Paul French

Shanghai-based researcher Paul French, author of The Old Shanghai A-Z gives on his weblog a sad overview of the architecture lost in 2011 under the hammer of progress.

Paul French:

And so here, as usual a little late (well a lot late actually), is What We Lost 2011 – following on of course from previous What We Lost’s (20102009). First of all this year a confession – I’ve been out of Shanghai a lot due to work and publishing commitments so I’ve not had as much time to wander the streets of the city cataloguing the destruction as you might have expected. Still, this list never claimed to be comprehensive, just to highlight the continuing destruction of architecture and the continuing blatant abuse and ignorance of heritage and preservation in Shanghai by the government and property developers. And even a cursory glance shows that the massacre continues…..

And one of many examples:

Corner House – Gongping Road/Dongdaming Road

Just a few years ago Dongdaming Road (formerly Seward Road) had over a dozen distinctive corner houses, those marvellous curved structures that typified corners across much of the International Settlement with commercial premises on the ground floor and residential above. They were leit-motifs of the Shanghai cityscape. Seward Road was home to over a dozen, the main drag out of Hongkew to Yangtzsepoo. Now most are gone, victims of the road widening along the street due to both EXPO and the construction of the new Shanghai Port Terminal. Now another one is boarded up on the corner of Gongping Road (formerly Kung Ping Road) and is due to go any day now.

More on China Rhyming.

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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