The memorial hall is dedicated to Chiang Kai-shek, the former president of the republic of China. It is situated in the middle of a large park on "Liberty Square", framed by the National Theater and the National concert hall. Immediately after the death of Chiang in 1975 an architectural design competition was held. Yang Cho-cheng's "Chinese" design won, being related to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing. Four years later the hall was inaugurated in time for the fifth anniversary of the death of Chiang. The main building is situated at the Eastern end of the memorial park. Three large, decorative gates mark the western end of Chung Shan South Road, Hsin Yi Road and Ai Kuo East Road. A landscaped Boulevard connects the Great Hall with a Plaza, that is called "Liberty Square" since 2007.
The white hall carries an octagonal blue tile roof that is 76 m tall. Together with the red flowers in the park the national colors of the Taiwanese flag are represented this way. The octagonal floor plan refers to the number 8, a lucky number in Chinese culture. Two grand stair cases with 89 steps each (one for each year that Chiang lived) lead to the main entrance and its 16 m tall doors. At the center of the hall there is a great bronze depicting Chiang. The ground floor contains a library and museum. When in 2007 Chen Shui-bian became the first non-KMT President in Taiwan, he renamed the hall into "National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall" and the plaza in front "Liberty Square". With the latest change in government the name change was reversed.
National Theater and National Concert Hall
These two cultural centers in the heart of the Zhongzheng Distrcit of Taipei are the most famous performance venues in Taiwan. They frame the Liberty Square in the North and South in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. When Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975, the Kuomintang decided to build the culture centre. It was designed by architect Yang Cho-cheng. Architecturally Yang's design reflects the Chinese Palace architecture. Both halls can cater to at least two events simultaneously.
Besides the great hall, the national theatre contains a smaller, more experimental theater and the concert hall features a secondary, more intimate auditorium.The space between the buildings can be used for performances as well. The Dutch organ in the Concert hall was the largest anywhere in Asia when it was built. Part of the complex are galleries, a library, shops and restaurants. The editorial offices of the Performing Arts Review are also situated in the building. The theater can be used for Kabuki, Opera, Dance or Puppet theater and has an according flexibility.