Once again dear Mrs. Peichin had organized an impressive tour for us at the Columbian Country Club (CCC) situated at West Yanan Road No. 1262. The event was hosted by Vanke Group, a leading real estate company in China.
The CCC construction started in 1923. It used to be an American social and recreation club set on five acres of grounds. It featured tennis courts, an amazing huge outdoor swimming pool with mosaic surrounding arcade, and a squash court.
The two-story club house was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style. It has teak flooring and red tiled roof, a grand patterned stone fireplace, solid twisted stone columns and a spiral staircase with a wide back veranda for dining and dancing.
From 1927 to 1942 it was a joyful place where Americans came to socialize with one another and “escape” life in Shanghai. After Japanese soldiers occupied the city in 1942, they used it as a camp for Western captives.
Until a couple of years ago, it was used by the state-owned Shanghai Institute of Biological Products, and today the Vanke Group has plans to soon renovate it into a compound housing creative businesses and restaurants.
Next to the CCC we visited a beautiful villa designed by the great and famous architect Laszlo Hudec for his own use, but due to shortage of cash he sold it to Dr Sun Yat-sen’s son Sun Ke.
The club is largely well preserved with the original Spanish façade. Although it looks old it is easy to visualize its former glory from its details. Walking around you could strongly sense the good vibes of those days.
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