Koreans study Yongsan architecture
Seoul National University graduate student Jeong Yeong-jin studies architecture Nov. 6 during a tour of Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, Republic of Korea.

<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - A group of Seoul National University graduate students and their professor toured the Garrison Nov. 6.

The seven students are in a master's degree program in landscape architecture. U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan recently <a href="http://yongsan.korea.army-mil.net/news/news/10252008110710.asp">gave a similar tour</a> to another group Oct. 21.

"We wanted to give the students a chance to see the landscape and consider the architectual possibilities," said Professor Jeong Wook-ju. "Yongsan Garrison will turn into a park in the future, and I wanted to give my students a chance to apply their knowledge to a real-world situation."

The group gathered at Commiskey's Restaurant for coffee and to meet with USAG-Yongsan Community Relations Officer An Chang-sin. An gave the group a comprehensive tour of the Garrison focusing on residential areas.

"I looked forward to this rare opportunity to tour Yongsan Garrison," said Jeong Yeong-jin, a participating student. "I wanted to see how it differs from Seoul outside the walls, as well as the landscape and installation."

Jeong said the installation felt like an "American suburb." "To me, there are many characteristic features that we would not find in Korea," he said. The tour included stops at historical sites around the Garrison. Yongsan was a Japanese Imperial Army post during the 1910-45 occupation.

An took the students to an old Japanese prison still standing on South Post.

"A lot of historical sites and buildings in Seoul were destroyed in the course of past conflicts including the Korean War," Professor Jeong said. "I'm glad to see an old compound such as this one intact." Overall, the group expressed surprise at how well the landscape and structures are conserved and maintained.

"Many Koreans, especially young adults, want to see what Yongsan Garrison looks like," An said. "I have always tried to invite Korean students to the garrison for educational purposes, and to build a good relationship with the local community."

An said he will keep giving tours to students. "It shows young Koreans that the U.S. Army is indeed a Good Neighbor."

Page last updated Sat November 15th, 2008 at 01:25