Old Lin’s Department Store

Old Lin's Department Store

Old Lin's Department Store is a ghost of past glory.

Old Lin’s Department Store

One of the many beautiful deserted buildings in Tainan, Lin’s Department Store has seen better days. During the 1930s it was the premiere department store in Tainan, and at the time it was quite comparable with Chu-Yuan Department Store in Taipei. As part of Tainan’s most prosperous area at the time, Moguang Ting, Lin’s Department Store sat as a cornerstone to Tainan’s fashionable shopping district. Though this area is no longer known for high-class shopping, its location across from the historic Land Bank (Kangyo Bank) shows there was once prosperity on the corner of Zhongyi and Zhongzheng (Jhongyi and JhongJheng) Roads.

This was of course the era of Japanese colonization, and a time in which the Japanese were pushing to modernize Tainan. Though it doesn’t share the same surfacing as other period buildings like the Tainan Railway Station or the Joint Offices of The Fire and Police Departments, you can still see similarities in the window designs, particularly in the circular windows that appear on all three buildings. This was the first building in Tainan equipped with an elevator system, and at six stories, it must’ve been one of the tallest buildings in the city. Like Tainan’s current premier department store, Mitsukoshi, Lin’s Department Store was Japanese-owned.

Lin’s Department Store suffered considerable damage during World War II and never returned to its past glory. Since that time it has been used as the salt-making directorate-general, a military office and a police station. It is now derelict, but it is in the city’s plan to begin restoration.

Location: No.63, Section 2, Zhongyi Road, West Central District, Tainan City, Taiwan 700

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