April 18th, 2017

Rare map of the French Concession from 1920!

I've long meant to share the old map that I composited from separate photographs. This rare historic map was on the wall of the Sinan Mansions/Hotel Massenet redevelopment office several years ago. As far as I was able to tell by matching the lot numbers with cadastre records, the map has to be from the year 1920, or around that.

1920 French Concession Extension map

Click image to get the full-size map (10 Mb).

Some snapshots:

1. Sinan Road

Click image to enlarge
This is the section with Koukaza Park (Fuxing Park), Rue Corneille (Gaolan Road) and Rue Moliere (Xianshan Road). Many of the buildings have survived to this day. Did they have to knock down a villa to build the Russian church? In the lower part of the image, only four buildings along Rue Lafayette were already there in 1920, making up the future "Sinan Mansions."

2. The famous corner

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The intersection of Avenue Joffre and Rue Cardinal Mercier, where Cathay Theatre, Grosvenor Gardens (lot 6032), Cathay Mansions and the French Club (lot 6040) came to be. Curiously enough, three houses at the corner (where Cathay Theatre was later built) used to have Russian residents, former officers and their families, who'd hold nostalgic soirees in their apartments. The twin villas on the right, on Avenue Joffre, have survived to this day.

3. South of Avenue Joffre

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Route Vallon (Nanchang Road) did not go west of Route Pere Robert (Ruijin Road). Nor did Rue Cardinal Mercier (Maoming Road) extend south. Instead, there was a bunch of creeks with bridges.