This was the Asian Wall Street of the late 1800s and the early 1900s -- the avenue along Huangpu River where major financial institutions of Europe built their Chinese headquarters in styles ranging from Renaissance to Gothic to Art Deco (and a couple of periods in between). The Communist Chinese eventually moved most tenants out of the 52 historical buildings until the 1990s when the Shanghai government realized that tourism would be well served by inviting hotels and banks to return and renovate the now iconic buildings. Today, exclusive nightclubs co-exist with those tenants, and this slice of Western architecture is one of the principal tourist draws in booming Shanghai.
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