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Tianjin “Five-Avenue Area”: being worthy of the reputation of “World Building Exposition”
enorth.com.cn   2009-07-20 14:43


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” by a horse-drawn cart is really a unique landscape in the city of Tianjin. Today, the “Five-AvenueArea”, with the reputation of “World Building Exposition”, has become the most attractive humanities tourism destination which fully showsthe city’s charisma and historical situation.

The Five-Avenue Area refers to the rectangular region in the Heping District south of ChengduStreet, north of Machang Street, east of Xikang Road, and west of Machang Street and Nanjing Road. In this area, there are 22 roads with a total length of 17 kilometers and total area of 1.28 square meters. “Five-Avenue Area” gets its name from five main streets: Machang Street, MunanStreet, Dali Street, Changde Street and Chongqing Street from east to west. There are nearly 2000 western buildings of various European styles designed and built in the early of last century that have been completely preserved.

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

An important reason for the reputation of western buildings in Tianjin is that the persons who once lived in the western buildings were unusual. According to incomplete statistics,only in the “Five-Avenue Area”, two presidents of the Republic of China and seven Premiers or acting Prime Ministers once resided here in the 1920s and 1930s. In addition, a large numberof celebrities of different fields left their historical mark in the “Five-Avenue Area” of Tianjin,such as famous educators Yan Xiu and Zhang Boling, well-known industrialists Zhou Xuexi, Li Zhuchen and Song Peiqing.

According to incomplete statistics, there are more than 200 former residences of celebrities in the “Five-Avenue Area”, which become an important historical and cultural heritage of Tianjin. Therefore, the “Five-Avenue Area”is “epitome of modern Chinese history” and a description of social and historical changes of China in the past century.

Within the main streets of the “Five-AvenueArea”, Machang Street is the longest one with the length of 3,216 meters. It got the name because it was once the prosperous path to former race course of England settlement. Pu Yi,old people of Qing Dynasty, retiring politiciansof the Republic of China and frustrated warlords all once left their footprints on this street.

On the both sides of Munan Street, there are row upon row of western buildings, mutual beautiful courtyards and gardens, which fully show the European style. Dali Street, formerly known as Singapore Street, is famous for the single western buildings of various European styles. In Chongqing Street, most of the buildings are high-class row apartment among which there are many former residences of celebrities,including the only palace of Tianjin—Qing Palace. Located at the most northern part, Chengdu Street has become a main welcome route of Tianjin.

As a national-level historical and cultural city, Tianjin attaches great importance to the protection of historical buildings. Based ondomestic and international experience of historical buildings protection and the actual situation in Tianjin, Tianjin has made comprehensive refurbishment on the “Five-Avenue”historical building area and makes it an important window of Tianjin.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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