Shamei Mansion / 沙美大楼

During these last few days in Shanghai, I was riding my bicycle under the rain when I spotted a wonderful abandoned place: a historical building from the 1920s! After a few minutes of online research, I learned more about its past.

Shamei Mansion was built from 1918 to 1921 by Atkinson & Dallas Co.ltd. It first carried the name « Shamei Bank building ». For a long time, it was occupied by private businesses. But then, it became less maintained and suddenly after a while, all the tenants moved away and the building was left empty, without anyone watching it. Even if it is in a bad shape, you can tell how good the quality of the structure was, as it still displays some of its past glory.

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Upper floor detail, Shamei Mansion, Oct 2016
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Delicate decorations, Shamei Mansion, Oct 2016

As you can see on the details of balconies and windows, it is a very typical example of an Art nouveau building like you find near the Shanghai Bund, with delicate Baroque style, mixing different shapes on the five different floors. I saw the ground floor one evening by chance and I have to say it was already extremely inspiring. It felt like stepping into a gothic cathedral because of the effects conveyed by the spacious room, the many pillars and the high ceilings, not to mention the distant light of streetlights in the night…

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Facade detail, Shamei Mansion, Oct 2016

Unfortunately, there are not many more pictures because of the heavy rain these days. And as it is located on a very wide and open street, I have not been able to get inside to the upper floors… yet! Wait for my future updates, I am really motivated by that place…

And by the way, if some one reading that blog post was visiting that building not so long ago with friends, thank you very much for opening the way for me, at least I could enjoy the building for a few minutes before the guard came. Next time, don’t turn on so many strong flashlights in the upper floors… But I would be glad to meet you and go somewhere together! 🙂

And if you like derelict historical buildings in China, you can read my reports about the ruins of a coal-mining village and the Bataizi church in Shanxi province, or about the Sino-French University and the mysterious tomb of the Lou family in Beijing.

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