Underwood Memorial House designated cultural heritage site - The Korea Times
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Underwood Memorial House designated cultural heritage site

Underwood Memorial House / Courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration
Underwood Memorial House / Courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration

By Park Ji-won

Underwood Memorial House, the residence of Horace Horton Underwood, who served as the third president of Yonhi College, the predecessor of Yonsei University, was designated as a cultural heritage site for its historical value as a work of Western architecture, along with three other sites, according to the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA).

"Horace Horton Underwood built the house in 1927. It is worth preserving because it is part of the history of the university, it has traits of modern Western architecture and a unique design," the CHA said.

Underwood (1890-1951) was a U.S. missionary and educator who later served as president of the university.

His grandson, Horace Grant Underwood III, lived in the house until 1974, according to Yonsei University. Once a site becomes a registered cultural heritage site, its owner or manager can receive guidance for preservation from the administration.

In addition to the house, the CHA also said that a textbook for sign language, the first helicopter for firefighting and a stone for land measuring were also registered as cultural heritage items.

A textbook for sign language made by the Seoul School for the Deaf / Courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration
A textbook for sign language made by the Seoul School for the Deaf / Courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration
"The textbook has social and historical value. It's rare because it is a textbook made by the principal and teachers by compiling commonly used language to educate the deaf, so that their students could easily learn sign language. It is worthwhile to preserve because it is a record of the sign language of the deaf in Korea, as well as evidence of the efforts to include the deaf in society."

"Ggachi No. 2" is the first firefighting helicopter introduced into Korea, from 1980. Until 2005, when it ended its tour of duty, the helicopter was dispatched to more than 3,000 scenes for firefighting and rescuing, saving about 900 people. In particular, it was dispatched during major incidents, such as the Seongsoo Bridge and Sampoong Department Store collapses (1995). The CHA said that it is worthwhile to preserve the helicopter because it played a key role in rescue missions.

Meanwhile, a stone for land measuring, used in the nationwide land measuring project of the 1910s, was also designated as a cultural heritage object, as it was used for true-range multilateration and serves as evidence for the way land started to be measured in the modern period.


Park Ji-won jwpark@koreatimes.co.kr


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