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Iconic Yangshupu Power Plant to open to public

    Iconic Yangshupu Power Plant to open to public

    Historic Yangshupu Power Plant. The 2.7-kilometer riverside area between Yangpu Bridge and the power plant will open on Saturday, offering jogging, cycling and walking paths.
    Residents and tourists will be able to visit the former Yangshupu Power Plant, once the biggest thermal power plant in East Asia and the city’s tallest structure, from Saturday.
    The plant, which was built in 1913 and operated until 2010, will be open to the public for the first time along with a dozen of China’s earliest industrial heritages in Yangpu District with the opening of a new section of the riverside region along the Huangpu River.
    The 2.7-kilometer riverside area between Yangpu Bridge and the power plant will offer jogging, cycling and walking paths, the district government said yesterday.
    The Yangpu waterfront is known as the birthplace of China’s modern industries with the nation’s first water, electricity, shipbuilding and textile companies. Many of the industrial buildings have been preserved during redevelopment of the riverside area.
    Twelve factories on seven sites will be unveiled on Saturday as new waterfront attractions.
    Visitors will be able to see the exterior of the buildings at first. Eventually they will be able to go inside structures that have been converted into museums and art galleries or for other functions, according to the Yangpu Riverside Investment and Development Co.
    These historical structures will become a century-old “industrial expo” and “heritage park” to tell visitors of the evolution from industrial birthplace to the origin of creativity and innovation, said Zuo Weidong, the company’s chairman.
    The preserved factory buildings, covering a total of 70,000 square meters, also include those once belonging to the city’s power station auxiliary equipment factory, the No. 1 cotton factory, soap factory and Yangshupu gas plant, all dating back more than 50 years ago. 
    Over 100 former machines and production tools have been retained and will be exhibited along the waterfront region. The former industrial layouts have also been largely retained and only unnecessary industrial ruins removed.
    Three coal-unloading machines on the former coal wharf, for instance, have become attractions along with bridges at the power plant.
    Some of the former boundary walls between two adjoining factories have also been kept.
    Small warehouses will become convenience stores, some libraries and service stations, said Guo Yifeng, one of the section’s designers.
    “The original greenery and ponds have also been retained while some bricks and wood from the obsolete factory buildings have been reused on the pavements and handrails,” Guo said.
    “It is expected to become an example on how preserved industrial heritages can be combined with open public space,” she said.
    Visitors will first encounter the huge former power station auxiliary equipment factory, covering 17,000 square meters, at the beginning of the new waterfront section.
    The factory, built in 1921, was once the largest of its kind in China. Some nearby electric warehouses and a church-style power plant have also been retained to show the history of China’s early power industry.
    The century-old Shanghai Soap Factory features a museum along with a handicraft workshop and cafe. Its former sewage treatment pond has also been preserved.
    At the end of the new waterfront section, the Yangshupu Power Plant and its nearby industrial relics will showcase the whole production procedure dating back over a century ago, said Qin Shu, the architect in charge of the development of the power plant region.
    Two cranes and grab buckets took coal blocks from ships before two coal-breakers, which have become like sculptures on the riverside, then crushed the blocks into smaller pieces.
    A transport belt then took the coal into a three-story prefabricated workshop. Visitors can enter the workshop to have a panoramic view on the plant and the waterfront, Qin said.

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