Seoul-lo 7017

On may 20th, Seoul-lo 7017 (서울로 7017) opened to the citizen of Seoul. Seoul-lo 7017 was a project that changes a road for cars to a road for people. The Seoul Station Overpass (서울역 고가도로) was designed in the form that across from the east to the west of Seoul Station and completed in 1970 in order to cope with the increasing population and traffic congestion, being a symbolic structure of Seoul since then.


However, the safety issue of the Seoul Station Overpass had been brought up every year since the late 1990s. In 2006, the elevated road was rated to have serious safety problems and, accordingly, the vehicle traffic completely prohibited. Consistent attitude to the deteriorated architecture was tear-down. But Seoul Metropolitan Government (서울특별시) chose to turn the overpass from a road for cars to a path for people, as long as the safety problems were caused by heavy loads.



It connects Namdaemun Market (남대문시장), Myeong-dong (명동), Namsan Mountain (남산) to the west of Seoul Station with pedestrian paths.


As you can see in the picture, Seoul-lo 7017 can be divided into 7. A section is a section of Toegye-ro (퇴계로). It is near Sungnyemun Gate (숭례문) and Namdaemun Market and Myeong-dong. Number 1 in the picture is directly connected to Gate 5 of Hoehyeon Station (회현역) of Line number 4. C section is near Seoul Station. It overpasses Seoul station and its lane. You can find shoes tree, a controversial architecture of Seoul-lo 7017. Section D,E,F is opposite part of Seoul station. It is not much developed compared to Section A~C.

There are several places that you can visit by walking Seoul-lo 7017. First is Namdaemun Market. The Namdaemun Market is a place full of life for 24 hours for 365 days, attracting an average of 0.4 million visitors a day. About 10,000 stores of the Namdaemun Market around the Sungnyemun Gate attract many tourists every day. In the Namdaemun Market, you can find more than 1,700 items for your day-to-day life encompassing clothes for men, women, and children, accessories, kitchenware, folkcrafts, food, miscellaneous goods, and agricultural and fishery products. The Namdaemun Market also works both as a wholesaler and as a retailer that offers products at reasonable prices to the retailers and the customers across the country (사진 5,6,7)

Source: Google Maps

Second is Yakhyeon Catholic Church (약현성당). Yakhyeon Catholic Church is a basilican type of brick construction with little gothic elements but it is the country’s first western style of brick building of great significance in the history of architecture. Among a few western style of buildings constructed before 1900, it was made directly by the western countries, not via Japan. Together with the Myeong-dong Cathedral, it was designated as a cultural property (Historical Site No. 252) in 1977 because it is an important piece in the history of modern Korean architecture.


Also, near Yakhyeon Catholic cathedral, there is a Son Kee Chung Memorial Hall. It is a place to commemorate Son Kee Chung, an athlete who won the gold medal in the marathon race in the Berlin Olympic in 1936 when Korea was invaded by the Japanese imperialists. It also gets renewal during construction of Seoul-lo 7017.


Source: Google Maps

When Seoul-lo 7017 opened, the review of it was mixed. People who gave a positive review of Seoul-lo 7017 were delighted because a new healing place in Seoul city was made. It is a place for people to walk, not for cars or other machines. Also, some people say Seoul-lo 7017 will become a new landmark of Seoul city. However, many people criticize Seoul-lo 7017. It spends 60 billion Wons to construct Seoul-lo 7017. Also, a Shoe tree which is architecture made of more than 10,000 shoes which were trashed.


People criticize this architecture that it smells bad after rain comes and seems monstrosity of the city. In addition, there aren’t any amenities to rest or hide sunlight. Summer is coming soon and weather becomes much hotter these days, therefore, this can be a serious problem.

In my opinion, walking along Seoul-lo 7017 in the night is better than daytime. Blue light makes Seoul-lo 7017 more beautiful. Also, you can avoid the heat when you visit there in the night. Although, there are some controversial, Seoul-lo 7017 will become one of the representative spots of Seoul and I strongly recommend you to walk along the road and enjoy Seoul. (사진 13,14)


Article by Yongshin from Korea, a Junior in Business Administration

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