September 20th, 2019

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Jardine Matheson & Co. building on the Bund confused with a restaurant (1929)


Foyer of the Ewo (Jardine Matheson & Co.) building 怡和洋行.

"A perfectly good story – and a true one, we believe – is told of the present Ewo building on the Bund, this to the effect that an American tourist travelling round the world entered its vestibule and after admiring the place for some time asked the Sikh watchman where the grill room was. The architects naturally have our sympathy, but they have no occasion to be discouraged [...]. In a future perfect Soviet State we may have all the buildings for different purposes uniform, but until that time comes along we would have our artistic architects put as much of beauty into their work to inspire strangers to think that behind the facades of commerce champagne and caviar were being served rather than a surfeit of ink and letter paper."

Source: The North-China Daily News, we believe, March 1929.


Exterior of the Ewo building. Images: Shanghai Municipal Archive.