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May 17, 2013

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Old photos sought for park's restoration

Operators who run the century-old Luxun Park in Hongkou District are calling on foreigners and locals to come forward if they have any inkling or photographs of a drinking water fountain that was part of the park in the 1920s.
Records suggest that the park was designed by the British and the fountain was one of the oldest in Shanghai and a major attraction of the park.
Officials are keen to get their hands on any materials regarding the fountain as they plan to start renovation work in July.
"The drinking water fountain was built in 1929 for the convenience of people playing in the park. It was the earliest of its kind in the city, a fashion statement of a bygone era, and a landmark attraction of the park," said Wu Gang, director of the park.
"The foundation of the fountain is still around but the faucets either decayed or were stolen probably even before China's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression from 1937-1945," Wu said.
Wu and his colleagues searched around for some old pictures of the fountain, but the top portion of the fountain was hidden behind people.
"We are hoping that some expats may have some clues about it, or any old materials, photographs featuring the fountain so that we can restore it the way it was first designed by the British," Wu told Shanghai Daily.
Wu said due to lack of historical matter, the raw materials of the fountain are unknown, but he guessed it could be copper. If nothing is found, Wu said the park will ask companies to reproduce it based on the materials available with them.
"We are inviting expats to provide us with any historical pictures of the park they may have as part of the renovation project," Wu said.
Foreigners can e-mail in English to or mail letters to the park at 2288 Sichuan Rd N., with zip code 200081, if they have anything. Or they could simply call at 6540-1561.
Wu said the park would be closed for renovation from July and it would be a year before it reopens to the public.
Meanwhile, urban greening officials said yesterday that Shanghai is building big parks in five suburban districts, which will add 100 square kilometers of green space to the city by the end of 2015.
The five parks are in Qingpu, Songjiang, Minhang, Jiading and Chongming. They are designed with wetlands, rivers, wildness settings, and ecological diversity.
The park in western Qingpu District is about 20 square kilometers in size and will mainly feature wetlands and a web of rivers. The parks in Songjiang and Minhang will be dominated by forests.
The park on Changxing Island will highlight natural scenery along the Yangtze River, while the park in Jiading District, 14 square kilometers in area, will look like a botanical garden with a wide variety of plants.
The five parks are among the 21 parks planned for the city's suburban areas. Their total space is over 400 square kilometers, said Lu Yuexing, deputy director of Shanghai Urban Greening and Sanitation Bureau.


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