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A year of commemorations, and their history

Anhua Building

The China Heritage Project of the Australian National University has published a new issue of China Heritage Quarterly.

This time the theme is "The Heritage of Commemoration". In light of all the anniversaries this year, there are articles on May Fourth, Thirteen National Days and Anniversaries in the light, and in the dark.

The image is from the article by Sang Ye and Geremie R. Barmé entitled Lieux de Memoire, which talks about recent Beijing history.

From the aforementioned article:

Completed in May 1960, Anhua Lou (the Anhua Building) was originally known as Guangqumen Dalou due to its proximity to the former gate in the old Beijing city wall. The name was changed in 1965 when the area became known as the Anhua Li Residential Zone. With a floor space of 20,000 square metres, the main structure is nine-storeys tall with side buildings of eight storeys.

Following the publication of Mao Zedong's remarks that 'People's Communes are good' (Renmin gongshe hao) in August 1958, rural and urban communes were rapidly established throughout the country. In the spring of 1959, during the heady days of the Great Leap Forward, the Beijing Municipal authorities began designing urban commune buildings that would accord with the new political priorities and create commune-style collective living facilities in urban centres. It was decided that one 'model building' would be constructed in each district of the capital, although only three were ever built. Anhua Lou is the sole survivor of that era. The other two completed buildings — Yonghegong Dalou and Fusuijing Dalou — have since been demolished.

China Heritage Quarterly is produced under the aegis of Geremie R. Barmé’s Australian Research Council-funded Federation Fellowship.

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