Historic Landmarks Razed in Beijing’s Development Frenzy

Posted on February 13, 2012


An unremarkable brick and timber home at 24 Beizongbu Hutong in Beijing was demolished last week. Architectural preservations were furious when they found the former home of the legendary architects Liang Sicheng and Lin Huiyin in ruins last week. Officials stated they intend to build a replica, but preservationists were not satisfied. They reported that of the 533,000 landmarks in China recorded by the Chinese National Bureau of Cultural Relics last year, 44,000 no longer exist. This destruction is, in large part, driven by development.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1928, Sicheng and Huiyin returned to China, driven to study China’s architectural history and to help build the new China. They instituted an architecture school in the city of Shenyang and worked to protect national cultural landmarks. In 2009, China designated their former home a historic landmark.

Read the full New York Times article In Beijing’s Building Frenzy, Even an “Immovable Cultural Relic” Is Not Safe.

Thanks to Kristina Bauer for her assistance with this post.