Peter Hessler’s ‘Strange Stones’ Reviewed

At the Los Angeles Review of Books, Pallavi Aiyar reviews Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler, former China correspondent for The New Yorker. She discusses the tight focus of Hessler’s writing on...

False Historical Consciousness

After scuttling plans in 2010 to redevelop Beijing’s historic Bell and Drum Tower neighborhoods, demolition of a nearby square has now begun. The government has announced plans to restore the tangle of hutongs back to its...

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...

Sinica: The Soul of Beijing

The latest Sinica podcast, hosted by Kaiser Kuo, focuses on the transformation of Beijing through the eyes of several long-time residents: As housing prices and rents soar, hutongs get ripped down and “crazy bad” air...

Fate of Old Beijing: Videos and Slideshows

China Green features a series of videos and slideshows exploring Beijing’s disappearing hutongs. In the face of China’s rapid modernization, the world’s most populous country is struggling to preserve its cultural...

A Trip Down Beijing’s Half-fake Memory Lane

For the Los Angeles Times, Megan K. Stack writes about life in the Beijing hutongs as they are being destroyed and transformed into tourist sites around her: All around us, workers are tearing down the neighborhood and...

Drum Tower Plan Shelved

A controversial plan to destroy one of Beijing’s most historic neighborhoods around the Bell and Drum Towers in order to develop a commercial tourist attraction have been put on hold, according to Global Times: Extensive...

Historical Beijing Quarter ‘To Be Destroyed’

The Telegraph reports on the pending demolition of Beijing’s historic Bell and Drum Tower neighborhood: Over the last 20 years mile after mile of Beijing’s “hutongs”, or alleyways, have been bulldozed to...



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