Architect longs for a return of old shops on Nanjing Road

NANJING Road is the window of Shanghai.

In old times, it was prosperous and bustling, unlike today’s swarming crowd of people led by tourists.

In the 1990s huge stones were paved on the road to receive many tourists, but I still preferred the water-penetrating bricks that had a much more cozy feeling.

I haven’t visited Nanjing Road E. for a long time, which now has too many advertising. Sometimes I wander around Nanjing Road W.

The opening of four big Chinese department stores early last century had dramatically upgraded Nanjing Road, which now stood out from other local shopping streets.

Now the four stores cannot compete with the new ones with their yesteryears glory.

It’s a pity that some good traditional shops have been moved away from Nanjing Road, which is now dotted with many low-price shops. I hope these old brands come back to the street.

Nanjing Road has even more stories than the Bund. It’s so close to the Bund, but buildings on the street are so different from those along the Bund. They are very interesting.


— Excerpt from an interview with veteran architect Tang Yu’en who designed Shanghai Library. She was also the chief architect during the restoration of the Fairmont Peace Hotel and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.