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Govt Plans to Renovate Shanghai Historic District
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A residential area in Shanghai's Pudong that was once home to some of the most important architects in the city's early history will be renovated before the 2010 World Expo in the hopes of attracting tourists, officials with the Pudong government said Tuesday. 

The complex is located in Pudong's Gaoqiao Town, which was built more than 800 years ago.

An exhibition hall looking at the history of architects in the city will open to the public this year in Yangxiantang, courtyard surrounded by three-story buildings that dates back to the 1930s.

"These architects are the city's founding fathers. They combined Chinese and western architectural styles," said Zhu Longzhu, head of the Pudong cultural relics management office.

She said the Pudong government has chosen a 27-square-kilometer area in Gaoqiao to turn into a scenic attraction for visitors during the World Expo.

Gaoqiao is located in northern Pudong, about a 40-minute drive from People's Square. A five-square-kilometer section in the center of Gaoqiao will be the heart of the scenic spot.

More than 20 of the 53 protected historical sites in Pudong are located in Gaoqiao.

Unlike historic houses in Puxi, such as shikumen and villa gardens, most buildings in Gaoqiao were built during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the early years of the Republic of China (1912-1949).

Some of the famed architects who lived in Gaoqiao include Wang Songyun (1857-1939), who designed the Park Hotel's southern building along the Bund, and Xie Bingheng, who designed the British-style Yangshupu Gas Plant in 1934.

Most then architects built their own residences in Gaoqiao in the early 20th century when cement was first introduced to China in large quantities. Their homes generally mixed Chinese and western styles, with many having fireplaces in the living room.

(Shanghai Daily March 14, 2007)

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