The restoration project is the Seoul City government’s effort to restore Seoul’s historic gates and the city wall. The city government has already purchased land in front of Kangbuk Samsung Medical Center at the Jeong-dong intersection for 147.7 billion won ($125.4 million). Under the plan, the elevated highway rising over Seodaemun will be removed by 2011.Now some may pooh-pooh the idea of building from scratch things that were torn down a century or more ago, but many of the older structures in Korea and other countries are themselves major restorations or wholesale reconstructions of older things that were either destroyed or became dilapidated. The late Chosŏn era, in fact, nearly bankrupted the country with a campaign to rebuild structures that had been destroyed in the horrific Hideyoshi invasions of the 1590s. Fortunately, Korea's coffers are much fuller now, and the scale of the reconstructions much more modest.
Help is currently being sought from historians and specialist architects to render the gate as near as possible to its former state. The aim is to finish it by 2013.
“Once the restoration project is completed, the city government will seek World Heritage status from Unesco on Seoul’s four gates along with Mt. Bukhan fortress, Hongjimun and Tangjimun.” said Lee Chung-se, a senior official at the Seoul City government.
UPDATE: Below is a picture I snagged from Gusts of Popular Feeling that shows Sŏdaemun in 1904, complete with trolley tracks going through it and what appear to be Japanese troops marching by.