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Developer razes historic Guangzhou structures

By Li Qian (Shanghai Daily)

08:58, June 14, 2013

Picture taken on June 11, 2013 shows the demolition site of the old houses of Minguo period in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province. (Photo/

OLD houses, witness to the changing history of Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province, were pulled down early on Tuesday despite a government order last year to halt demolition.

The garden houses, which were built by a Hong Kong company in the 1940s on Miaogaotai, Jinlingtai and Shishu roads were home to Chinese celebrities and high-ranking officials. They featured Italian building materials and sandalwood furniture.

The demolition began at 11pm on Monday night and was completed by early Tuesday morning, waking up people living in the vicinity, local New Express Daily reported yesterday.

"It felt like an earthquake and lasted for hours. I told them to stop but no one paid any attention to me. The whole place looks like it has been bombed," an old man said.

Another neighbor said the developer had prepared for the demolition about a week ago as workers had covered one side of the street with woven cloth and secretly hammered insides in mornings.

The daily said a local real estate company, Cuihua, won the bid to redevelop the old neighborhood and started the relocation process in 2007 after the previous developer was forced to withdraw due to lack of funds.

Local community official said they were not informed of the demolition plans, the paper said.

Officials from the city's urban management planning bureau said they might reclaim the land since the developer did not show any regard about preserving the historical buildings and optimize the development plan.

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