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March 31, 2023

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Experience history with a stroll through city’s old race club

THE Shanghai History Museum’s auxiliary space, which features an iconic bell tower building in the heart of downtown People’s Square in Huangpu District, is now open to the public.

People can stroll through the museum’s courtyard without visiting its exhibition halls, as the enclosure outside the museum has been removed.

The museum complex on Nanjing Road W., used to house Shanghai Race Club, consists of the East Building, which was the club’s mansion, the West Building, which was its office building; and the landscape courtyard between the two buildings.

The two structures are, in fact, the museum’s largest exhibits, which is a monument to the city’s history in and of itself.

The Shanghai Race Club was founded in the mid-1880s. The East Building, as it stands today, was built in 1934. It was built in the 1930s in the English Classicism style, with a 53-meter-high bell tower on top.

The portico features eight Tuscan pillars, which are only found in a few buildings in Shanghai.

The West Building, built in 1928, housed the club’s supporting facilities, and the red bricks are a silent witness to a bygone era.

A stroll through the courtyard allows visitors to read the stories of architecture.

According to the museum operator, the goal is in line with the city’s efforts to open auxiliary spaces of work units to the public, providing more diverse “green” options for their leisure activities.

It is simply the culmination of the city’s efforts to improve residents’ leisure activities by making more auxiliary space from work units available to the public.

It is estimated that over 500 work units in the city have their own green space or gardens, the majority of which are not yet open to the public.

Among them, more than 300 acres of green space are streetside.

These green spaces are an important part of the city’s greenery, but they are “hidden gems” that only serve their staff, according to city greenery officials. The opening of these green spaces is a good supplement to Shanghai’s overall public green areas, which will provide more options for residents to appreciate flowers or do fitness.

The good news is that efforts are already underway to introduce residents to this “hidden scenery.” More than 20 work units in Shanghai opened their gardens to residents last year.

The greenery area at the intersection of Fuxing Road M. and Ruijin No.2 Road in Huangpu District was previously an attached part of the work units of the Minfang (Civil Defense) Mansion, and it did not allow residents in before 2020.

The walls were demolished in 2020, and the space was transformed into a 1,800-square-meter pocket park.

“It has become a popular leisure venue for nearby residents, and I frequently take a stroll here because the park is close to my home,” said a retiree surnamed Wang.

The greenery space attached to Huangpu District government’s workplace, inside East China University of Political Science and Law along Suzhou Creek and Wanhangdu Road, the Fenyang Road campus of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the Shanghai Research Institute of Sports Science have also been made public.

Last year, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music demolished four buildings and created a beautiful public garden covering 3,300 square meters using its greenery resources.

By the end of this year, another 40 work units in the city will open their green spaces to residents.

Among them is the Shanghai Stadium, which will provide residents with approximately 90,000 square meters of green space, as well as a portion of the green land of the Jing’an Sports Center.

The garden at the Shanghai Research Institute of Culture and History on Sinan Road will also be open to the public.


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