Chen Tian Lai’s Residence
Declared by Taipei City Department of Cultural Affairs as Historical Building in 2006 No. 09530340500.
Guide Street symbolizes tea-enabled wealth and boom in Dadaocheng, which was among Taiwan’s most prosperous regions in the early days.
As one of the many businessmen who earned enviable amounts of fortune in the country’s tea business, Chen Tian Lai founded Gen Kee Tea Co. and reinvested his profits in the entertainment industry, such as restaurant and theaters.
The current Chen Tian Lai Residence at 73 Guide Street used to house the former Gen Kee Tea Co and private residence on a 9,676 sq ft lots. This three-story Baroque structure was completed in 1924 with the first floor dedicated to tea trading, the second floor serving as a VIP Lounge for tea-traders, and the third floor as private residence.
The main structure of this imposing European-style house, flanked by guard towers on both sides, as well as classic colonnade and arched hallway, is adorned with baroque details as festoons and balconies. This historic residence used to be a renowned tea party spot in Dadaocheng, where tea-traders met regularly at the VIP Lounge to enjoy the view at the Tamsui Wharf in the distance.
Behind the Residence, a private garden adjacent to Gang-zi Ditch (the present-day Xining North Road) bears testimony to the heyday of Dadaocheng in the first half of the 20th century.
News release on the opening of the building. Hundreds of VIP’s from around the world are attending the house-warming party over a 5-day period.
陳家為慶祝新居落成，舉辦慶祝晚宴，當時依《臺灣日日新報》報導，可見 當日盛況：「…去二三夜七時頃。於新築樓下。大開批露會。各界來賓，百數 十名列席。先有女優演劇助興。綺筵既啓。如花如錦之紅袖十數名。齊出侑酒。賓主暢飲。觴且竟。以木村商銀頭取發聲。三呼陳家萬歲。九時頃來賓告退云。」