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

The ‘Restoration’ of Vertinsky’s old Gardenia Club….

Posted: July 19th, 2019 | No Comments »

I’m posting these photos taken by Shanghailander Graham Keelaghan of the ongoing building works along Yuyuan Lu (Yu Yuan Road as was) of the building that was Alexander Vertinsky’s Gardenia Club. As the location features in my book City of Devils quite a few people have asked if it still exists, where it was etc – so here you go – head down to the Jessfield Park (Zhongshan Gongyuan) end of Yuyuan Lu and it’s on the southern side of the street, set back slightly…..

As you can see the building has been mucked about with quite a lot – first with the 40 years of total neglect after 1949 then various ‘remodellings’ and ‘refurbishments’ with poor craftsmanship and shoddy materials in the 1990s and early 2000s. Now it’s getting the ‘fresh and new’ makeover (though sans wooden window frames sadly) as Yuyuan Lu emerges as some sort of ‘flat pack hipster’ destination. As you all know – as far as serious preservation goes – there are few hard and fast rules on exteriors and next to none on interiors in Shanghai

The Gardenia – in its heyday….
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