Hanyang University History Museum Becomes a Cultural Property of Korea
The symbolic architecture of Hanyang becoming an invaluable asset of Korea
Copy URL / Share SNS
On May 7th, 2019, on the school's 80th anniversary, Hanyang University History Museum (Old Administration Building) was designated as the 751st registered cultural property of Korea. Registered cultural properties are valuable pieces of heritage from modern times subjected to national preservation and maintenance. The registration of the History Museum holds significance as it indicates the acknowledgment of Hanyang University's value at the national level.
Hanyang University, initially established in 1939 as Dong-a Engineering College, moved around several times and settled in its current location in 1953. At the time, the Old Administration Building was a two-story wooden building. In 1956, a three-story stone building was constructed, forming the base of the current structure. However, most of the building was destroyed by a fire in 1963, and a large-scale reconstruction took place over the next two years. The result was the Old Administration Building, better known as Hanyang University History Museum today. It was used as the school's Administration Building until 2008, and was recently renovated into the History Museum in 2015.
Cultural properties are modern cultural heritages selected for their significant historical value, and were made between the enlightenment and the Korean War. The Cultural Heritage Administration has been registering cultural heritage pieces since 2002, including 800 properties thus far. The Hanyang University History Museum is their latest registration, thus showing acknowledgment of its architectural value.
Hanyang University History Museum curator Hwang Na-Young explains that the building is a representative example of the style of conventional college main buildings in the 1950s. The typical neoclassical form of the era was well preserved in the symmetrical six columns and the triangular roof structure. In addition, the Cultural Heritage Administration notes that the registration of this building, which is the symbolic heart of Hanyang campus, as a cultural property, indicates their acknowledgement of the role of Hanyang University as the first private engineering college which over the years has produced many pivotal figures in Korea’s economic development.
Hanyang University's status, fame, and reputation today seem natural, as if almost effortlessly achieved. However, looking at the History Museum, the symbolic building that has stood throughout our history, reminds the world of the long and bright path Hanyang has been walking. Coinciding with Hanyang's 80th anniversary, the museum’s registration as a cultural property shines a light on the path of the rise Hanyang has taken and will continue to take in the future.
Lim Ji-woo email@example.com Photos by Lee Hyeon-seon