Grain storage site makes way for riverfront

Updated 2017-08-28 09:30:44 Shanghai Daily
The warehouse complex was built in 1956 near Xupu Bridge as the city’s major grain storage base, with 54,250 tons of storage volume.

The warehouse complex was built in 1956 near Xupu Bridge as the city's major grain storage base, with 54,250 tons of storage volume.

Demolishing began on Shanghai's former grain storage base in Xuhui over the weekend to open up the district's section of Huangpu River waterfront to the public by the end of this year.

The major grain silo of the 6th warehouse of the state-owned Shanghai Grain Storage Company on Longwu Road will, however, be kept and converted into a theater and show stage as "a historic memory," said the West Bund Group that takes charge of the development of the Xuhui riverside area.

The warehouse complex was built in 1956 near Xupu Bridge as the city's major grain storage base with 31 warehouse buildings and a total of 54,250 tons of storage volume. About 30 tons of food security grain were stored there for decades, according to the group.

The base had a total of 33,387 square meters of buildings for production, office and accommodation for its employees.

"Its location along the river make the transportation of grain convenient, but it prevents residents and tourists from walking closely to the riverfront," an official with the group said.

For the riverside opening-up campaign, the storage company began transporting grain to other sites in March. Piling has started for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over Dianpu River, a branch of Huangpu River, to link the waterfront.

The site will open to the public by the end of the year as part of a total of 45 kilometers of waterfront between Yangpu and Xupu bridges.

Many features of the former warehouses have been retained in the design but adapted for modern usage, the official said.

A former crane, grain transport corridor, funnel and deck will be kept and renovated as exhibits in the future riverside park.

The silo building that is to be preserved will stage fashion shows, light shows and art performances inside, as well as a rock-climbing site outside.

Xuhui's riverside, known as the West Bund, was once home to many of China's earliest industries.

The 9.4-square-kilometer area was once home to the city's earliest cargo transportation railway station built in 1907, Longhua Airport, then the biggest airport in the Far East in 1917, China's first modern cement factory built in 1920, and a major coal transportation dock built in 1929.

Many of these industrial heritage sites have been renovated into exhibits, runway park and art museums.

Earlier this month, a former office building of the Shanghai Hutchison Whitecat, which originated from the city's earliest chemical manufacturer in 1948, was demolished.

Many popular local household products like detergent and washing powder under the renowned brand Whitecat were created inside the 50-meter-tall building over the past half a century.

The site of the former Whitecat will be replaced by a botanical garden along the river to be an educational base for children and as a sightseeing attraction for tourists, the group said.

The future garden will be connected with the silo theater via the under-construction Dianpu River Bridge, upon its completion by the end of the year, according to the group.

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