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Qianmen neighborhood gate seen over a modesty wall

Rebuilding Qianmen 前门改造

February 2008

Heavy fabric walls surrounded two square blocks of downtown Beijing in 2007 through August 2008. On the walls were printed the idealized pictures of the future of Qianmen Dajie and shopping area. The area would include an uncovered moat, a bridge to cross the moat, swans (yes, there were pictures of swans), and lots and lots and lots of stores to entice the most resistant buyer.

The artist had included Western tourists in the paintings, gazing at the stores. The project will encompass the area from the Archery Gate down to the next major through street to the south called Zhushikou Xidajie 珠市口西大街 (Zhūshìkǒu Xīdàjiē). It will extend east to include the Zhengyangmen Railway Station and the Dashila Hutong. Further development on the west side of Qianmen district will wait a few years, but it, too, will disappear.

China Index >> History of Beijing in Pictures >> Qianmen Dashila (Dazhalan) Hutong History

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Last update: August 2009
© Marilyn Shea, 2009