Park Hotel


Park Hotel

Park Hotel (zh-stp |s=国际饭店|t=國際飯店|p=guójì fàndìan; literally "International hotel"), is a famous hotel on Nanjing Road overlooking Renmin Park in Shanghai, China.

History

Built in 1934, a prime example of Art Deco architecture designed by László Hudec. It was the tallest building in Asia at 22 floors / 84m (275ft) until 1952. It remained the tallest building in China until 1966, and in Shanghai until 1983.

It was built over the Shanghai Race Course, a horse racing track, which was turned into Renmin Park by the PRC government.

Many famous people were regular guests at this hotel including Henry Kissinger.

Exterior

The exterior has had two major changes: there is a banking entrance on one corner, and a marquee was added that masks the unique silhouette of the top floors.

Interior

In 1935, the outdoor garden on the 13th floor was converted into the 14th floor banquet space and surrounded by windows and covered with a retractable roof. Unfortunately, that roof is now a back-lit glass panel set into a ceiling.

Most of the interior was deliberately changed by the Communist government in the 1950s because they disliked the existing bourgeois style. Ironically, it was then renovated a second time in the 1980s in a failed attempt to return some of it to the original style.

In 1997 American designer George Grigorian remodeled some the interior using an Art Deco style. Jewish American architect Christopher Choa restored the Art Deco lobby in 2001.

Present

As of 2005, all of the guest rooms are still in need of complete restoration to return the building to its original style.

The hotel and most of its facilities are currently only three-star quality by Western standards, but there is hope that the building may be restored and upgraded to its former status as the Shanghai government is now very supportive of architectural conservation.


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