Tags: 丹凤路

Phoenix Tower (丹凤楼) on the city wall

Continuing to explore Getty treasures – here are some views of the famous Phoenix Tower (Danfenglou 丹凤楼), perched on the northeastern "corner" of the city wall. In the famous 19th century painting by Cao Shiting, the Phoenix Tower is on the right.

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And here it is half a century earlier, much damaged during the eviction of the Small Swords from the walled city in 1855:

Similarly to Dajing Pavilion, a stylized drawing from the 1860s is rather accurate. Here we have the multi-storied whitewashed building with dark wooden panels around the windows; there is even the brick arch framing the path on top of the city wall, on the right. There is a number of temple halls in front of the tower, dedicated to Tianhou and various Taoist gods.

If we use that drawing as a reference – could this anonymous temple from the same series on Getty be one of the halls of the Phoenix Pavilion, for example, the Thunder God Temple?

And here is the model of Danfenglou in the Shanghai History Museum:


Bad news for the old town

This piece of news is worrisome. With the word 'revamping' seeping into every other paragraph, you know this does not bode well for the residents' community and for the historic city. The developers are itching to sink their claws into the last authentic corner of the old town's north: the area east of the City God Temple. I don't believe any of the preservation incantations in the article. The message is obvious: downtown land is golden and it gets redeveloped. You can bet against me and claim your reward in a few years if you don't see a string of boutique hotels and retail promenades after the 'revamping' is finished, with all the former homeowners cleanly swept to the suburbs.