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English>>China Society

Dashilan to be Qianmenized?

By Yin Yeping (Global Times)

09:41, November 09, 2012

Historic former department store Beijing Quanyechang pictured Saturday. The store is at the center of a new commercial project in the Dashilan area, Dongcheng district. Photo: Courtesy of Cui Jinze

Heritage protection experts have alleged a new development project in the Qianmen area is merely another excuse to have a commercial zone instead of properly preserving the area's historic landscape.

Beijing Municipal Commission of Urban Planning issued a report Wednesday concerning the renovation project in Dashilan, west of Qianmen in Dongcheng district.

Former department store, Beijing Quanyechang, which dates from 1923, is at the center of the construction site, with dozens of other historic buildings within the boundary of the 8,000-square-meter project. The four-story building was the largest department store in Beijing in the 1950s.

The report includes some information about the project and an invitation to receive public feedback.

It said historic buildings will be preserved, and there will be eight new buildings in "neo" historic style. The project will be finished in 2013, reported the Beijing Youth Daily Thursday.

After completion, the area will contain museums, galleries, art workshops, shops and an underground parking lot.

Zeng Yizhi, an expert in cultural heritage, said that it is ironic the project has now been opened up for public opinion, since it started in early 2012.

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