I lived in Chengdu, Sichuan, China, from 2006 to 2014, teaching English at two universities there. I arrived as the city was demolishing the last of its ancient neighborhoods in its rush to “progress;” to waste so much valuable architectural and cultural heritage seemed criminal. I wandered the city and documented what remained with my camera. Learn more about the transformation of one historic area here:
Local workers stare through layers of history: a new residential tower, the restored Dacisi monastery, the rubble of a demolished ancient neighborhood, and a broken wall.
See more photos of the Dacisi Monastery area here.
decorative panel, restored building, Dacisi area
restored buildings in the center of the new “ancient” shopping complex.
To the immediate south of Dacisi is a new “ancient” tourist/retail area, arranged around two authentic temple or public buildings that have been conserved. I don’t know yet about their history, but it looks as if they will be used as a theater, with a traditional raised stage facing an open courtyard, for opera performances.
Interior courtyard in process of restoration
exterior of courtyard house, east of Dacisi monastery complex.
brick entrance gateway, courtyard house
Finally, one narrow residential lane survives in the midst of the surrounding construction; above is an example of both woodcarving and traditional architecture that is un-restored and as yet un-demolished. All in all, what is being done with the area seems to have been handled with a degree of sensitivity.