Ancient city wall found, to be restored in Seoul
January 6, 2009
SEOUL — In 1925 the Japanese occupying Korea demolished one of the country’s cultural treasures to make way for a baseball field — something Seoul city officials hope to reverse by 2011.
Late last year, construction crews tearing down Dongdaemun baseball stadium to make way for Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park discovered partial remains of a wall constructed in 1396 that the Japanese had razed. The site is a five-minute walk from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District compound.
Project director Lee Gwang-seok said his team will restore the roughly 400-foot section of what was once an 11-mile wall surrounding downtown Seoul.
Lee said the wall will be added to the list of attractions at the park, which crews are slated to break ground on in April.
"It is the greatest historical event to find this ruins of the wall believed to have been demolished during aggression of Japanese rule," Lee said.
Lee said the wall is one of the oldest surviving examples of architecture from the 1392 to 1910 Chosun dynasty, and crews should have it excavated and restored by the time the park opens in 2011.
Also included in the park, Lee said, will be a convention hall, an exhibition hall, education and information centers and a museum dedicated to the fashion industry.
"Seoul city is very ambitious about making the … site into a landmark of architecture that represents Seoul city," Lee said.
By Jimmy Norris/Stars and Stripes
The remains of a wall that surrounded downtown Seoul are currently being excavated near Dongdaemun Stadium. City officials said excavation and restoration of the wall should be complete by late 2011 when Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Park opens.