s koreas former presidential office blue house turns into concert venue tourist hot spot - S. Korea's former presidential office Blue House turns into concert venue, tourist hot spot

Another blogger who goes by the name Moonlight noted that the inside of the main office building looks like a palace and “there’s a lot of old-fashioned charms everywhere”.

Situated at the foot of Mount Bugak, the Blue House site was once the private rear garden of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) kings who lived in the main palace Gyeongbokgung.

The Japanese colonial era saw the construction of a blue-roofed official residence for its highest-ranking official in 1939, after which it was occupied by generations of South Korean presidents post-independence, from 1948.

The current main office building was completed in 1991, designed to look like palaces of the Joseon dynasty. About 150,000 blue tiles were created specially for the roof.

The opening of the Blue House to the public marks the end of an era of presidents who lived and worked in such seclusion that they were criticised for being out of touch with the people.

President Yoon, who called the Blue House a symbol of “imperialistic power”, has shifted his office to a more accessible location in Yongsan.

No decision has been made yet regarding the future of the compound. The Cultural Heritage Administration, which is now managing the compound, has said it will draw up a plan to “make the Blue House a symbolic historical and cultural space of the country where history and the future can coexist”.

Officials said it could be turned into a park or museum, while scholars put forth ideas such as turning it into a library, a venue for cultural festivals, and a K-pop concert hall aimed at drawing foreign visitors.

Experts have urged against hasty decisions, warning that the landmark should not be reduced to a mere space for entertainment.

Mr Choi Jong-deok, former director of the National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, called for a thorough study of the Blue House compound to help determine the best ways to conserve and utilise the space.