Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva

View east from Cavendish Court


Another photo from 1937 intrigued me. At first I couldn't recognize anything. Not a single "skyscraper" in sight, so it must be the south of the French Concession... After checking with the oh-so-useful collection of Shanghai art deco by John Meckley, the high-rise in the foreground was clearly identified as Cavendish Court apartments.

The photo is taken from a high floor in Picardie Apartments on Avenue Petain (modern Hengshan Rd), looking east. Cavendish Court is directly across from Picardie, and much lower.


Empty roads!

Back to the high angle image. The horizontal street behind Cavendish Court is Route Bridou (now Wuxing Rd). It is crossed by Route Frelupt (now Jianguo West Rd) that recedes in the distance after making a slight curve. The apartments with high porches and art-deco apartment buildings on the south side of Jianguo Rd survive to this day, but the north side (the building of Petain district police station) was replaced with modern high rises, so the block in the left half looks different today. The grass lawn with numerous clotheslines (fronted by French military facilities) now has a mix of modern apartment buildings and lane houses. In the distance we see a stately building of the Science Institute (on today's Fenyang Rd).

At the far right there are multiple neat rows of a French battalion camp. Behind them, a sprawling modern building with a Chinese roof is the National Medical College of Shanghai (built in 1936).

A cluster of curious-looking square bungalows with tapering roofs in the center of the photo is Jiangsu Women's Jail (now gone), later used as French military barracks. Here is a photo of that jail taken from Petain police station, probably. The double spires of Xujiahui St. Ignatius Cathedral are visible in this and the above photo.

Jiangsu Women's Jail (virtual SH)

(The dried laundry was removed.)
Tags: french concession, photo, shanghai

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