Lined with plane trees, a street steeped in history


Shanyin Road in the northeastern corner of Hongkou District is like an open-air museum, with its variety of building styles from the 1930s and 1940s and its rich history of famous residents.

The 651-meter-long street was at one time home to literati and revolutionaries, including authors Lu Xun (1881-1936) and Mao Dun (1896-1931). It also housed Qu Qiubai (1899-1935), a leader of the Communist Party of China in the late 1920s, and Zeng Liansong (1917-99), designer of the Party flag.

Its deep historical significance doesn’t mean the community today is serious or dull. The roadside is lined with leafy plane trees that were planted in the 1970s and give the street a certain romantic charm.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

The 651-meter-long Shanyin Road is lined with leafy plane trees.

Still, the cultural past of Shanyin Road does give it a more solemn atmosphere than other lane-house neighborhoods. There are few chairs that bring the life of residents out into the alleyway. Xia Shan, Party secretary of Shanyin Road No. 3 Neighborhood Committee, says local residents have always preferred tranquility.

“Instead of playing games in the lane, my classmates in the neighborhood and I just went home after class and did our homework,” recalls Li Luogen, 83. “The lane was always very quiet.”

For outdoor recreation, the local residents went to nearby Lu Xun Park, he says. The park, about a five-minute walk from Shanyin Road, contains the tomb of Lu, with an inscription by Chairman Mao Zedong.

Musicians, painters, teachers and researchers once lived in the area, giving it an educated, artistic tone.

“Residents here always attach great heed to education, which gives the community its unique atmosphere,” says Chen Rongqing, Party secretary of Shanyin Road No. 1 Neighborhood Committee. “They are honest, humble and down-to-earth.”

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A man trims climbing vines in Dongzhao Lane, where Qu Qiubai, formerly a leader of the Communist Party of China, lived.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

A kitten rests on the wall of Qu Qiubai's former residence at Building 12 of 133 Shanyin Road.

Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Source: SHINE Editor: Liu Qi

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