鹿港老街換新裝

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1993 / 11月

文‧滕淑芬 圖‧鄭元慶


修房子、大興土木,在中國人社會來說,是一件光宗耀祖的事。所謂「光耀門楣」,是形容門面做得漂亮,祖上就有光彩。

彰化鹿港兩條老街上八十餘戶住戶,在七十五年由政府出錢修復祖宗留下來的老房子,一修修了四年。這件台灣省有史以來第一個維修老街案例,是成是敗?住在老房子堛漱H,又怎麼說?


提起鹿港,你想到什麼?小吃、手工藝、燈籠、香舖、南管、廟宇……還有還有——只見一線天光、只容一人走過的狹窄巷道,常會令人納悶:如果這時對面有人迎來,倒底誰要讓誰呢?這條令人為難的巷道就是「君子巷」,它的另一個名字更有名氣,「摸乳巷」是也。

這些組合就是一趟鹿港之旅的精華。

綿延二百公尺長的埔頭街、瑤林街,正在這趟古蹟民俗之旅的路上。

「原來這就是三百年前台灣人住的房子啊!怎麼這麼新?」「因為才剛修好嘛!」遇到周末假日或節慶,這一排嶄新的建築物,的確吸引了不少遊客。面對這台灣的傳統市街,正是內行人看門道,外行人看熱鬧了。

先保存再說

大部分的觀光客初來乍到,都大為讚賞。秀雅的房厝,多麼令人起思古悠情呀!

有考據癖的人說,鹿港老街修好了,可是原本因不同時間造就出來的市街風格,如今完全看不出來,每一家的外觀修成一樣後,變成一個個「樣本」。

不同看法的人辯稱,外牆應該用大磚頭或小磚頭的形式問題,只是旁枝末節;鹿港的成功在於早年就有全面保存觀念,和單棟建築物比較起來,市街更能把人和空間的整體關係呈現出來。

修這一排房子,要不少錢吧?不多不少,新台幣一億。不過,房子修好了,老街堛漱H,反倒是有苦說不出。為什麼呢?

在老街經營藝品店的洪逸仙,談起他們家會漏水的屋頂只說,「也不知道有多少人來看過,也修過好幾次,還不是一樣漏」。一到下雨的日子,老街不少住戶都有「屋外下大雨、屋內下小雨」,臉盆擺一排的經驗。

外面下大雨、堶惜U小雨

「老房子不符合現代人生活需要,堶惆S有紗窗,外頭是一盞灰暗的燈籠,連路燈都沒有」,另一位住戶這樣反應。

「觀光客都說漂亮,你們要不要住住看?有些人老遠從台北來,沒敲門就闖進來,不讓他們進來,就說鹿港人沒人情味。觀光客只看一次,我們一天有十幾個人進來,怎麼辦?」一位住戶說。

房子修了四年,老街住戶看著屋頂見天,樑柱拆了,日常生活受到干擾,也倍受工程品質困擾,孰可忍孰不可忍,幾度到縣府抗議。

民眾的責難,也許不是無的放矢,不過彰化縣政府也有無奈之處。禮俗文獻課課長粘振裕指出,七十一年「文化資產保存法」才實施,七十五年鹿港首開風氣之先,修老街的時候,「大家也都不懂」。

保存的大原則沒有錯,修老房子的眾多難處又在那兒?

鹿港老街被劃入保存區,最早可以追溯到民國六十二年。當時鹿港地方人士為了修護有二百年歷史的廟宇「龍山寺」,求助於當時東海大學建築系教授漢寶德,並接受了保存的建議。

由於有專業建築學者的大力支持,加上七十年代初期,正逢經濟低迷,被劃入保存區的幾條老街,景況冷清,為了日後發展,當時居民配合的意願相當高。規劃案完成,行政院並核定維修經費由中央、省、縣共同分攤。

老匠師,手藝好

有錢好辦事的想法,用在單棟建築物的維修上,也許還行得通;如今是一條街,所有權人多達數十位,錢的問題解決了,還得聽聽每戶人家對自己房子不同的要求。就這樣一邊修、一邊解決問題,工程也就拖得長了些。

「中國傳統建築有其深奧之處,工匠和屋主之間自有一套倫理,老師傅來做工,屋主會準備好香菸、茶水,做工的人也知道要對房子負責」,在老街租屋住了一年、經營鹿港「左羊藝術工作坊」的黃志農認為,由於是政府出錢修房子,大多數住戶覺得他們的立場很尷尬,不知道自己對房子修護能有多少「自主權」?

外人把有歷史價值的老街視為「寶」,但每天在堶措L日子的住戶看到的是,連在自己家婺邟N氣,也要向上申請;現代生活應有的享受,處處受限。他們體會不出這個「寶」,為他們帶來什麼「好」!?

負責執行修繕計畫的漢光建築師事務所,首當其衝地被指名應對修繕結果負責。執行人閻亞寧事後檢討說,老街修護失敗在沒有讓民眾參與,鹿港經驗給他們上了寶貴一課,「前面溝通工作一定要先做」。

修完房子後,大家終於體認到早先就該成立一個由住戶、里長、老師等意見領袖組成的中介團體,做為溝通橋樑。

行政程序別塞車

保存區住戶之一、在鹿港福興國中任教的王康壽老師表示,「說是慢工出細活,事實上是在行政程序打轉。隔壁家屋頂樑柱有三根要換,屋頂拆了下來,後來又發現另外兩根也必須換掉,為了這多出的兩根柱子,就先停工、然後變更設計、再追加預算,結果淋雨淋了半年。」

從保存區地勢太低,致使下雨天淹水,和其他如屋頂漏水、樑柱被白蟻蛀蝕等大問題;到有人在乎:對閩南式建築考據不夠嚴謹、老街也應該有現代生活享受、以及觀光妨礙住家生活……,種種引發出來的問題,歸因於大家都經驗不足。但這如今花大錢得來的「後見之明」,卻異常珍貴。

除了大問題,還有些該注意的小處,譬如說當住戶提出他們家桌子四個角要雕花的要求時,該不該答應呢?「我們要顧慮的是公平性,這家做了那家要不要做?」執行人閻亞寧問,如果有個能和住戶直接溝通的中介團體,這些難處都可以一一提出來,有個合理的解決。

「住戶的牢騷也不見得都有道理,但是有人住的保存區,是有生命力的,所以芝麻大的問題都要一一解決」,東海大學歷史系副教授洪敏麟接受省府民政廳委託,對鹿港保存區的一期工程進行評估,他建議主管機關多給住戶一點安慰和優待,譬如說冷氣機只要不裝在窗口,不破壞原來景觀,也可以讓住戶有現代生活享受。

先虧錢,再結果

至於觀光上的考量,觀光客老遠跑來,也不能讓他們入寶山空手回。也許一個月開放一家讓外人參觀,是可行之道。此外,洪敏麟指出,老街上幾家店面,也有必要成立一個營業委員會,周詳規劃商家特色,而不是任意競爭。像現在有人看鄰居賣什麼東西,也如法炮製,結果都賺不了什麼錢。

鹿港有一句俗諺說,「金蛋生在中山路,拉屎拉在埔頭街」,和埔頭街平行的大馬路——中山路,因位於老街附近,享受了老街帶來觀光人潮的利益。老街上的住戶想的是,他們生活的社區,應該才是會下金蛋的金鵝吧!為了老街日後的維修能持續下去,這則各說各話的「羅生門」故事,其實到此也該落幕了。

〔圖片說明〕

P.16

觀光之道為何?那就是即使想入內參觀,也要徵得住戶同意。

P.17

鹿港老街承襲閩南式店屋特性:木造結構、共同壁、面寬窄而進深長。

P.18

樑柱被蟲蛀,再碰到下雨天,就更傷腦筋了。

P.19

老房子翻新,每個人看了內部都直誇漂亮。

P.20

(上、下)三姑六婆閒話家常,幼兒一旁嬉戲,這是我們溫馨的社區。

P.21

這是古老的、有歷史的鹿港,再比照現在模樣,看倌有何不同感受?(鹿港文教基金會提供)

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近期文章

EN

A New Look for an Old Street

Teng Sue-feng /photos courtesy of Cheng Yuan-ching /tr. by . Jonathan Barnard

In Chinese society making major repairs to one's home is thought to bring honor on one's ancestors. The expression "a glorious lintel" describes the glory given one's ancestors by living in a beautiful house.

There are more than 80 households in the two old streets of Lukang in Changhua County. In 1986, the government paid for the repairs of their houses, which had been passed down in families for generations. This was the first time entire streets had been restored in Taiwan. Was the restoration a success or failure? what do the people who live in the old houses think?


When someone mentions Lukang, what comes to mind are snacks, handicrafts, paper lanterns, incense shops, nankuan music, temples. . . and there's also that narrow street with only a single, thin shaft of light above and with only enough space down below for one person to walk through. When passing someone going the other direction, who gives way to whom? This is "gentlemen's alley," better known as "breast rubbing alley" due to the forced proximity to others its narrowness engenders.

The combined elements of this scene are what going to Lukang is all about.

And no trip to the historical relics of Lukang would be complete without a visit to the 200-meterlong Putou and Yaolin streets.

"Ah, so this home is 300 years old? Why does it seem so new?" "Because it's just been restored!" On a weekend or holiday, the stretch of buildings in brand-new condition attracts quite a few visitors. Facing this traditional Taiwanese city street, those in the know peruse the architecture, while the uninitiated soak up the excitement all around them.

First protect them:

When tourists first arrive, they spend most of their time praising their surroundings. How these exquisite buildings foster recollections of days past!

True, sticklers for detail may say that the different styles of individual houses were given short shrift in the restoration of the old streets of Lukang, with the result being that all the houses now look more or less the same.

But others point out that such questions as whether to use large or small bricks for exterior walls are just side issues. Lukang is successful because early on there was a conception of overall preservation. Much more than individual buildings, city streets are able to show the relationship of people and space.

How much did repairing this row of houses cost, you wonder. About what you might expect: NT$100 million. Yet now that the houses have been repaired, the people who live there have their own stories of personal hardship? Why is that?

Speaking of how his roof leaks, Hung Yi-hsien, Who runs an arts and crafts store on one of the old streets, says calmly, "I don't know how many people I've seen about it, and it's been repaired countless times, but it still leaks. Many of those living in the houses along the street have the experience of putting out the pots and pans to catch the drips on rainy days, when a downpour outside will bring a drizzle in."

A downpour outside, a drizzle in:

"Old houses don't meet the living needs of modern people," another resident reflects. "There are no screen windows, and the outside is lit only by dim paper lanterns. There are not even any street lights."

"The tourists all say it's so beautiful," says still another, "but you ought to try living here. Some people from Taipei come in without even knocking. If we don't let them in, they say that Lukang people aren't friendly. A tourist only comes here once, but we can have more than ten a day who want to come in. What should we do?"

During the four years when the old streets were being repaired, the residents would look at their ceilings and see the sky. Their rafters and beams were removed, and their everyday lives were disturbed. They even had complaints about the quality of the work. When they couldn't stand it any longer, they took their complaints to the county government.

While the people's criticisms may not have been without cause, the Changhua County government had its own difficulties. Nien Chen-yu, director of the department of customs and documents, points out that the "Cultural Resource Preservation Act" didn't go into effect until 1982 and work began restoring the old street in Lukang in 1986, making the project the first of its kind in Taiwan. "At first nobody knew what they were doing!"

There's nothing wrong with preservation in principle, but there are problems galore in practice.

The first steps to designate Lukang's old streets as a preservation district were taken way back in 1973. In order to repair Lukang's 200-year-old Lungshan Temple, its residents asked for help from Han Pao-te, then professor of architecture at Tunghai University, and they accepted the suggestion of preserving the old streets.

They did so both because architectural scholars forcefully expressed their support for the plan and because in the economic downturn of the early eighties prospects looked gloomy without the plan. The residents were willing to cooperate for the sake of better times ahead. Once the plan was finished, the Executive Yuan designated that the expenditures would be split between the central, provincial and county governments.

Don't make them like they used to:

It may be that money makes things easy in the case of a single building, but here was a whole street waiting to be restored, with dozens of owners. Even with the money problem resolved, there were still all those different requests the residents would make for their houses. And so the restoration and the resolving of their problems would have to be done at the same time, and this would delay completion.

"Traditional Chinese architecture has its mysterious points," says Huang Chih-nung, who runs The Left Goat Workshop and has rented house on one of the old streets for a year. "There's a moral contract between the craftsman and owner. When the craftsmen came to work, the owner of the house would have already prepared cigarettes and tea for them, and the craftsmen would know that they bear responsibility for the house." He says that the government's putting up funds for the restoration has put the residents in a difficult position. They don't know how much "autonomy" they have over their own houses.

Outsiders value this old street as a "treasure," but those who pass their days from inside must file an application just to put an air conditioner in their own home. Restrictions are placed everywhere on their access to the standard comforts of modern living. They can't see what good this "treasure" has brought them.

Hankuang, the architectural firm responsible for carrying out the restoration, was the first party pointed at to take responsibility for the results. Yen Ya-ning, the executive responsible, says they made a mistake in not allowing for more public participation. The experience in Lukang taught them a valuable lesson: "First you've got to open up channels of communication."

Afterwards, everyone realized that they should have organized a group of opinion leaders, including district chiefs, teachers and respected residents, who could have served as intermediaries.

Administration, not red tape:

Wang kang-shou, a resident of the preservation district who is also a teacher at Fuhsing Junior High in Lukang, says, "You can say that going slowly will make the job well done, but in reality most of the time was wasted on administrative procedures. The house next door had three roof beams that needed to be replaced and so they took the roof off; then they discovered that two more needed to be replaced. For the sake of these two beams work had to be stopped. Then they had to redo the design and recalculate the projected costs. The result was that the house Was open to the rain for half a year."

From the leaky roofs, termite-eaten beams and the flooding that was a result of the preservation district being too low, to the residents' demands for the comforts of modern living, tourists' interference in the lives of the residents, and the perfunctoriness of attempts to build in the traditional southern Fukienese style. . . all sorts of problems were the result of people not having enough experience. But these are lessons learned by doing, a treasure well worth its cost.

Besides these big problems, there are a few smaller points deserving attention. For example, households would request that they wanted all four legs of their table carved. Should such demands be met? "We had to consider the question of fairness, "recalls Yen Ya-ning. "If we did it for this household, would that one want it as well?" If there had been a group in the middle that could have directly talked with the residents, there would have been a reasonable resolution of the problems one after another.

"The residents' whining isn't always justified, but these people have to live in the preservation district and so problems big and small must all be resolved," says Hung Min-lin, a professor of history at Tunghai University, who was commissioned by the Department of Civil Affairs of the provincial government to assess the first period of restoration in the preservation district in Lukang. He suggested the supervisory authorities show a little more compassion for the residents, such as by allowing them to install air conditioners as long as they don't put them in windows or disturb the outward appearance of the building. It's still possible to let the residents enjoy the conveniences of modern living.

First money, then results:

And if tourists are coming from afar, you have to give them what they've come for. Opening one home a month for them might be the way to go, Hung suggested. He pointed out that the stores along the old streets need to establish an association and try to specialize so as not to create detrimental competition. Now people sell what they see is selling next door, and as a result no one makes any money.

There's an expression in Lukang that goes like this: "The golden eggs are laid on Chungshan and the turds come out on Putou." Chungshan Street, a big thoroughfare running parallel with Putou Street, enjoys the benefits of the great tide of tourists visiting the old alleys nearby. The residents of the old street think that the community in which they live ought to be the goose that lays the golden eggs. This period of bickering will have to come to a close if restoration is to continue.

[Picture Caption]

p.16

How should tourists behave? If you want to go in for a look, first get the owner's approval.

p.17

The old streets of Lukang exhibit the typical characteristics of Haklo style shops: wooden construction, common walls, narrow and deep layout.

p.18

Eaten rotten by insects, the beams are further imperiled by the rains.

p.19

When people take a look inside the renovated houses.they are quick to praise.

p.20

As the women gossip, the children laugh and play. This is our happy community.

p.21

This is the Lukang of years past. In comparison to the Lukang of today, what feelings does it evoke?(photo courtesy of the Lukang Cultural Foundation)

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