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Late save: historic building stands tall

THE century-old Shanghai Rowing Club has been saved from demolition thanks to a strong petition by architectural experts, Huangpu District officials said yesterday.

The original - and passed - design plan, which would have seen the demolition of the historical building to make way for a greenery area to add lure to the Bund, has now itself been demolished.

The building was about to be besieged by bulldozers when Ruan Yisan, the city's foremost expert in historic architecture protection, went to the site and appealed for protection last month.

According to the new design plans, the building will be restored to its original look, including the outside walls, doors and walls of the swimming pool in the west wing.

But the east wing made way in the 1990s for the construction of the Wusong Road Watergate Bridge.

The developer of the latest project, Bund Origin, Shanghai Huangpu Real Estate Co Ltd, was not available for comment yesterday.

The building, now believed to be one of the oldest in the area, was not listed under Shanghai historic architecture in need of protection in the 2002 plans for the project.

Architectural experts at the time wrongly assumed it was to be a replacement of the original form.

"The number of historic buildings in Shanghai is very small," said Ruan.

There were 632 places in the city that had been listed as historic architecture while the number in London was about 10,000, Ruan said.


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