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83.Tianjin “Five-Avenue Area”: being worthy of the reputation of “World Building Exposition”    2008-09-22 13:51

An old man with a tobacco pipe in his mouth,a big tall dark-brown horse, and a white carriage…Sightseeing in the “Five-Avenue Area” bya horse-drawn cart is really a unique landscapein the city of Tianjin. Today, the “Five-AvenueArea”, with the reputation of “World BuildingExposition”, has become the most attractive humanitiestourism destination which fully showsthe city’s charisma and historical situation.

The Five-Avenue Area refers to the rectangularregion in the Heping District south of ChengduStreet, north of Machang Street, east of XikangRoad, and west of Machang Street and NanjingRoad. In this area, there are 22 roads with a totallength of 17 kilometers and total area of 1.28square meters. “Five-Avenue Area” gets its namefrom five main streets: Machang Street, MunanStreet, Dali Street, Changde Street and ChongqingStreet from east to west. There are nearly2000 western buildings of various Europeanstyles designed and built in the early of last centurythat have been completely preserved.

It is introduced by the Tianjin Department ofHistorical Building Protection that there aremore than 230 buildings of various styles likeEngland, France, Italy, Germany and Spain in“Five-Avenue Area”, among which there are 89English-style buildings, 41 buildings of Italianstyle, 6 French-style ones, 4 German ones, 3Espanola-style ones, 46 courtyard-style ones,40 apartment-style ones, 5 western-style ones,and 3 buildings featuring Chinese-Westernmixed style. Buildings of all kinds of stylescould be seen in this block. Therefore, the areareally deserves the reputation of “World BuildingExposition”.

An important reason for the reputation ofwestern buildings in Tianjin is that the personswho once lived in the western buildings wereunusual. According to incomplete statistics,only in the “Five-Avenue Area”, two presidentsof the Republic of China and seven Premiers oracting Prime Ministers once resided here in the1920s and 1930s. In addition, a large numberof celebrities of different fields left their historicalmark in the “Five-Avenue Area” of Tianjin,such as famous educators Yan Xiu and ZhangBoling, well-known industrialists Zhou Xuexi, LiZhuchen and Song Peiqing.

According to incomplete statistics, there aremore than 200 former residences of celebritiesin the “Five-Avenue Area”, which becomean important historical and cultural heritageof Tianjin. Therefore, the “Five-Avenue Area”is “epitome of modern Chinese history” and adescription of social and historical changes ofChina in the past century.

Within the main streets of the “Five-AvenueArea”, Machang Street is the longest one withthe length of 3,216 meters. It got the namebecause it was once the prosperous path toformer racecourse of England settlement. Pu Yi,old people of Qing Dynasty, retiring politiciansof the Republic of China and frustrated warlordsall once left their footprints on this street.

On the both sides of Munan Street, there arerow upon row of western buildings, mutualbeautiful courtyards and gardens, which fullyshow the European style. Dali Street, formerlyknown as Singapore Street, is famous for thesingle western buildings of various Europeanstyles. In Chongqing Street, most of the buildingsare high-class row apartment among whichthere are many former residences of celebrities,including the only palace of Tianjin—QingPalace. Located at the most northern part,Chengdu Street has become a main welcomeroute of Tianjin.

As a national-level historical and culturalcity, Tianjin attaches great importance to theprotection of historical buildings. Based ondomestic and international experience ofhistorical buildings protection and the actualsituation in Tianjin, Tianjin has made comprehensiverefurbishment on the “Five-Avenue”historical building area and makes it an importantwindow of Tianjin.    Editor: Zhao Jing
Preparatory & Coordination Committee of Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2008