The 1933 building: Packing Meat No Longer

Who knew meat processing plants used to be so cool looking? This old abattoir (a new word for me too) in Northern Shanghai has been preserved from its carnivorous days and now functions as housing for boutique shops. Little has been done to alter the building, which is a good thing. A purse store hangs its merchandise along the brick walls. Extra stock is kept behind a tiny door that I image pig’s feet must have been stored. A jewelry store is holed up in a cylindrical space in the center of the building, spiral staircases surrounding it. A few cafes and restaurants have sprung up in the bigger areas.

But there is still retail space to be had. It’ll be interesting to hear what comes of the 1933 building, which had the misfortune of turning into a retail outlet just as the recession hit. Not helping is the fact that it’s in one of the poorer neighborhoods in Shanghai. I liked this becuase it was mostly empty and I got to wander freely through its slightly creepy low-ceilinged rooms, but I was trying to ignore the feeling of impending doom for the building. There’s nothing the Shanghainese like better than bulldozers and shiny new high-rises.

To check out the 1933 building for yourself, take metro line 10 to Hailun Road. Head south for about 1/3 of a mile. It is on the corner of Shajing and Zhoujiazui (10 Shajing). Come right before sunset and climb to the top of the building for views of Shanghai. The surrounding area is also pretty fun. Wuzhou road (east of, or behind the 1933 building) features rows of live-in stores selling produce, live chickens, meat and fish. The fish are also live. In the picture below that man’s arm is retrieving a little guy who tried to hop to freedom down the gutter. He didn’t make it.

Moller House: A Mini Winchester Mansion

You know the story of Sarah Winchester? Eccentric widow and heir to the Winchester rifle fortune, Sarah believed that she needed to move out west and commission a house to be built continuously. If construction was stopped, something really bad would happen. The result is the Winchester Mansion in San Jose, CA.

Swede Eric Moller of Shanghai apparently had a similar vision. His house is much smaller than the Winchester place, but features similar turrets and general craziness. The Moller house is now a hotel and popular wedding destination among the Shanghai elite. If you follow the walkway along the western gardens, there are tables enclosed in individual glass pagodas for evening dining.

To get to the Moller house, take metro line 1 to South Shaanxi Road. Head north. It’ll be on your left in about ½ a mile. It’s at 30 Sough Shaanxi Road. If you get to the Yan’an overpass you’ve gone too far. If you feel the need to watch old people exercise (including the high stepped backwards walk), take a detour through Xiangyang Park. It’s just west of the metro station.