Flickr user Avezink explores The House of Shen, a magnificent residence built in the 1860s which is now being demolished. As explained in the gallery page dedicated to the structure (which is well worth a look if you’re a fan of old Shanghai architecture… and being depressed by the lack of preservation for old Shanghai architecture):
A marine merchant Shen, from Fujian, had this residence built in 1860. To pay tribute to the origins of his fortune, Shen had his house face not to the south, but the east, toward the sea. The building housed the whole Shen family with domestics and had enough space to store goods. There was a spacious garden around the house, but it did not survive.
Early years of the republic (1920) saw the decline of the Shen clan, and the residence was sold to another sea trade magnate, Yan Tongchun, who renovated the building and added modern facilities, like bathrooms. The wealth generated by the tireless Yan was also legendary: he worked day and night, and invested, invested, invested… Another family property, a mansion at 延安中路816号 was sold in 2007 for an unprecedented amount of money.
Shen residence is a unique piece of architecture, demonstrating a variety of styles, from Anhui to Western classicism. Shanghai municipal authority is making a huge mistake and committing vandalism by neglecting this relic and speeding its demolition.
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