Buildings and celebrities of Jing'an District star in documentary series

2019-03-21

The alleyways of Shaanxi Road N.


Shaanxi Road N.


A documentary series detailing the stories behind Shaanxi Road N. and Jiangning Road in Jing’an District starts screening on Shanghai TV on Monday.


The five-episode series, made by Shanghai Television Station and Jing’an District, tells the stories behind the buildings and personalities who have lived there.


“Roads are blood vessels of a city. Encoded with local DNA, they represent the past and predict the future,” said Jiang Ming, director of the district publicity department.


Over the past year, the production team interviewed more than 80 residents and 20 celebrities, including Du Weichun, 86, who has lived his whole life in Pacific Garden, red-brick townhouses built in the early 1920s on Shaanxi Road N. Chinese foreign minister at the time Wu Tingfang, sheltered Jewish refugees there free of charge.


A graduate of St. John's University in Shanghai, one of the most prestigious in China until it closed in 1952, Du likes to speak English.


“When I was young, people thought me rather a pretty boy,” he told Shanghai Daily. He was the “dancing king” among his schoolmates. “I taught myself how to dance but I was one of the best dancers in my school.”


Shaanxi Road N., built in 1914 under the name Seymour Road, is the epitome of the city’s inclusive spirit and international atmosphere. Late Shanghai writer Cheng Naishan said when visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa, she chanced upon a small alleyway one day which flooded her with memories of Shaanxi Road N.


The road is dotted with more than 20 historical buildings of different styles. They include the traditionalshikumen-style Datong Lane, the neoclassical Garden House, the red-brick townhouses of Pacific Garden and the Greek revival-style of the Ohel Rachel Synagogue.


Jiangning Road, built in 1900, was initially named Gordon Road after a British rifle team leader. It also holds several historical sites including Majestic Theater and former Gordon Road police station. Now, it is undergoing a renovation to become a theater strip.



Source: SHINE

Editor: Wang Xinzhou


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