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Chongqing News

The first light in Chongqing came from this building

2018-05-11 09:56:12

Renovated old site of the Introspection Institute

The blue brick facade of Li Yaoting Mansion

The old site of Customs Supervision Office

CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- A Baixiang Street represents a half history of Chongqing.

Baixiang Street was built along the river. It was once the economic center of Chongqing after its opening in 1891. Although over a hundred years old, the Chinese and Western style buildings, including the Pharmaceutical Association, Jiangquantaihao Mansion, Bufengju Mansion, and the old site of the Customs Supervision Office, still exist and have witnessed the glory of this old street.

In April of last year, the first phase of Baixiang Street’s traditional characteristic style region opened for trial operation. At present, the second and third phases are under construction and are expected to be completed by 2022. There are 9 historic buildings and two old city gates in the region. The old site of the Pharmaceutical Association and the private Xinghua Elementary School have been renovated. The main part of the old Li Yaoting Mansion, Chongqing Introspection Institute, and Chongqing Customs Supervision Office have been completed. Internal improvement is ongoing.

A few days ago, we walked into Baixiang Street and inquired about the three old buildings being repaired.

The richest man in southwest once lived here.

Near the Renhe Gate Wall is the Li Yaoting Mansion, built in the late Qing Dynasty. Overlooking from a height, this Chinese/Western building is also like a big sailing ship. Li Yaoting, the richest man of southwest, once lived here.

Li Yaoting was a native of Zhaotong, Yunnan. He initially trafficked tea, tobacco, and salt, and later operated the Chongqing exchange shop of Tianshunxiang. By the early 20th century, Tianshunxiang had become the industry leader in Chongqing. Li Yaoting also gradually opened a number of industrial companies and rose to fame.

In 1906, Liu Peigao, a gentry-merchant of Ba Country, installed a 100-kilowatt DC generator at the Taiping Gate, and provided power for the first time. The day was Li Yaoting’s 70th birthday. 50 electric lights in Li Yaoting Mansion were lit up, which shocked the entire city of Chongqing. Li Yaoting also became the first person to use electricity in Chongqing.

Customs Office witnesses the opening history of Chongqing.

Among the three buildings, the most impressive is the old site of the Chongqing Customs Supervision Office. This three-building combination house has a large eight-diagram-shaped mountain gate and European facade, combing traditional Chinese decorative elements. The old site construction area is about 1600 square meters. The street outside the original building was called Customs Lane.

On March 1, 1891, Chongqing Customs was established. The Customs Supervision Office was originally set up in the Chaotianmen Food Supply Group and relocated there in 1905. Due to the establishment of Customs and the location near the river, Baixiang Street at that time attracted a large number of foreign merchants and become the most prosperous commercial street in the lower urban area of the city.

Fanxing House is the Zhazidong of the lower urban area.

Not far from Li Yaoting Mansion, it is the old site of the Chongqing Introspection Institute, which is known as the Zhazidong, which was hidden in the lower urban area of the city. This square three-story building is a typical European style.

This building is just part of the Introspection Institute. According to relevant data, the Introspection Institute is a detention facility for imprisoned progressives during the Republic of China. It once had three buildings with a tall courtyard: a guard house, an office, and a detention center. (Translated by Gao Jiao, Fathom Language Limited)

 

Editor:Jiang Yiwei