Renovation workers find historic floor tiles

Yang Jian
Floor tiles that were part of the city's former racecourse near People's Square have been discovered during renovation of the Shanghai History Museum.
Yang Jian

Floor tiles that were part of the city’s former racecourse near People’s Square have been discovered during renovation of the Shanghai History Museum.

The tiles, made of small grey bricks, were unearthed when workers were repairing the underground channel to connect the east and west buildings of the former Shanghai Racecourse on Nanjing Road W.

They were originally paved on the stables of the racecourse, also known as the Shanghai Race Club, which was established in 1850.

These historic tiles have now been embedded on a central corridor of the west building as a reminder of history, the museum said.

“The club was popular among the former International Settlement,” according to Xiong Yuezhi, a historian with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

“The Chinese were not allowed to enter.”

The neoclassical building of the club, located at the crossroads of Nanjing Road W. and Huangpi Road N., has housed Shanghai Museum, Shanghai Library and Shanghai Art Museum for the past six decades.

It was under renovation for the last two years. The original building was built in 1863 and renovated again in 1933.

The clock tower was once the tallest in the city.

After the museum’s official opening later this month, the west building, covering over 2,000 square meters, will open to the public for the first time. The two-story building used to serve as the office of the club and stables.

An old photo studio has been restored in the building.

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