“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Coming Down Alert – Tanggu Road’s ‘Japanese Colony’ Last Survivors

Posted: January 26th, 2011 | 3 Comments »

I’ve commented on the practise of cultivating slums out of perfectly refurbishable buildings in Shanghai in order to eventually bulldoze them and clear the land for property developers. Here’s an example of a structure, a residential dwelling, that until a couple of years ago was perfectly habitable and eminently refurbishable but has been neglected, chai-ed for a long time to discourage anyone for paying for its upkeep and maintenance, picked away at to allow in weather and rain and is now condemned.

A great shame as it was formerly a rather elegant property close to the junction of Tanggu Road (Boone Road) and Shanxi Road North (Shanse Road North) in Hongkou (Hongkew). ASs the fronting property for the developmnt behind this building was once most attractive with an excellent front facing balcony for surveying life on Boone Road, once a busy thoroughfare though the construction of hideous malls of cheap clothing companies around the area, now a textiles market, have constricted and truncated the street in recent decades.

Boone Road was more popularly known as “Boong” Road by the Chinese who knew the road best for the impressive Shanse (Shanxi) Bankers’ Guild building built in 1892. It also housed the sturdy five-storied Japanese Club (295) built in the English Renaissance style and the Japanese Shinozaki Hospital leading to the area around Boone Road often being referred to as the ‘Japanese Colony’. The residential structures, such as the now sadly neglected and doomed to destruction one below, were impressive and much sought after.

And so yet another beautiful building in Shanghai has been left to rot and will soon be erased for good.

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3 Comments on “Coming Down Alert – Tanggu Road’s ‘Japanese Colony’ Last Survivors”

  1. 1 Sue Anne said at 3:33 am on May 18th, 2011:

    Hi Paul,

    I came across this building a few weeks back, and was researching on the street and the lane. 塘沽路858弄(长春里).

    I noticed that this entire street is technically divided into two districts, the west is under Zhabei District, and the former Japanese colonies are under Hongkou District.

  2. 2 Peter Raeburn-Ward said at 3:22 pm on November 17th, 2015:

    My grandfather Peter Raeburn owned 9 Boone Road. He worked for Chinese Maritime Customs. He was interned in Lincoln Centre in 1943. He died still in camp in April 1945.

  3. 3 Paul French said at 1:54 am on November 19th, 2015:

    Got a picture of the property?


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