Chen Shi-yin Western Style House陳詩吟洋樓
In 1903, merchant Chen Shi-yin who was born in Gaokeng, Kinmen, traveled to Singapore and Indonesia to set up a trade in local specialty products. When World War I broke out, the surge in demand for resources between 1914~1918 made him immensely rich. He and his fourth wife Hsueh Hsien-Chen (born in Jhushan, Kinmen) returned to his hometown in 1932 and commissioned a Western-style house at Houpu. Chen was not personally involved in the project, as he was kept busy running his business, so everything was managed by his wife and nephew Chen Wen-Fan. The new house was only half complete when Chen passed away in Kinmen. As for his wife, she lived in the Western-style house for less than four years before the war with Japan broke out. She fled to Singapore, leaving the house in the care of relatives and never took up residence in Kinmen again. At one point, it was used to house teachers at the Kinmen Senior High School (around 1983). The building itself had a protruding "Turtle Head" entry and also a rear annex so was very extensive. The fine detailing included both Western and Chinese influences such as the gable at the front, column heads and eaves. On the side wall panels, bamboo-shaped ceramic downpipes were fitted to channel rainwater flowing down from the roofs. Glazed tiles were used for the outside verandahs painted with flowers and fruits. The doorway couplets were written by Fu Hsi-Chi, a local Houpu notable. Inside were heavy roller doors to ensure that the building was well protected against outside threats.
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