July 13th, 2018


Colourful Shanghai in 1945 – by Lyle Oberwise

The discovery of Lyle Oberwise's colour photographs of Shanghai must have been quite a feast for local history lovers. Many of his photos depict locations that look different nowadays, or are no longer there, so I tried to map them. The slide above shows the Sun Sun Department Store – warped by the archivist's magnifying glass.

1. The Great China Hotel 大中华饭店 on Tibet Road is still there:

2. The building on the left on the photo above housed the Summer Palace Restaurant that served "hygienic Chinese food:"

3. The Far Eastern Hotel further down Tibet Road is still standing:

4. At the intersection with Avenue Edward VII, Oberwise took a picture of the Great World and the Gongwutai Theatre:

5. A bit to the north along Tibet Road, the Moore Church:

6. Here is the Sun Co. Department Store on Nanking Road, with Chiang Kaishek's portrait, which fascinated many foreign photographers of the time:

6. Oberwise took a couple photos of the Foreign YMCA on the northern edge of the Racecouse:

7. He took the best photo (known to me) of the Dah Tung Bookstore on Fuzhou Road:

8. Where Avenue Edward VII becomes Avenue Foch he found the green building of the Lihua Theatre (which is no longer there):

8. The Jardine Matheson & Co. on the Bund:

9. The Hero Hosiery on Nanking Road:

10. Here is a view of Nanking Road, facing east:

11. Another stretch of Nanking Road, close to the Sincere and Wing-On:

12. Here is the intersection of Beijing Road and Henan Road that has been redeveloped since:

13. To the north of the downtown, he took a photo of a corner of Tangshan Road, that has since been wiped out for good by developers:

14. Here is Chusan Road:

I don't know how many photos of Shanghai were left out of the selection, but hope they all go online at some point.