Photo by Paul French
This sad little picture, taken by Paul French at China Rhyming, depicts what’s left of British writer J.G. Ballard’s childhood home now that it’s been thoroughly gutted. Located on Panyu Lu and Xinhua Lu, the expat villa-turned-restaurant turned into a construction mess early last month.
Well, the interior is now completely gone – entirely ripped out, concreted over and when I was there the other day plenty of old timber was being ripped out too. All the old doors have also been taken off and thrown out. Additionally, all the old roof tiles are gone and a new concrete/brick structure erected to the right of the original frame of the building.
Here’s what it looked like when it was still a restaurant:
While Ballard himself may not have wasted too much sentiment on his former residence, notably responding that if it had become a restaurant, “let’s hope it’s a McDonalds or KFC,” it’s a little hard for the rest of us to let go of such an interesting piece of history in the city. In case you want to wax nostalgic, here’s the website for the excellent journey of Ballard expert/fan Rick McGrath took to document all of his haunts here in the city.