal on top be constructed. Moreover, they wanted to utilize the real estate that they had, and also erect other revenue-producing structures such as hotels, banks, and apartment buildings. The planners had a grand vision in mind—they wished to not only construct a grandiose, completely modernized train station, but also generate a completely new sector of economy in New York City life. They decided to hold an architectural competition, with four architectural firms invited. Eventually, the St. Paul firm Reed and Stern won the competition, and construction began in 1904. Construction would continue for another 10 years, until it officially opened doors on February 2, 1913.

Within a decade of its opening, Grand Central attracted a constant flow of people that extended beyond its terminals and poured out into the passages, ramps and many neighboring sites. New York Central became not only the most modern railroad company in the world, but also a major real estate developer of the new business district of East 42nd street. The originally destitute lands that housed slaughterhouses and garbage transformed suddenly into prime and valuable real estate. Following the completion of Grand Central Terminal, four hotels that set the standard for modern luxury and comfort were built in the area: the Biltmore, the Commodore, the Ambassador, and the Waldorf-Astoria. These grandiose hotels attracted more commercial and business trade—and wealth bred more wealth. Grand Central Terminal itself became a major tourist attraction, as wealthy visitors from across the country would travel to New York to see the architecture, and stay at one of the modern hotels that the area provided.

The area grew rapidly, as it was powered by New York Central’s own massive power and heating plant, constructed to provide power to all of the trains, rails, and construction machinery. Along with the hotels and the station, a steady swarm of apartment and office buildings were constructed as well. Midtown Manhattan continued to grow and rival the city’s traditional downtown financial and business district, as office buildings rapidly continued to rise around the terminal. Starting in the 1920s, the City saw the age of the Skyscrapers, as New Yorkers increasingly became fixated with maximizing the amount of space they could use, with the ambitions of conquering not only the land, but the sky as well. In later sections we will discuss how the architects of the time thought and what led to the skyscraper era. In less than 10 years, towering buildings like the 56-story Chanin Building, the 54-story Lincoln Building and the 77-story Chrysler Building arose to dominate the East Midtown skyline. The construction of the Corn Exchange Bank, the building that the Taiwan Cultural Office will be housed, can be clearly situated within this period of rapid commercialization, construction and expansion.

A final component of the East 42nd Street construction that cemented the rise in prominence of this area was the building of the principal branch of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Governor Samuel Tilden, upon his death in 1186, bequeathed a large portion of his fortune, about $2.4 million dollars, to “establish and maintain a free library and reading room in the city of New York. After a long process of searching, the city government decided that the empty shell of the old Croton Reservoir, perched at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, would be the perfect location for a public library. Once the location was decided, a rush of independent bids took place for the design of the new library. A “carnival-like competition” was held, as daily details were reported on the front page of the city’s dozen daily newspapers. Surprisingly, a relatively unknown company, Carrère and Hastings, won the bid. Construction began in 1902, but was not completed until 1911. The library officially opened on May 23, 1911, and the response to the library was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, as 30,000 to 50,000 visitors passed through the library. Thus, East 42nd Street gained another building of attraction, and increased traffic flow.

By the 1920s, therefore, East 42nd Street had become a new commercial and business hotspot. As the traffic flow of people increased, so did the amount of office and apartment buildings. It was in the midst of these rapidly expanding and modernizing tendencies that the Corn Exchange Bank on 1 East 42nd Street was built in 1927.

IV. Lot Ownership Prior to 1927

The New York City government officially designates block and lot that encompasses the modern address 1 East 42nd as block number 1277 and lot number 0006. In 1828, the Company of the Bank of New York still owned the entire block. New York City also still did not have the lotting system that it has now, as it started lotting its land according to its current system in 1860. The first record that we have of block 1277 lot 6 is in 1863, when a certain Augustus Embury received the land from Mary and Sarah Burr. Starting from that time, the ownership changed hands rapidly. In the next 40 years, ownership changed almost every one to two years, primarily between private owners.

In 1902, Margaret Schley transferred the lease of the lot to the Child’s Unique Dairy Company, the first case of the lot being owned by a private business. In 1903, a year after the Child’s Unique Dairy Company had leased the lands, the ownership changed hands again, moving back into the hands of a private owner names Julius Jungmann. The dairy company had likely fallen out of business in the hard times, and decided to close shop. In 1911, another business took over the land, as Julius Jungmann transferred the ownership of the land to the Harry Patterson Child’s Company. The Harry Patterson Child’s Company apparently did not do so well business-wise either, as they changed hands in less than two years. In 1913, the Oceanic Investing Company bought the land, and stayed on the lot until 1924. It was in 1924 that the Corn Exchange Bank, the builders of the 15-story building that currently occupies the lot, purchased the lot from the Oceanic Investing Company. The Corn Exchange Bank would own the lot for a long period of time, at least until the 1960s.

It is hard to get a sense from the ownership records what type of building actually existed on the lot prior to 1927. However, one can get a general idea of what existed on the lots through the city’s Sanborn Firemaps. Sanborn Firemaps are maps that carefully detail all of the building constructions and lot distributions of all New York City real estate. The Sanborn Firemaps of 1916 indicate that a five-story building existed on the lot at the address 1st East 42nd until 1927. Another building, with address 3rd East 43rd, shared lot 6. The five-story building contained a storefront for commercial operations. In 1927, the Corn Exchange commissioned architects to construct the currently existing 15 stories building on 1 East 42nd Street.

IV. Corn Exchange Commercial Bank

In 1924, the Corn Exchange Bank purchased the lot of 1 East 42nd street. The Corn Exchange Bank was founded in 1852 and opened its doors for business in 1853. The Corn Exchange adopted aggressive expansionist policies and soon acquired many smaller community banks. It became a big bank in New York City, with many branches, but also existed in other states like Wisconsin and Nebraska. In 1929, two years after the building on 1 East 42nd Street was built, the Corn Exchange Bank adopted the name Corn Exchange Bank and Trust Company. In 1954, it merged with Chemical Bank to become the Chemical Corn Exchange Bank. Chemical Corn’s merger with The New York Trust Company in 1959 was the last of the “Corn” franchises, as soon the name ceased to exist from the banking industry. The name was then changed to Chemical Bank New York Trust Company. Many mergers and acquisitions followed and in 1996 Chemical merged with the Chase Manhattan Corporation forming what was then the largest bank holding company in the US. Chase Manhattan thrives today as part of JPMorgan Chase, one of the biggest banks in New York City.

V. The Building

When Chase purchased the lot in 1927, it almost immediately decided to construct a new building that would help complement its growing operations. A seventeen-story building, designed by Cross and Cross Architects, was built. As mentioned before, the building sits on lot 6, which is located in Manhattan’s midtown commercial district, with the addresses 1st and 3rd East 42nd Street, though it is essentially known as 1st East 42nd. The seventeen stories can be broken into 15 floors, a basement and a penthouse. The building is connected to 4th East 43rd from the ground floor, and is fire proof (steel construction). Fourth East 43rd is a five story commercial building located on the same lot, but it was not purchased by the Taiwanese Mission in New York, and thus, not discussed in this project. The Taiwan building, as it has not been officially named, has structurally remained the same since its construction in 1927. It is roughly 200 feet from north to south and 40 feet from east to west in an irregular rectangular parcel. Lot 6 is approximately 0.15 acres in size, and the gross square footage of all 17 stories combined is 75,000.00 SF. Unfortunately, there is no allotted space for parking. Prior to Taiwan’s purchase of 1st East 42nd, the building was owned by The Republic of Greece.

V. The Architects

The architects responsible for the building we see today are the Cross brothers, John Walter (1878-1951) and Eliot (1884-1949). The brothers grew up largely in New York City, though it is known that Eliot studied at Groton School in Groton Massachusetts. Their higher education was also formidable, as John Walter, for example, graduated with degrees from Yale University, Columbia University School of Mines, and the Ecole Nationale et Speciale des Beaux Arts, Paris.

In 1907, the brothers founded the architecture firm Cross and Cross. John Walter primarily served to provide artistic direction to the firm’s architectural projects while Eliot was responsible for real estate. During the following years until the firm’s dissolution in 1942, the brothers Cross were responsible for some of New York City’s best known buildings, for example: the Barclay Hotel, the General Electric Building, the Harriman Building, the Chickering and Postum Buildings, the Aetna Life Insurance Building, and the Tiffany & Co building on 57th Street and 5th Avenue. Given their upbringing and education, it was no surprise that “their practice was a fashionable one” and their service to be in such high demand. They were labeled as “one of New York’s most distinctive native firms.” Their work from 1910-1920s consisted of mainly “urbane, neo-Georgian” architecture. 1930 and onwards, their designs “became more mannered….” Besides New York City, Cross and Cross were responsible for other famous works such as the Place de la Concorde in Paris and the Walter Camp Memorial at Yale University. They also found time to work on smaller projects, such as remodeling a friend’s Virginia brick house.

As mentioned before, Eliot was more involved in the business aspects of the firm’s dealings, and thus, he is most well known for his partnership in the real estate investment firm of Webb & Knapp, which he founded with P. Seward Webb and Robert C Knapp in 1922. John Walter seemed to be well known in the art and architecture circles, having served as a member of the National Commission of Fine Arts (1928-1932) and the Art Commission of New York City (1926-1929). His achievements led to his induction into the National Institute of Arts and Letters of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design and of the Sociale des Architectes Diplome par le Gouvernement de France. He was also a fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

VII. Architect’s vision within the context of NYC architecture

The New York City we know today has much to do with the vision of architects in practice from the turn of the century up until the 1920s. It is certainly interesting to ask the question, “Why did New York, particularly Manhattan, end up as an island of high rises? What led to such a movement?” We would like to draw attention to a particular article written by John Walter Cross that may shed light on the above question. The article, published in the Journal of the American Institute of Architecture, was titled “An American Revolution.” Written in 1945, six years before his death, Cross recalled in the article “the only revolution that has ever occurred in architecture.” What did he mean by that phrase? He considered architecture prior to the 1st half of the Twentieth century to consist of “buildings of wood construction of scholarly design and great beauty…’stage sets’ and real ‘architecture’ which…spells ‘masonry.’” Clearly the high rises and steel works we see in New York today are not of this more archaic type. What led to buildings such as 1st East 42nd? One of the most revealing paragraphs in his essay is the following:

For thousands of years we have seen many styles developed in many lands, even now styles evolve in old lands, but always one principle has held in all these different styles, in all these different lands—buildings were carried on walls.

Since the American Revolution, walls are carried on buildings. This is a complete reversal of all history.

In some sense we think this statement tells the whole story. In architecture of an earlier age, one had to build the wall first, either by stacking up stones or wood. Once the walls were in place, one could then subdivide the space inside with their respective functions. To build multi-story structures, one needed to support the weight above with a thicker, stronger base. “Architects who studied such things could tell the approximate height, size and shape of the different elements of a building by a glance at the plan at the ground floor level, where the thickness of the walls told the story of what went on above.”

New technology allowed the architect to begin to think differently. Instead of erecting walls first, a steel frame or skeleton was now the first to be constructed with “a series of spots indicating the location of steel columns” at the ground level. The architect now had a freedom to experiment with the “size and shape of the building which the columns carry.” Thus, one could build straight, upright, and rectangular structures, or experiment with curvy shapes and geometries. As Cross writes, “there is no assurance that the outside line of columns locates the enclosure wall of the building—that may indeed be several feet outside this line of columns, and hanging on cantilevers, like so much laundry hung out to dry. Neither can we assume that columns on the second floor will be located over the first-floor columns; loads may be transferred to earth by devious routes.” This freedom to express artistically what a building may look like was liberating. Architects carried a “The public be damned” attitude, and they “knew no let or hindrance to their imaginings.” To overcome structural issues, architects “called in engineers to prove that it could happen….” Surely the age of the creative high rise had come. In part mockery, in part sadness, Cross wrote the following song to commemorate his feelings for the new era in architecture,

The Mason and the Carpenter
Were in an awful fix;
They wept like anything to find no
Lumber and no bricks.
“If all of us with all our might
should work for half a year,
Do you suppose,” the Mason said,
“our jobs would reappear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
and shed a bitter tear.

It was in this context that the building of this paper, #1 East 42nd, was conceived.

VIII. The Lot from 1927-2004

First East 42nd has come a long way since its construction in 1927. For most of its history, the building has been home to the Chemical Corn Exchange Bank. The interior design and usage of space has thus been planned according to the needs and functions of a bank. The basement, for example, once was the location of a bank vault. The ground floor served as the main location for bank operations with its customers and clients, while upper floors were used as office space and space for additional specified departments. After the Corn Exchange Bank, various other banks such as the American Savings Bank, Citibank, and the Atlantic Bank of New York have inhabited the building. In 2000, the Republic of Greece purchased the spot to act as their headquarters for the Greek embassy, also serving as an outlet for the National Bank of Greece and Olympic Airways. The Greek government sold the lot back to a private investor. In 2004, the Taiwanese government purchased the land so that the building could act as centralized building for the various offices that Taiwan employs in America.

This increasing internationalization of the East 42nd Street district is another compelling twist in the development of this vital area of New York City. In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. Those delegates deliberated on the basis of proposals worked out by the representatives of China, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States at Dumbarton Oaks, United States in August-October 1944. The Charter was signed on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of the 50 countries. The countries of the UN decided to house their headquarters in New York City. Where better to house the UN building in Midtown Manhattan, the heartland of an ever expanding city?

Even though the main building of the UN is on East 49th Street, the UN Secretariat is housed on East 42nd Street. The Secretariat is an international staff working in duty stations around the world that carries out the diverse day-to-day work of the Organization. It services the other principal organs of the United Nations and administers the programmes and policies laid down by them. At its head is the Secretary-General, currently Kofi Annan.

The Secretariat is essentially the administrative body of the United Nations, carrying out various duties such as administering peacekeeping operations to mediating international disputes, from surveying economic and social trends and problems to preparing studies on human rights and sustainable development. Secretariat staff also act as the media outlet for the UN, providing information for the media about the work of the United Nations; organize international conferences on issues of worldwide concern; and interpret speeches and translate documents into the Organization’s official languages. The Secretariat has a staff of about 8,900 under the regular budget drawn from some 170 countries.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that the Greek Embassy would choose such a spot for their embassy. Being housed in such close proximity to the administrative branch of the UN obviously provides greater convenience and access to other embassies and the United Nations headquarters. It is into this expanding international community that the Taiwanese government has decided to place its Cultural and Economic Office.

IX. Current Plans for the Building at 1 East 42nd Street

To serve as the headquarters for the Taiwanese Mission in New York, the functional usage of space must be redefined. The architects Jeffrey McKean have been hired to carry out this task. Their vision is to utilize the ground floor and basement as public spaces for the promotion of Taiwanese culture, history, and general information. To realize this, the basement will be converted to a small sized (~100 person) theater, with a stage for simple performances and a screen for films. The ground floor will serve as a display space for all things Taiwan, for example, Taiwanese student’s science projects, professional Taiwanese photographers’ photo galleries, or poster boards promoting favorite tourist spots in Taiwan. It is the hope that through the effective use of this space, the beautiful, unique, and free spirit of Taiwan can be shared with the rest of the world.

The building also has a more official role as the headquarters for the consulate. Thus, offices for handling travel visas, passports, and other paperwork will be located on floors three and four. Floors five and above will be used as office space for the various divisions within the Taiwanese Mission. The top floor, 15, is designed as the office for the Director, Taiwan’s de facto Ambassador based in New York. The penthouse will serve as a private gathering and social place for hosting guests of Taiwan.

IX. Conclusion

Every building has a story, a history to tell, whether it is the famous Empire State Building, or some relatively unknown structure in the midst of a busy, large, and ever-changing city. As the clock continues to tick, some stories grow as the building serves new owners and purposes; some end as a building is destroyed to make way for a new story and a new building. We hope we’ve given a glimpse of the story of 1st East 42nd, a building that now has a new purpose—to serve as not only Taiwan’s home in New York, but a gateway between New York and Taiwan and thus, between Taiwan and the world. How this story will eventually unfold, and what new surprises are to come, no one knows. But we hope you will join us in eagerly finding out.

Taiwan Building Project Summary
Funding Breakdown: US$5000 from Kojen English Language Schools (科見美語)
~US$3400 for two Apple computers (powerbook G4, ibook G4)
~US$200 for copying photos $0.50 per copy, developing prints $30 per print
~US$500 for plane tickets to NY (two separate round-trips)

Research Locations and Information Sources:
New York Public Library
New York (Manhattan) Municipal Archives
Columbia University Library and Resources
Information Provided by TECRO (special thanks to Ms. Catherine Chiang for her help here)

Link to the document reproduced as text above. I’ve also uploaded to scribd, see the link below.



  1. http://www.albert-wu.com/
  2. http://www.kojen-els.com.tw/Page/Home/Index.aspx