Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Bund (3/26/2011)

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Our first Saturday in Shanghai. We started walking to see the number one place to visit in Shanghai, the Bund (rhymes with the Fund). Laundry hanging everywhere, from metal racks made specifically for the purpose, from poles and ropes in the trees, and even from tree branches.
Shops tend to specialize in one thing, such as umbrellas, or dog beds:
Lots of plantings between the street and houses:
In street medians and along highways:
Above we have a closer view of the new district of Pudong, home to the tallest buildings in China. We will get there another day.
The two tallest, Jin Mao Tower and Shanghai World Financial Center:
Party boat:
Office barges:
A parade of ships and barges on the Huangpu River.
Kent with the Oriental Pearl TV Tower:
Tamiko with same:
Today the focus is the Bund, which once symbolized the financial and commercial might of the Western world. Despite that, Shanghai has recognized the historic architectural importance of these buildings along the Huangpu River, and has sought to preserve them. A wide pedestrian promenade lies between the river and the avenue of buildings, providing a perfect vantage point. If you are not interested in architecture, you might want to skip through the next couple dozen photos!
On the Bund, but not part of the old Bund, the Guangming Building:
Built in 2006.
The Gutzlaff Meteorological Signal Tower:
Built in 1907 to replace an 1884 wooden tower, one of a series of meteorological relay stations set up by the French Jesuits to warn of oncoming weather through an elaborate system of flags. It was named for a 17th century German missionary (Jesuit). A National Architectural Heritage.
The former McBain Building:
The bottom and top parts are Baroque, the middle modernist; now the Asia Building.
The former Shanghai Club:
Completed in 1910, a steel-and-concrete structure in British Neo-Classical style to replace an 1861 building. With Ionic columns between the 1st and 2nd stories, turrets at each front corner, it was originally the "Correspondents’ Club." Also a National Architectural Heritage, its interior has imported marble floors, a triangular elevator, and a 2nd floor “Long Bar” of unpolished mahogany (L-shaped 110.7’ and 39’), once the longest bar in the world. Noel Coward said, laying his cheek on it, that he could see the curvature of the earth. President Ulysses S Grant visited here in 1879. It is presently the Waldorf Astoria Shanghai (was not allowed to take photos indoors).
The former Union Building:
Completed in 1916, it was the first work in Shanghai of Palmer and Turner Architects and Surveyors. A steel-based structure, it is in Neo-Renaissance style with some Baroque features. It has a domed corner pavilion and its front door is actually on a side street. It now houses Three on the Bund, upscale shopping and dining designed by Michael Graves.
The former Nissin Building:
Built in 1925 for a Japanese shipping firm. A mix of modern and classical styles of that period in Japan (called "Japan-Judah" style). So Japan was part of the Western world?
The former Russell & Co. Building (US)/China Merchants Bank Building:
Built before 1897 in Gothic-style with a false fourth story.
The former Great Northern Telegraph Co. Building:
Completed in 1908 and designed by Atkinson & Dallas in Neo-Renaissance style. Modern technology included at the time were pneumatic tubes for telegrams, an elevator, and public telephones. Now it is the Bangkok Bank and residence of the Royal Thai Consulate-General.
The former China Merchants Steam Navigation Co. Building:
Built in 1901 in the riverfront garden of the then bankrupt Russell & Co. It is the Bund's unique remaining example of Neo-Classical exterior corridor architecture of the late Victorian era. One of only two red-brick buildings on the Bund, it has Corinthian and Tuscan columns, two English Classical-style gables, and uses traditional Chinese greenish slates for the roof.
Note the 5,000-pound bronze bull sculpted by Arturo di Modeca, who also created the Wall Street Bull. The Shanghai Bund Financial Bull is a redder, younger and stronger version, with a curlier tail. Like its Wall Street counterpart, rubbing the genitalia will bring good luck.
The former HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) Building:
Completed in 1923 in strict Neo-Classical style (with tripartite vertical and horizontal division), designed by Palmer & Turner Architects and Surveyors. Built with a steel lattice and brick filling, it was the 2nd largest building in the world at the time after the Bank of Scotland building in the UK. The interior has murals and a mosaic ceiling:
and reception rooms decorated in American, British, Russian, French, and Japanese styles. Out front sits a pair of bronze lions (the only other pair from the mold sit in front of the British Museum in London). Rub their paws or head for good luck:
The Shanghai Customs House:
Built in 1927 in Greek Revival Neo-Classical style in reinforced concrete. The clock is modeled after Big Ben in London. The eastern facade is completely surfaced in granite and four Doric columns grace the entrance. The entrance hall contains marine murals (no photos allowed).
A refreshment cart:
The former Bank of Communications Building:
Built in 1948 in Neo-Renaissance style by architect C.H. Gonda. The lower wall has a black marble veneer. Now the Shanghai Municipal Trade Union Council.
The former Russo-Chinese Bank Building:
Built in 1901 by architect Heinrich Bake in Neo-Classical style. The exterior is covered in granite and white glazed ceramic tiles. Now the Shanghai Foreign Exchange Trade Center.
The former Bank of Taiwan (1924, now China Merchants Bank) and the former North China Daily News Building (1921, now American International Assurance Ltd.):
The former Chartered Bank Building:
Built in 1923, a steel-framed building designed by Tug Wilson in Greek Neo-Classical style.
It's getting crowded on the promenade:
The former Palace Hotel:
A 1906 restructuring of the Central Hotel founded in the 1850s. A brick veneer structure in Victorian Gothic style, now it is the South Building of the Peace Hotel.
The former Sassoon House:
Completed in 1929 and designed by Palmer & Turner Architects and Surveyors. It is a reinforced concrete structure with granite facing and a pyramidal roof covered with copper that has now aged to green. Now the North Building of the Peace Hotel, it is famous for the Old Man Jazz Bar (and band):
The Bank of China:
Built in 1937 by Sassoon's rival H.H. Kung, it is a blend of 1920s American and traditional Chinese styles, clad in smooth Jinsan stones. The top is a pyramid with a square base, and was meant to be taller than the Sassoon House, but Sassoon succeeded in demanding it could not be taller, based on his greater payments of taxes?
Note the statue of Chen Yi:
He was a revolutionary commander and first mayor of Shanghai after 1949.
The former Yokohama Specie Bank Building and the former Yangtze Insurance Association Building:
The building on the left was designed by Palmer & Turner's Tug Wilson and Frank Collard in Greek Neo-Classical style. Now the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The building on the right was built in 1920, a reinforced concrete structure designed by Palmer & Turner in elclectic style. It is now the Agricultural Bank of China.
The former Jardine Matheson Building:
Completed in 1922 on a lot first registered in 1843. A reinforced concrete structure faced in granite in Renaissance style, it is most famous for having had separate facilities for the Chinese. Now the Foreign Trade Mission.
The former Glen Line Building:
Built in 1922, it was designed by Tug Wilson of Palmer & Turner in a "free" Renaissance style; it is now the Shanghai Media & Entertainment Group Building.
The former Banque de l'Indochine:
Built in 1914 and designed by Atkinson & Dallas in Italian Renaissance style with the elevation divided into three parts horizontally and vertically, with a Baroque arched gate; now the China Everbright Bank.
The Bund and the promenade:
The promenade retaining wall is growing flowers:
Huangpu Park is the smallest and oldest park in Shanghai.
Established in 1888 and designed by a Scottish gardener in European style, it was the first public garden in Shanghai, but the Chinese were banned from using it in 1890-1928.
Unidentified but heroic statue:
A panorama of Pudong across the river:
And as seen with the sun on it:
A Mississippi Paddlewheeler?!
The Monument to the Peoples' Heroes:
Built by the Shanghai municipal government in the 1990s to commemorate revolutionary martyrs as well as those who have lost their lives fighting natural disasters. The very tall concrete structure has three stylized rifles leaning against each other. Below the tower is a stone relief mural of these martyrs:
Respect for the martyrs?
Note the tourist on the far right:
The Peninsula Hotel:
Became the Peninsula Hotel in 2009, on the grounds of the former Consulate-General Building of the United Kingdom.
Where the Suzhou Creek meets the Huangpu River, two of the 2010 Expo mascots greet passersby:
The Waibaidu or Garden Bridge:
The first all-steel bridge in China, constructed in 1907 by the Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Co.
The Russian Consulate-General Building:
Built in 1916 in eclectic style.
Traditionally we have pizza on Saturdays, so we stopped at a Pizza Hut and marveled at their 20-page menu with items we have never heard of before! Had a medium thin-crust pizza with salmon and octopus and a wasabi dressing. Yummy!
That evening Kent's boss and his wife took us to dinner in Xintiandi, a renovated area of shops and restaurants. Had a great meal at the Chinese restaurant called South Beauty.