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Old buildings worth a look
8/8/2005 11:29

Yang Di/Shanghai Daily news

AS economic growth soared, glass and steel skyscrapers sprouted up all over Yangpu District. However, an array of old Western buildings from early last century still stand along the district's Huangpu River waterfront and the architecture is worth studying and appreciating.
Harmony between the old and new is being stressed in the district's urban planning vision.
The district government has pledged to protect 25 groups of old buildings within its boundaries. Among them are four groups of old public utilities including Yangshupu Waterworks, Yangshupu Power Plant, Yangshupu Gashouse and Zhabei Waterworks.
While exploring these old buildings, one will be reminded of history and can enjoy their unique beauty.

Yangshupu Waterworks
The Shanghai Waterworks Co Ltd was incorporated in London by the British in 1880 and its factory was built in the Shanghai International Settlement at the time.
On August 1, 1883, Li Hongzhang, who had been the viceroy of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) from 1870 to 1895, opened the valve of the water gate, which marked the launch of the first modern water plant in China. It was the biggest water plant in the Far East in the 1930s and now has become Yangshupu Waterworks.
Standing in front of the old buildings that once housed the factory, one will be impressed by their delicate architectural styles that share the same essence as vintage British castles. They were constructed with gray brick walls embedded with middle moldings of red bricks, concrete coigns and crenellated copings on the top of the surrounding walls.
Today, these buildings serve as workshops and office buildings for Yangshupu Waterworks. In 1989, they were declared "Monuments under the protection of Shanghai Municipality."

Address: 830 Yangshupu Road

Yangshupu Power Plant
Shanghai Electric Company, founded by the British in 1882, is the predecessor of the present Yangshupu Power Plant. It was the first electric company in China and also one of the earliest power plants in the world.
A new era began in 1893 when the company's entire plant and business was taken over by the Shanghai Municipal Council. The Municipal Council established its own electric section and built a new power plant at that time. The operation of the plant started in 1913 right after the completion of the construction.
The original buildings remaining today are Little White Building, Iron-sheet Workshop and Cycling Water Inlet.
The Little White Building is a four-story white building built with reinforced concrete, used as the administrative office building of the plant in the early period. The Iron-sheet workshop, the generator of the plant, is a large single-floor house with a steel structure and a brick facade erected in 1912.
The three buildings were declared "Outstanding Modern Architectures of Shanghai" by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government in 1994.

Address: 2800 Yangshupu Road

Yangshupu Gashouse
The Gashouse of Shanghai Gas Co Ltd, founded in 1932 and inaugurated in 1934, was the first gashouse in China and the biggest in the Far East at the time. Presently, it is Yangshupu Gashouse.
The extant old office building of the factory was designed in a modern architectural style. The three-story building covers an area of 1,200 square meters, constructed with bricks and wood and adorned with quoins at the corners and floral designs on its northern facade.
The apartment building at the north of the office building, similar in architectural style to its neighbor, has three stories with a wood-and-brick structure of some 800 square meters. Now it has become the office building of the Yangshupu Gashouse.
The largest gas tank of the factory designed and built by the British in the 1930s is the earliest gas tank set up in Shanghai. It was built with more than 10,000 rivets and can store 20,000 cubic meters of gas.
In 1994, the Gashouse was declared an "Outstanding Modern Architecture of Shanghai" by the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.

Address: 2524 Yangshupu Road

Zhabei Waterworks
Waterworks of Zhabei Water and Electricity Company, built in 1911, was the predecessor of the current Zhabei Waterworks. It was moved from Hengfeng Road, Zhabei District to the present site in 1926.
The Old Office Building created in 1926 is now the warehouse of the factory. The two-story building with its flying eaves is constructed in a traditional Chinese style. The Water Tower, also built in 1926, was in an octagonal form with a gourd-shaped top on the roof. In 1993, a massive restoration was carried out on the tower that changed its inner and outer structure.

Address: 65 Zhayin Road