Innovation of the distribution of agricultural and fisheries products, “Garak Market”

To modernize Korea’s dilapidated agricultural and fisheries distribution facilities and improve the distribution system, Korea’s rule of “one market per city” was abolished in 1976, and the Act on Distribution and Price Stabilization of Agricultural and Fishery Products was enacted to transform the existing distribution structure, which had become bogged down by trade on consignment, into an auction-based system. As a result, Garak Market, which sells fruit, vegetables, and fisheries products, was opened in June 1985 as the first public wholesale market in Korea.

A project to modernize the market was launched in 2011 and its first phase has already been completed. In August, merchants will move into the new space, called Garak Mall. Trading volume has reached 1.7 times the volume initially planned, with a surplus of 7,000 tons a day, and thus the market had to be expanded. However, when it was built 30 years ago as the nation’s first public market, Garak Market was the largest in Asia.

Songpa District, an area favorable for logistics as it is located adjacent to an expressway, was chosen as the site for the market, and the Wholesale Market Corporation (now the Seoul Agro-Fisheries and Food Corporation) began operations in 1984 with 47 buildings featuring a total floor area of 261,787 square meters (79,190 pyeong) on a lot of 542,920 square meters (164,232 pyeong).
Since it brought the first auctions and large-scale parking lots to Korea, Garak Market has grown rapidly into the most famous marketplace in Gangnam. With a current daily trading volume of 7,300 tons, trading amount of about KRW 10.4 billion, and 130,000 visitors, Garak Market is now the largest public wholesale market in Korea.

Seoul Metropolitan City and the Seoul Agro-Fisheries and Food Corporation plan to renovate the old, narrow facilities by 2024, expecting to reduce transportation and loading costs by about KRW 80 billion annually. At 2 a.m. in the morning, when most people are asleep, the market is crowded with merchants buying and selling vegetables, fruit, and fisheries products brought in from across the nation. By achieving major innovations of the distribution structure, Garak Market has raised the value of the sweat and hard work of producers and provided consumers with an abundance of food for 30 years.

Relic of poet Yun Dong-ju, “Yonsei University’s Pinson Hall”

Standing in front of Underwood Hall, Stimson Hall, and Appenzeller Hall on the campus of Yonsei University in Sinchon is a British residential-style dormitory building. The building was named after, and in honor of, Dr. Pinson of America’s Southern Methodist Church, who made a major contribution to the fundraising effort for the construction of the campus in 1917.

Pinson Hall was built in the same architectural style—British Gothic Tudor—and at around the same time as Underwood Hall, Stimson Hall, and Appenzeller Hall. However, as it was built to be used as a residential dormitory, it does not have the typical Gothic Tudor characteristics, such as a Tudor arch or bay windows.

Built with bricks of mica schist and topped with a roof of western-style woven wooden trusses, Pinson Hall also features a row of rectangular windows. It was built in 1922 as a dormitory and is also the place where Yun Dong-Ju resided and wrote poems during his time at the university in 1938. Below the attic on the third floor, where he stayed at the time, a memorial hall was created for him. His manuscripts and the other written works on his desk transport visitors back to the time when he wrote his poems. He stayed at Pinson Hall, meditating, anguishing, and writing poems for three years. Yonsei University plans to renovate the entire Pinson Hall building to create a space to commemorate the 100th birthday of Yun Dong-ju in 2017, hoping to encourage more people to come and reflect on the poet’s life and work.


Seoul National Cemetery: Sacred Ground for Korean Patriots and Martyrs for Over 60 Years

210 Hyeonchung-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul. Seoul National Cemetery, the first national cemetery in Korea, is nestled among the ridges of Gwanaksan Mountain alongside the meandering Han River, with Gongjakbong (Peak) at its center.
The site of the cemetery was selected after an 11-month survey that was carried out during the Korean War, when the number of casualties was surging. Constructed in the first spring after the end of the Korean War, this 14-million-square-foot cemetery is now the eternal resting place for countless patriots, martyrs, and soldiers of the Korean Empire who sacrificed their lives in times of national crises.
Now, it has been more than 60 years since the ceremonial gun salute was first performed for the burial of the remains of the first anonymous soldier. Years after its establishment, this military cemetery was promoted to the status of a national cemetery, with nine graveyards and various memorial facilities. However, Seoul National Cemetery eventually became completely full, and separate enshrinement facilities were constructed in 2005.
Innumerable remains and memorial tablets have filled the cemetery, but there are many more named and nameless soldiers who have not been interred there. Seoul National Cemetery serves as a space that is open to everyone to remember and pay tribute to them all.

The Legacy of Incheon Harbor: Incheon’s Former Daehwajo

Built about 120 years ago, one machiya (traditional Japanese wooden house) still remains near Incheon Harbor. It once housed a cargo company called “Daehwajo,” which was established around the time of the opening of Incheon Port, where poor Korean laborers went back and forth to work every day. This was the center of the Japanese settlement in the area, where the consulate, police offices, post offices, and other public offices were concentrated. Now, 120 years later, Daehwajo has been turned into a café. After the café owner bought the old building, its historical value began to draw increasing attention and recognition. It had always been assumed that Daehwajo had been constructed in the 1930s, but that assumption was proven wrong when an image of the building was found on a postcard from the end of the 19th century as well as when the name of the shipping company’s owner was discovered in the records of the Japanese Government-General of Korea from the 1910s. As it is the only Japanese machiya that remains in the Incheon Harbor area, experts recommended that the Daehwajo building be restored rather than remodeled, after carrying out extensive historical research. Daehwajo is a place of significant historical value that, to this day, still contains traces of Korea’s past in its very walls.

Namdaemun Church: The Religious Community of Jejungwon

“Let’s meet at the church beyond the South Gate of Seoul Station.” Namdaemun Church, located across from Seoul Station, was a meeting place for refugees during the chaotic period following Korean liberation from Japanese rule and the ensuing Korean War. Before skyscrapers were built on the hill in Hoehyeon-dong, Namdaemun Church must have reached high above all other structures in the area. Having started out as a religious community at Jejungwon, the first Western medical institution in Korea, in 1885, Namdaemun Church was relocated every time Jejungwon was moved. Finally, in 1910, the first consecration service for the church was held just outside Namdaemun Gate. With the construction of a 2,500-square-foot, Korean-style worship hall in 1910, the name of the church was changed from “Jejungwon Church” to “Church Outside Namdaemun.” A new worship hall was installed in 1950 but burned down during the Korean War, after which, worship services were temporarily held in tents. The current worship hall was built in 1955, and the gothic-style worship hall, designed by one of the first generation of modern Korean architects, Park Dong-jin, who had already designed Young Nak Presbyterian Church, was constructed in 1969, 14 years after the first worship hall was completed. In the 1970s, when the development of the Gangnam area was in full swing, the topic of relocating the church was raised once again. However, Namdaemun Church still remains where it has always been, serving as a religious institution for ordinary Koreans living near Namdaemun Gate. Now, 130 years since its establishment, Namdaemun Church still embodies the same spirit as it overlooks the city from the hilltop.

Taereung Training Center: The Heart of Korean Sports

The Taereung Training Center is now recognized as the only comprehensive training center in Korea. As a sports arena for members of national sports teams and athletes participating international sports competitions, as well as for ordinary citizens, it is contributing to the popularization of sports in Korea.
The establishment of the Taereung Training Center was initiated by Min Gwan-sik, then president of the Korea Sports Council, with the goal of reinvigorating Korean sports following the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Located in Gongneung-dong, in Nowon-gu, Seoul, the Taereung Training Center started out as a few buildings for members of Korean sports teams, but was expanded into a large-scale sports facility on about 3.6 million square feet of land over the next 50 years. The training center laid the foundation upon which Korea raised its status in various international sports arenas. Preserving the historical and cultural values of Korean sports, the Taereung Training Center is a space where the traces of the dedication and hard work of countless national team members remain to this day. Since its opening, the training center has been recognized for its central role in the development of sports in Korea and selected as a “Future Heritage” of Seoul in December 2014. The restoration of a world heritage site that humanity is responsible for preserving and handing down to future generations and the preservation of the sports facilities that have served as the heart of Korean sports are two challenges that must be confronted and overcome by not only cultural and sports circles in Korea but all Korean citizens as well.

Incheon Jung-gu Office: The History of Government Offices in Incheon

Construction of the present-day Incheon Jung-gu Office began on August 19, 1932. After a total of six modifications to the floor plan, the office building was completed on June 20, 1933, with one basement level and two above-ground floors. Jung-gu Office is located on Incheon’s Gaehang Nuri-gil, which is where many Japanese settled after they opened the Incheon port and where visitors can now enjoy the pleasures of modern Incheon. Jung-gu Office is a particularly symbolic building, having begun as the Japanese Consulate following the opening of the port and still remaining in use today as a government building. After years of service as the Japanese Consulate and 40 years as an Incheon city government building, discussions began to be held about remodeling the decrepit building. Completely lacking the decorations of the more eclectic architecture that was popular at the time of its construction, Jung-gu Office was built in a simplified, yet modern architectural style from the 1930s. The main building is flanked by the east and west annex, which are connected to the second story of the main building. As it has been used as a public building since its construction, the exterior of Jung-gu Office is relatively well preserved. On the other hand, continuous extension and extensive remodeling projects have changed the interior of the building dramatically. Nonetheless, the office building still remains a symbol of the administration of Incheon, spanning from the opening of the port, the colonial period, and liberation to the modern era of today.

Yanghwadaegyo (Bridge): The Second Hangang Bridge

Near Hapjeong-dong, where Yanghwajin—one of the three docks along the Hangang (River)—was once located, a bridge was built in 1965 to connect Yanghwajin and Dangsan-dong, Yeongdeung-po. Except for the now torn down Gwangjingyo (Bridge), Yanghwadaegyo was the second bridge built along the Hangang (River), about 50 years after the construction of the Hangang Bridge. Therefore, at the time, it was known as the “Second Hangang Bridge.” With four lanes on each side, it is a large bridge with a total of eight lanes. However, in the safety inspections carried out after the collapse of Seongsudaegyo (Bridge) in 1994, Yanghwadaegyo (Bridge) received the worst evaluation of the 15 bridges in Seoul, following which it underwent extensive repairs over a six-year period. Although the construction of the bridge seems quite basic in this day and age, it was a major undertaking that presented considerable construction challenges at the time. Nonetheless, Korea built the Second Hangang Bridge using only domestic manpower and technology. The glory and joy Korean’s experienced on the day the construction of Yanghwadaegyo (Bridge) was completed is still preserved in the Han River that continues to flow beneath it.

Kukkiwon: The World Taekwondo Headquarters

San 76, Yeoksam-dong, Seongdong-gu (currently Gangnam-gu), Seoul. Starting out as the “Korea Taesudo Association” in 1961, the association changed its name to the “Korea Taekwondo Association” in 1965, finally becaming known as “Kukkiwon,” the realized dream of all Taekwondo masters, on November 19, 1971 . Over KRW 150 million was invested in the construction of the Kukkiwon, which was built on a plot of land more than 70,000 square feet in area. The ferroconcrete building has one basement level and three above-ground floors. Built with blue giwa roof tiles, which symbolize the beauty and elegance of Korean-style housing, and eight cylindrical columns, which symbolize the Taeguk patterns of the eight trigrams, the World Taekwondo Headquarters can accommodate 3,000 people in its over 8,000-square-foot arena, which is located near Teheran-ro in the center of Gangnam, Seoul. The road in front of the Kukkiwon was given the honorary name “Kukkiwon-gil” so as to reinforce the status of Korea as the origin of Taekwondo to all Taekwondo masters and visitors to the headquarters. In the past, when there was no adequate space or facility to hold taekwondo competitions, the headquarters was the long-desired dream of 1.3 million Taekwondo masters, making the construction of the Kukkiwon a particularly moving experience for them.

Hyehwa Catholic Church: The Origin of Modern Church Architecture in Korea

Located a short distance from Daehak-ro, Seoul’s street of youth and culture, the Hyehwa-dong Rotary area is called the “home of faith” by Korean Catholics, as it is home to the Catholic University of Korea, the first Korean seminary, Dongsung High School (which is a Catholic institution), and Hyehwa Catholic Church, the central Catholic church in northern Seoul. Hyehwa Catholic Church is the third church in Korea to be consecrated, following Myeongdong Catholic Church and Yakhyeon Catholic Church. After the Order of Saint Benedict left the Hyehwa-dong area, it was replaced by the current church in 1927. However, with the growth of its congregation following the Korean War, the 1,400-square-foot church needed to be expanded.
The new church was built by Chang Bal (Thomas Chang), a pioneer of Catholic art and the younger brother of Prime Minister Chang Myun (John Myun Chang). At the time, he was the dean of the School of Art at Seoul National University. The architect of the church was Lee Hui-tae, who also designed Jeoldusan Catholic Church.
In the spring of 1960, Hyehwa Catholic Church was completed, built in an architectural style that was unprecedented at the time. Instead of the gothic cruciform structure that was popular at the time, the cathedral was built as one large integrated space. With a simple cubic design, the church went on to become a space for the general public rather than an authoritative religious institution.

Unification House: The Residence of Moon Ik-hwan

Reverend Moon Ik-hwan was a South Korean minister who was active in the Korean independence and democratization movements. After his best friend, Yun Dong-ju, passed away in prison immediately prior to liberation, and another friend, Jang Jun-ha, died under suspicious circumstances in 1975, Moon was imprisoned six times. He spent a total of 12 years in prison between 1976, beginning with the March 1 Declaration for the Salvation of the Nation, and his death at the age of 77. Throughout his life, he longed for the unification of the two Koreas. Located in a residential area in Suyu-ri, Gangbuk-gu, on the way to Insubong (Peak) of Bukhansan (Mountain), with a mountain range in the background, is the residence of Moon Ik-hwan, better known as “Unification House.” Reverend Moon’s wife and partner, Park Yong-gil, known as “Unification Lady,” also spent her life working for the unification of the two Koreas and the democratization of the country. She opened her home to anyone who wanted to meet and talk about unification. Built in the 1960s, the house was renovated in 1997 after some construction workers, having heard the house needed repairs after 30 years of use, collected donations and carried out the repairs themselves. However, since the Unification Lady passed away, the house has been largely neglected, with only the old household articles that were once used by Reverend Moon and his wife lying around the house. Among them are numerous documents and records, such as sermon notes, declarations, journal entries, letters from prison, and records left by his children after they visited him in prison, many of which have not been made public. Also, the prison uniform he wore during his imprisonment is still enshrined in the house.