Water faucets were installed on either side of the building’s rear entrance for visitors to rinse their hands and feet of dust. This is because few roads in Taipei were paved in the colonial days, and people often had to walk through dusty streets. Visitors could use the faucets to freshen up before entering the building on official business. The same design can be seen at the original building of the National Taiwan University Hospital.
The faucet design may have been inspired by Shinto shrines in Japan. Each shrine usually has a water ablution pavilion for believers to ceremonially wash their hands and mouths before worship.