Monday, October 06, 2008


When Matthew was in town last week, he brought up the question of why People's Square is called "Square" when it's really made up of the city government, the planning museum, the theater, the Shanghai museum, Renmin Avenue, etc. I decided to look into the issue.

A search on Baidu Zhidao turns up that after the Liberation in 1949, the hippodrome that had occupied the area before was razed and the location split into People's Park in the north and People's Square in the south. The actual Square was majorly redone in the 1990s (before I got here), giving it its present look. I dug around with Google and found some photos of Shanghai in the 1980s that show the original People's Square:

Looking southeast. The tower is Great World entertainment complex. The part of the Square where the buses (and military vehicles?) are parked is pretty much exactly where the Shanghai Museum is today. The houses in the center-right across from Great World have been torn down and now is the location of the Shanghai Concert Hall. From this perspective, the Concert Hall would probably be blocked from view by the Yan'an Rd Elevated Highway.

At the bottom left of the previous photo is Renmin Avenue, from which this picture is taken. The old city hall is on the left, replaced now by a bigger city hall, and People's Park begins just behind it. To the left of the city hall is a set of grandstands for parades down Renmin Avenue. I'm not sure of the identity of the conspicuous multi-leveled building on the horizon.

Also, I'll link to a picture of a famous intersection in Shanghai. Recognize it? I'll post the answer in the comments. (Actually, I think I posted this picture before.)


At Oct 6, 2008, 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Micah Sittig said:

It's Xujiahui.


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