Shíkùmén, meaning "stone gate" are living communities that combine Western and Chinese architectural styles. The first of Shanghai's shíkùmén were built in the early 1860s to protect locals and refugees from the countryside from looting and fighting during the Taiping Rebellion. By the early 1900s, shíkùmén were often considered to be wretched, crowded and impoverished, though a number of single-family residences remained. Today, shíkùmén still exist, though most have been demolished and replaced by high-rises. And while some have been renovated and turned into expensive homes for Shanghai's expat community and local Chinese, these pictures reflect what many remaining shíkùmén look like today.
By Delrisha White | December 6th, 2011 | Published in Arts & Culture |