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In 1922, C. H. Gonda quit Probst, Hanbury & Co. and created his own archtectural studio; this is his first commission. The old Lane, Crawford & Co.'s store on Nanking Road, right next to the Palace Hotel, received a new building of Gonda's design. It had the largest shop windows in the Far East, each spanning 48 feet (14,6 meters).
Image: Virtual Shanghai.
The press reported that the new frontage "constitutes the finest improvement made on Nanking Road to date" and that the work of installing these large plates of glass required some ingenious reinforced concrete beams and columns. Thanks to C. H. Gonda's energy and personal supervision, the works were finished in a very short time and without interrupting the store's operation.
Here is Lane, Crawford and Co's old building:
The construction of the new building required the demolition of the old Watson's storefront, but later provided room for it within the store:
Here is the side of the Lane, Crawford & Co.'s building in 1937, exposed during the dismantling of its neighbor, the Hall & Holtz store to make room for the Liza Hardoon building. Lane, Crawford & Co.'s Shanghai branch had by then liquidated after having served the city's residents for 80 years: