Seoul Children’s Grand Park: Revival of Kkummaru
The Gunjari Golf Course built in 1927 in Neung-dong, Gwangjin-gu, was the first golf course built in Korea. It was established by Youngchin, the last prince of the Korean Empire and the founder of Korea’s first golf club, Gyeongseong Golf Gurakbu (Club), after relocating the royal tomb of Empress Sunmyeong, wife of King Sunjong, to make way for the golf course. Seoul Children’s Grand Park now stands where the golf course once was. In 1970, the former golf course became the Seoul Country Club, after an architect built a modern club house on the site. Shortly after the construction was completed, the club house was named Gyoyanggwan and was used for several purposes, such as an administration office and exhibition hall for Seoul Children’s Grand Park. Over time, the building was changed so much that it became unrecognizable from its previous form, and faced demolition in 2010 to make way for the construction of a new building. This work of a modern architect during the transition from the modern era to the contemporary period remained relatively unknown to many until it was renovated by an architect of the next generation. After the restoration, the building became known to many as Jaesaeng. After serving several roles, from a golf course club house to a place of education in an amusement park and displaying no cultural identity, now this building has been restored and renamed Kkummaru. This name was chosen through a naming contest.