Standing on the mountain village Taiping, Taiping Elementary School was closed in 2017 because there were too few students. However, it overlooks the harbor city beneath, and this advantage has turned it into a special location to read the spatial structure and rich history of Keelung. As one of the few open areas in this mountain village, Keelung City Government attempts to accommodate this place’s geographical features, making it the latest tourist attraction on the West Coast .
After Taiping Elementary School stopped recruitment, it became the secret base of Keelung City Government first. Numerous meetings are held in this very place, and government employees paid great effort here. The architects who were responsible for this project boldly broke down the floors, unfolding the view from this building. In the beginning, opening a bookstore on a mountain sounds like an insane idea. But, in order to realize the dream of this city, and to make Taiping Elementary School a place of nurturing hopes, Taiping Bleu&Book settled here. In 2021, the opening of the bookstore was the cultural event of the year in Keelung. An opening of an independent bookstore could attract nearly a thousand people, this is the recognition given to Keelung by the public. “School is where knowledge is taught and where hopes are created. Since the closure of Taiping Elementary School, the city government has been thinking about the future of this place. It is extremely meaningful for it to become a bookstore, and the engine of municipal affairs,” said mayor of Keelung, Lin Yu-chang.
Bookstores are the engine of city values and new concepts. In recent years, the urban management strategies in Keelung have been based on culture, exploring the beauty of history in Keelung, and rendering the beauty of history into the beauty of the city. The establishment of Shawan Cultural Park of History is one example, Taiping Bleu&Book is another important one. Run by BleuBook Cultural Production, Bookstore “Bleu&Book” locates in HuaShan 1914 Creative Park, Sun Li-jen Residence in Pingtung, Sisi Nan Cun and Daan Forest Park, all carrying regional features. As the spirit of the city, they serve both as the window and the platform.
Located in the gorgeous scenery in Taiping Elementary School, Taiping Bleu&Book is not just the window which promotes cultural devotion in Keelung, it is going to have a great impact on the deepening of art and history, evoking diverse and immense local energies.
The purpose of Taiping Bleu&Book is to become the “lighthouse of knowledge” on the mountain of west coast Keelung. As a bookstore that looks back from the mountain and the ocean, with books as a starting point, Taiping Bleu&Book looks forward to promoting reading culture in Taiwan, igniting the fire of thoughts. In the future, there will be all sorts of art and cultural events here to bring the public again, the west coast Keelung with magnificent history. Also, the mayor expects that Taiping Bleu&Book is not merely a bookstore, but a place to create hopes and possibilities. Turning the impossible into the possible and realizing expectations and thoughts of the public, these are the significance of Taiping Bleu&Book settling down in Keelung.