Many years ago I went to People’s Park in Shanghai. I remember a time with my dad in 1991, but probably first went in 1988. But my recollections were fuzzy at best. So it was great fun to return there a few weeks ago during the World Congress on Art Deco. And boy was there a ton of Art Deco around People’s Park, or the old race track.
One of my favorites was Poy Gum Lee‘s old YMCA, which is now a Metropolo Hotel. Lee was a Chinese-American architect who designed buildings in China, including Shanghai. I just love Art Deco with Chinese characteristics.
And look at the door details, namely the Chinese character for push and the rounded, Art Deco bars.
The Great World Entertainment Centre predated Bangkok’s Patpong district and was therefore known as a hub of anything-goes acts performed by people from around the world. The building still stands, but vice left the Great World in 1949.
My mom had taken this tour a day or two before I did and raved about the Yangtze Hotel. When she mentioned the name, it reminded me of a hotel I had stayed at in Wuhan during the days of Good Chinese Wife. But this one in Shanghai was on a whole other level.
And here it is up close.
Here are a couple of other Art Deco gems we saw that afternoon. Check out the lighting on this building.
And the railings in the Grand Cinema.
For more about the architect Poy Gum Lee mentioned above, there’s a retrospective of his work now at New York’s Museum of Chinese in America through March 27, 2016. The fabulous curator gave a talk about Lee at the World Congress and was on some of my walking tours, including this one where we saw the former YMCA building.