This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hotels Opening from 1969-1971, Taipei, Taiwan

Toward the end of our tour of duty in August of 1969, several hotels had been built and were just months from opening.

Two others were just breaking ground and would be open for use within the next couple of years.

Photo by R. Lentz; courtesy of

Located south of the King's Hotel at the right of this picture, the Central Hotel with the revolving restaurant on the top floor can easily be seen.

When we took pictures from the restaurant in August of 1969, the hotel was not open but was near the end of construction.

We simply climbed to the top and into the restaurant which was shaped like a flying saucer. We were neither stopped nor questioned.

From that angle, we had an excellent view from which to take some photos. 

Looking north and east off Chung Shan North Road are two hotels which were also being completed in this August 1969 photo.

This vantage point of the Central Hotel restaurant had an excellent angle to view the Hotel New Asia and the Olympic Hotel which are side-by-side.

Also, notice the 3 smaller buildings which are contiguous to the left (north) of the Olympic Hotel.

At the southeast corner of the Chung Shan/Min Chuan intersection, you can see the construction of what would be the Majestic Hotel in just its beginning stages. 

From the same angle as before, the camera was tilted up so that the entire intersection and northerly direction of Chung Shan North (ZhongShan) can be shown.

Also, the picture shows the area of Taipei all the way to the north toward Yangmingshan. I'll bet most of us didn't realize how much of a dogleg right the road took.

On the northeast corner of the intersection, the office of Northwest Orient Airlines can be seen.

The final picture taken from the Central Hotel restaurant was the area directly south. Is that the Ambassador Hotel on the far left side?

Photo by M. Wagner; courtesy of

This is a great picture as very seldom can you get to see the methods of construction in Taipei during that decade.

Not only was the scaffolding used during the building of the Majestic Hotel fashioned from bamboo, but bamboo was used to cover the edifice during and after work was completed.

I was told that the bamboo cover kept the direct rays of the sun from curing the poured concrete too quickly. The covering might remain for months.

Photo by Don Price; courtesy of

Here is the handsome facade of the Majestic Hotel as it appeared sometime during 1970-71.

Notice the columns as they appear at ground level.

The 3 buildings between the Majestic and the Olympic can be seen easily.

Photo by Jim Valkwitch; courtesy of

Another photo of the Majestic Hotel is shown here.

Perhaps a branch of the First Commercial Bank was always part of the building.

Here is the former Majestic Hotel building as it appears today. The entire edifice is now The Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank Limited.

With the 1990 purchase of the Majestic Hotel, the second largest privately owned bank in Taiwan had its Taipei headquarters on Min Chun (MinQuan) East Road.

The ground level columns can be seen as well as the 3 adjacent buildings proceeding south.

The fronts of the old Olympic and New Asia Hotels can also be viewed. 

A night view of the bank and surroundings

A Google Earth Street View is looking northeast on ZhongShan North Road.

The Hotel New Asia is now the K Hotel. The old Olympic Hotel is vacant in this 2006 picture.

The 3 buildings south of the Shanghai Bank building are still standing as well.

Photo by Les Duffin; courtesy of 02/06/2010

As the Majestic Hotel was being built further south on Chung Shan North Road, construction on the Roma Hotel shown here was concurrent.

It stood at the northeast corner of Chung Shan North Road and Min Tsu (Minzu) East Road. This might be a 1972 photo.

The above building which once was the Roma Hotel still stands at the location described.

Taken in 2006, the building's facade shown here is much different than it is today.

It was remodeled for the 2011 floral exhibit and the facade changed as did the interior.


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