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People's Daily Online>>China Features

Famous traditional courtyard bulldozed


08:45, January 29, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- In the 1950s, his plan to prevent modern development in the ancient city of Beijing was nipped.

Three decades after his death, famous architect Liang Sicheng's former courtyard home in downtown Chinese capital met the same fate.

Liang's "siheyuan," the traditional courtyard home, was reportedly bulldozed by a real estate developer on Thursday in the name of preservation.

The former rectangle brick structure in Beizongbu hutong where Liang and his also architect wife Lin Huiyin (Phyllis Lin) resided and started the unprecedented profiling of ancient Chinese architecture during the 1930s was reduced to piles of rubble surrounding a lone wooden gate.

The government said Saturday that the demolition was not approved by the cultural heritage authorities and officials would investigate and deal with the case in accordance of the law.

The destruction was the latest ancient architecture lost in the Chinese capital's rush to modernization at the expense of cultural heritages.

Over the past decades, high-rising office buildings, apartment blocks, and sprawling shopping malls mushroomed in the heart of Beijing, replacing the maze of "siheyuans" and "hutongs" -- the narrow alley lanes -- which used to be the signatures of the city.

Liang's former residence was partially destroyed in 2009 but the demolition was halted after the public outcries for ancient architecture protection.

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