Glory of Jin Jiang

Jin Jiang Grand Hall inside the Jin Jiang Hotel on Maoming Nanlu was designated the starting place for Sino-US relations after the Sino-US Joint Communique was signed here in 1972.

The red-bricked hall appears simple in contrast to other historical highrises.

The hall was built in 1959 to hold Communist Party meetings. Following its reconstruction in 1998, the two-storied building has a lobby, multi-function hall, VIP rooms, reception rooms and a press room.

The building continues the European architecture style of the North Building - originally Cathay Mansions, and the Grosvenor House - formerly the Grosvenor Mansions. Both were investments of the Jewish Sassoon family and designed by the British architecture firms Algar & Co and Palmer & Turner Architects and Surveyors respectively in 1929 and 1935.

The Cathay Mansions were a cement and steel structure. The exterior features brown square bricks, square steel windows and white window frames, which were typical British Gothic architectural elements. It was the tallest building in the city upon its completion in 1929, while the Grosvenor Mansions has the highest central part, which slopes down on both sides.

Refined decorative details were concentrated in the entrance and the eaves of the building with rows of geometric shapes. The plane figure of the building had five curves and its shape imitated modern American skyscrapers.

The Jewish Sassoon family owing a great amount of debts to the government in 1949 had to pledge the two buildings to the government, which were managed as a hotel and apartments.

In 1951, Dong Zhujun, a legendary woman who ran Jin Jiang tea house and restaurant, was nominated as the first director of today's hotel and gave it the name "Jin Jiang".

Over the past 50 years, this building has received at least 300 international celebrities of 150 countries and regions and up till now is still the first-choice meeting place for state and foreign affairs.

( China Daily March 14, 2002)