Former residence of Mao Zedong reopens

Mao spent his longest stay in Shanghai at the two-story shikumen building on 120 Maoming Road N.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The renovated former residence of Mao Zedong.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

An artistic creation of Mao Zedong shows him working at his desk.

The Shanghai home of Mao Zedong, where China's former leader spent his longest time in the city, will reopen to the public on January 2 after a two-year renovation.

Mao spent six months, from June 1924 through to the end of the year, living with his family in the two-story house at 120 Maoming Road N., part of a shikumen community called Jiaxiuli built in 1915.

The building was granted protected status by the city government in December 1977 and opened to the public in December 1999 as a memorial to Mao. It was closed in 2015 for renovation.

The facade was restored based on historical archives, while the interior layout was upgraded, adding new exhibits.

“We managed to obtain the photos of Jiaxiuli taken in 1947 and 1948,“ said Zhang Zhong, deputy director of Jing’an Cultural Bureau. “Local architect Qiao Shuqi in 1960 studied the house. He offered his drawings to us for reference.”

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

One of the drawings by local architect Qiao Shuqi.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Wood shutters were restored.

Over the two years of renovation, illegal structures built at the entrance were pulled down, walls were repainted and replaced. Traditional shikumen elements were restored, including wood shutters and carved stone lintels.

Figures of Mao, his first wife Yang Kaihui and his two sons Mao Anying and Mao Anqing were made. They were set in scenes like Mao working at his desk and Yang taking care of their two young sons in the bedroom.

The reopened memorial has a huge screen, which stores 11 video clips showing Mao’s 11 visits to Shanghai between 1919 and 1926. Visitors can choose to watch the clips by touching a small screen in front of it.

Also, new exhibits like copies of Mao’s correspondence, the sofa that he sat during his visit to the former Shanghai Electrical Machinery Factory in 1961, and a set of Mao suits that he sent to his security guard Gao Zhi.

The building opens from 9am to 11:30am, 1pm to 4:30pm, every day from Tuesday to Sunday, free of charge. Visitors are advised to dial 6272-3656 to make a reservation in advance.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Some of Mao's letters on display.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

The sofa that Mao used when he paid a visit to Shanghai workers in the 1960s.

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