Thursday, October 4, 2012

Shanghai Story Walk V Part 2 (10/4,11/2012)

Thursday, October 4, 2012
(Continued from Shanghai Story Walk V Part 1. The Shanghai Story Walk V is not necessarily long in distance, but includes many individual sites. So I am breaking it up into two posts.)
From Gaolan Road, turn left on Ruijin No. 2 Road, then left again on Xiangshan Road.
I noticed this woman using a rug beater on her bed comforter:
No. 6 Xiangshan Road, former residence of Catholic priests called the Augustinian Recoletos:
You can hardly see the French Renaissance-style villa through the overgrown garden. There is supposed to be a chapel with original stained glass:
The Augustinian Recoletos/Recollect is an order of priests established in 1588 in Spain as an offshoot of the Order of St. Augustine and recognized by the Vatican in 1912 as separate order. They have a presence today in Taiwan, so perhaps they left China in 1949.
No. 7 Xiangshan Road, the former residence of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925):
is accessed through No. 9, the Museum of the of Sun Yat-sen:
Sun Yat-sen and his wife, Song Qingling, lived here from 1918 to 1924. He is considered the founding father of the Republic of China by both the Kuomintang and the Communist Party. During the chaotic period after the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty, the republic did not have a clear direction. It was Sun Yat-sen's meeting here with a Soviet envoy that the decision was made to align with the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.
Next you head south on Sinan Road, to No. 41, former residence of Yuan Zuoliang, financier:
The villa was built in the 1930s and is now home to the Shanghai Cultural and Historical Research Center.
No. 73, the former residence of Zhou Enlai (1898-1976):
The villa was built in the 1920s. In 1946 it became known as the Zhou residence, but it was actually the offices of the Communist Party in Shanghai. The Kuomintang kept watch on this house from the top window of what used to be the Shanghai Maternity and Children's Hospital across the street.
Zhou joined the Communist Party in 1922 and held several high positions. He met with General Zhang Xueliang in Xi'an in 1936 and agreed they should cease the civil war between the Kuomintang and Communists and fight the Japanese as one.
After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Zhou became the Premier. He met with U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1972 in Shanghai.
The next lane has houses that are identical to the Zhou Residence:
No. 87 was the former residence of Mei Lanfang (1894-1961). He began learning Peking Opera at age 8 and started on stage at age 11. He developed his own style of opera. When the Japanese occupied Shanghai, Mei said his advanced age prevented him from performing anymore. But when the Japanese were defeated in 1945, he returned to the stage. He lived here from 1933 to 1958 and his visitors included Charlie Chaplin.
Make a u-turn and head north on Sinan Road. At Fuxing Road you will see Sinan Mansions, a vast collection of restored villas that now house restaurants and offices, and a hotel complex:
Turn left on Fuxing Road and left on Ruijin No. 2 Road (there must be another Ruijin Road somewhere in Shanghai).
At No. 118 is the Ruijin Hotel. The property belonged to Irish businessman Henry E. Morriss, the owner of the English language newspaper North-China Daily News. He arrived in Shanghai in 1867 and purchased the newspaper in 1901. He also bought this property from local peasants. He died in 1919. His son, Henry, Jr., born in 1833, had Villa No. 1 built in 1920 as his own residence:
The pillars of the porte-cochere are said to be cut from a single piece of marble imported from Europe:
The ground floor lobby has photos of old Shanghai. A plaque over the fireplace claims the builder of the villa was "Benjamin Maurice."
During WWII, the Italian Consulate used the villa. The Kuomintang took over in 1945.
A room to the back left is said to be where Chiang Kai-shek and his wife would breakfast, and the rooms to the right were used as their dining room:
This room was later used by Shanghai's "first" mayor, Chen Yi.
Stairs to the left bring you to a wrought-iron screen:
Elegant signs on the landing stand in front of closed doors:
Apparently Zhou Enlai also stayed in this villa.
Henry E. Morriss, Jr. used his money to build the Canidrome, a dog-racing venue in the next block to the west, which was torn down and replaced by the new Shanghai Culture Square Theater.
Other views of Villa No. 1:
The well of Villa No. 1:
with some "sculptures?"
Arched gate from Villa No. 1:
Henry's brother Gordon worked in a brokerage firm. After 1949 when the government took his home, he is said to have lived in the gatehouse until he died in 1952:
Much has been recently renovated at Ruijin Hotel, and this large building did not have a number:
A tree stump and metal sculpture:
A brick and cement "Taihu" rock:
Villa No. 3:
The entrance to Villa 3:
The "most photographed stained glass in Shanghai:"
of a drinking tiger.
It is said that a man called Sheng Laosan dealt opium in Villa No. 3, the largest such dealership in Shanghai during WWII. After the war he was sentenced to death and the government confiscated the villa.
Villa No. 4:
was built in the 1930s by a Japanese bank.
Wandering around the grounds, you keep finding hidden treasures:
Walk back out the same entrance you entered and turn right. Continue down Ruijin No. 2 Road and turn right on Shaoxing Road. We have been to Shaoxing Road several times, and there is more to see than mentioned in this book.
No. 5, the former residence of Zhu Jilin:
Zhu owned the Nanshi Electric Company and Tram Company. He was a Catholic with many children, several who were educated in France. The villa, built in 1933, included a chapel where the family members made up the Mass participants with their own priest, choir, and musical accompaniment.
During the 1930s and 1940s, jazz was introduced to Shanghai and the Zhu family formed their own jazz band to play at parties. They rehearsed in the dance hall on the second floor and invited guest conductors from Shanghai clubs. For a while they performed live on Fridays at the XMHA radio station. Once they won a top prize against professional bands.
It is said the family had dinner sitting around a long table with a servant standing behind each chair. During the Cultural Revolution, the family that remained in Shanghai had to live in the garage.
Zhu's grandson, Zhu Zhaohe, worked in a factory after 1949. He could play piano, guitar, cello and saxophone, and once performed Latin dance music at a show, which got him into trouble. During the Cultural Revolution, thousands of musical recordings were confiscated. Zhu wrote down the scores from memory and complied over ten music booklets.
The building now houses the Shanghai News Agency Publishing Company.
No. 7 (not in the book), the former site of the China Learning Center:
No. 54, former residence of Du Yueshang (1881-1951):
Remember that Du Yuesheng was one of the three big gangster bosses of Old Shanghai, in charge of opium dens and brothels in the French Concession. He was also a philanthropist, collecting goods for the soldiers fighting the Japanese. He also donated 1,000 imported gas masks to the cause. This house was for his fourth wife, although other sources say his mother lived here and that the fourth wife/mistress lived at No. 27. But both Du's mother and step-mother supposedly died when he was a child.
The building now houses the Shanghai Business Newspaper Agency or a publishing house.
No. 62, Shaoxing Park, which has the theme of Chinese opera:
Built in 1951, this is supposed to be the smallest park in Shanghai.
Yu Di opera character mask:
Yu Guan opera character mask:
Panda trash receptacle:
No. 96, former residence of Ruan Lingyu (1910-1935):
an actress who often played tragic heroines. Her own life was tragic, at age 6 her father died, at age 7 her mother left, and she herself had a troubled marriage. She committed suicide at age 25.
At the end of Shaoxing Road, turn right on Shaanxi Nan Road to No. 235.
A peek at the old Luwan District Library, originally named Hu Mingfu Library when established in 1930:
At present, the newer library is called Huangpu District Mingfu Library:
Hu Mingfu (1891-1927) was the first Chinese student to receive a PhD in mathematics from Harvard in 1916. He founded the Science magazine and co-founded the China Science Society. Tragically he drowned at age 36. Cai Yuanpei suggested a library be named for Hu, whose statue is on the grounds:
This is the end of Shanghai Story Walk V.
On our way home, we saw laundry drying in a manner that is unusual in China:

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