Demoition is in progress along the south side of Jinling Rd – the side that is lined with characteristic arcade shopfronts. Behind the arcades there are blocks of lane houses built in the 1910s-1930s. The street with the most unique face of all of Shanghai is being gutted under the pretext of "urban renewal" and the construction of the subway line 14. Expect some luxury brands to fill vacated old arcades – those of them that survive the demolition.
The western edge of the redevelopment zone – South Zhejiang Rd, between Renmin Rd and East Jinling Rd. This is Duxingli 笃行里 neighborhood, built in 1932.
Bright red sheetrock demonstrates which households have accepted the settlement money and left their homes.
The long block between Zhejiang Rd and Fujian Rd. There is talk in Chinese press that the arcade storefronts won't be demolished. But they are certainly getting cleared of their inhabitants.
"Practical benefit for the people – faster renovation of old nieghborhoods." Or rather, "Big business wants the land under your houses – so move."
Moving east, approaching the intersection with Fujian Rd.
Looking down Fujian Rd. Best Friend Music, the oligarch among the music shops, will also have to go, evidently.
You can tell it's a lie when it has to be spelled on a red banner. "Renovate an old lane – benefit a bunch of common people."
Approaching Shengze Rd. There are no arcade houses on this block – does it mean they'll have to go? Behind the storefronts is the lane neighborhood called Mingdeli 明德里, built in 1926.
Shandong Rd corner. Inside the block are the lane compounds Yuqingfang 裕庆坊 and Dongxinli 东新里, built in 1916 and 1917 respectively.
These buildings look very vulnerable. If the plan is to only leave arcade houses standing, then all the modest and archaic architecture will be removed.
The block between Shandong Rd and Jinmen Rd. This beautiful brick building now serves as the demolition/relocation headquarters.
The store imitates a "big character" poster to advertise a "demolition sale."
Clearance sale: all businesses will close on January 25, 2016.
The last building on the south side of Jinling Rd before the intersection with Henan Rd is beautiful from all angles.
Going south on Jinmen Rd, keeping the triangular house to our left.
"Hurry with urban renewal, assess the houses according to the law," urges the banner. Or, "Frequently mention law and fairness to cover up injustice."
Anyone who ever stood at the crossing of Henan Rd and Renmin Rd has remarked on the quaint beauty of this narrow wedge-shaped house that fills the triangular block between Henan Rd, Jinling Rd and Jinmen Rd. It is being emptied of its residents.
Continuing to move east on Jinling Rd. The block between Zijin Rd and Jiangxi Rd is mostly demolished on the inside. The neighborhood's name was Jiruli 吉如里; it was built in 1920.
If the arcade survives, it will be "Out with the local business, in with the global chains."
Corner of Jiangxi Rd, looking back (west).
The block between Jiangxi Rd and Yongsheng Rd. The scaffolding along Jiangxi Rd appears to be a renovation, though.
Behind these fronts is the compound Jin'anli 晋安里 built in 1912 – one of the oldest shikumen in the former French Concession. It is almost completely destroyed.
The block between Yongsheng Rd and Sichuan Rd.
The compound Xiangxingli 祥兴里 behind the red-and-black brick storefront is even older: it was built in 1911.
The corner of Sichuan Rd.
Going south on Sichuan Rd. This is the eastern boundary of the redevelopment zone. These are some of the loveliest storefronts in all of Shanghai.
"Sign away your house early – benefit early." Read: "Sign away early – save us money."
How interesting and lively the final curve of Sichuan Rd used to be. Not anymore.
Goodbye, Jinling Rd.