|The Uber of woodshops coming to your city|
|The #13 building XinMenXi Commerce and Trade Zone|
A former employer has announced its plans to expand its operations into several large Chinese cities and Nanjing is one of them. I asked my wife to accompany me to see what to make of the new location somewhere near JiQingMen 集庆门.
|better than underground|
We saw no signage nor 'woodshop' construction so we continued wending our way along jiqingmen jie until we crossed Fengyousi lu. I recognized the character of si as meaning temple so I suggested that we try to find the temple that the street was undoubtedly named after. I learned only later that the whole neighborhood was named after the FengYou Temple. She asked a fruitseller in her corner shop who explained after a bit of confusion that there was no temple because it had been torn down to make way for a school. Drat. I could neither find any history of the temple online.
We decided to head in the direction that she indicated where the replacement school has been built.
I also later learned that the school that rests on the formerly sacred site is the Nanjing #43 middle school on HuaLu Bei Gan.
|securely bolted from the interior|
|electric insulator factory, view from Hualu Bei Gan|
|Electric insulator factory gable end|
I was more appalled by the stench of human waste than the likelihood of PCBs and dioxins that lingered around the site. I turned into a narrow alleyway to find a perimeter wall built with embossed brick spolia taken from the citywall.
|falling rendering revealing the ancient monument beneath|
|wall from spolia possibly taken from the JiQingMen construction|
Further along the street, on the south side of the street another building caught my attention.
|citywall stones repurposed|
|Rotting remnants of timberframe roof structure|
|Cut stone spolia awaiting its next application|
|Abandoned archaeological pit, perhaps|
|pallets can help avoid having to move stones so often by hand|
Despite usually tight security on Chinese construction sites, the new temple back door was left ajar, calling out to us to enter. How dare we refuse such a sacred invitation?
|Interior temple courtyard|
All construction had apparently come to a halt some time before our arrival (I estimate at least a year) even though much remained to be done. The woodwork that was more exposed to the elements had begun to decay in its unpainted condition. Or perhaps, the intention was to buck tradition and follow the modern trend of preferring the 'real wood' style.
|Contemplating interior decoration|
|modern sprinkler systems|
|ham-fisted sensitivity to aesthetics|
Further inward we trod with assurance to avoid being told that we were trespassing. It still amazes me what can be considered habitable housing. Out of respect, I didn't photograph the worst examples.
|Early modern dilpidation|
|Discarded timberframe members|
|Chinese timbered roof structure|
A section of Haulu Gan had been covered over to form a makeshift woodshop complete with a homemade tablesaw that is more typical on construction sites than factory made machines. It was evidently used in the reconstruction of the protected building that was adjacent to it.
|the designated historic building|
|examining the street name sign|
The protected building, which doesn't appear on googlemaps, sported a plaque that announced it as being 'unable to be moved'. I would have photographed this for its information but it was made of a reflective brass that was nearly impossible to read clearly and certainly impossible to photograph.
|a wing of the protected building|
|A hidden view taken by craning over the perimeter wall|
It was an expansive compound that was better guarded than the new temple.
|Saved former industrial building|
|evocative of the electrical insulation factory|
|Too bulky to demolish, perhaps|
Further ahead we came across another former factory that somehow managed to remain intact.
|historical dead zone|
The razed area next to the empty factory, which escaped our exploration and awaits further development.