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May 17, 2019

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Historic buildings opening to public

More historical buildings and former residences of celebrities in the downtown area are being opened as exhibition or education centers.

They are among more then 2,000 villas in Xuhui District where many Party officials, reformists and patriotic businessmen once lived.

Nearly 100 residents were invited to visit the former residence of Rong Desheng at 18 Gao’an Road yesterday. Rong was a tycoon known as one of China’s “kings” of flour and textiles along with his brother Rong Zongjing.

The Rong family witnessed and contributed to the country’s early development, according to history professor Liu Tong.

The family once owned 12 flour factories and 13 textile firms across China.

The visitors had a special history class delivered by Liu while touring the former residence which has been converted into a children’s activities center. 

The brick-and-concrete structure was built in 1939 in the modernism style. The three-story building was given protected status by the city government in 2005.

Meanwhile, the Cloisters Apartments, built in the 1930s, will open to the public tomorrow with exhibitions related to the historical zone around Hengshan and Fuxing roads, with their 15 heritage-listed buildings.

The building at 62 Fuxing Road W. once housed the offices of the Hunan Road Subdistrict and many parts of the two-story structure — balconies, fountains and mosaic floors — have been preserved.

Not far away, a two-story brick-and-wood building at 178 Wulumuqi Road S., built by the American Masonic Temple Association in 1932, will open to the public in July as the Hengfu Art Center for lectures, forums and exhibitions.


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