As the rate of industrialization and urbanization accelerates in China, more and more factories are becoming deserted. Preserving and developing industrial cultural heritage has become an issue that gathers the public’s attention.

The Zhongyan Hongsifang Joint-Stock Company complex was built in the 1950s in Anhui Province, China. The industrial site had a glorious past, but as time changed and production techniques became more advanced, the machines became outdated and the factories were facing demolition. Whether to develop the site into commercial real estate or to convert it into a cultural center caused a debate among the locals, and more people supported preservation of the site.

In order to preserve and utilize the historic value of the Hongsifang industrial complex, the company had put in a lot of effort, including publishing a conceptual design of an industrial cultural convention center, which was supported by different stakeholders. However, the Hongsifang complex did not escape the fate of demolition due to the local government’ planning decision. 

CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., LTD.

CNSG Anhui Hong Sifang Co., LTD.

According to Chen Shaofeng, Vice Director of the Peking University Cultural Industry Institute, industrial heritage preservation has its special value to a city’s history and the residents’ collective memories. In order to preserve the distinct characters of each city, the local governments should establish special programs to protect the cultural heritage and include historic preservation in their plans.

Do you know any cases of historical preservation of industrial sites?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

The original article, published in Chinese, can be found here.