historic preservation

Uncertain Future for Architectural Treasures

Breakneck development and urbanization campaigns often threaten the relics reflecting China’s ancient architectural tradition. An article from Caixin takes us to the northern province of Shanxi, a “treasure trove of...

Old Building Restoration Taking a Hold in China

Starting from the reinvention of Dashilar, a historical neighborhood in Beijing, innovative architects are racking their brains to balance city development and cultural preservation. From Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore at The Los...

Razing History

In the Atlantic, Jonathan Kaiman writes about the destruction of Beijing’s historic neighborhoods, including the hutongs surrounding Zhongnanhai, the central leadership compound, which were on a protected list compiled in...

Developers Demolish Home of Revered Architects

Liang Sicheng is known as the “father of Chinese architecture.” He and his architect wife, Lin Huiyin, lived in an ancient courtyard home in Beijing from which they fought for the preservation of Beijing’s...

In Shanghai, a Roomy Loft From a Small Apartment

The New York Times Great Homes and Destinations section has profiled a 425 square foot apartment in Shanghai rebuilt from a historic unit on a tree-lined street: …Hebe Ting, a property investor from northern China who...

Disappearing Shanghai: The Roots of an Urban Tragedy, Pt. I

Shanghai Scrap has interviewed Amy L. Sommers, an American lawyer who tried to buy a pre-War home in Shanghai and became intimately familiar with the legal complexities of ownership claims on old buildings there. She later wrote...

Zhang Song: China’s Urban Disease (1)

China Dialogue translates an interview in Southern Metropolis Daily with urban preservation expert Zhang Song about the Shanghai Expo and its impact on the city: Zhang Chuanwen: For the first time, the theme of the World Expo is...

In Beijing, a Brand-New Old Quarter (with photos)

In the New York Times, Richard Bernstein takes a walk through the new Dashalan pedestrian district: But while most of the old residential areas of Beijing that have been demolished were transformed into zones of high-rise...

CDT Bookshelf: The Last Days of Old Beijing by Michael Meyer

Beijing-based writer Josh Chin contributed the following review of Michael Meyer’s “The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed,” to CDT: Western observers have been lamenting the...

A Wrecking Ball for Beijing’s History – Peter Ford

The Christian Science Monitor writes about the families facing the demolition of their homes in Beijing’s historic Dongsi Batiao neighborhood: The conflicting interests of renters crammed into slumlike corners of the old yards on one hand, and owner-occupiers seeking to protect their patrimony on the other, makes a common front unlikely among the 90 families […]

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