Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

On the Architectural and Cultural Value of Jinan Old Railway Station

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

On the Architectural and Cultural Value of Jinan Old Railway Station

Article excerpt

Abstract

Jinan Old Railway Station, as the only Germanic-style station architectural group in the world, was a landmark of Jinan with high architectural and cultural value. Both its demolition and reconstruction have affected the nerves of Jinan people. This article starts with from a review of the historical evolution of Jinan Old Railway Station, focuses on the history, architectural and cultural value of this station, and further explores the significance of reconstruction of Jinan Old Railway Station.

Key words: Railway station; Architectural and cultural valuel; Histoncal and cultural value

INTRODUCTION

Jinan Old Railway Station , as then the largest railway station in Asia as well the only Germanic style traffic architectural group, was listed as the first stop in the Far East by the magazine, Trip to the Far East, published by the West Germany after the war. It was also presented in text books on architecture used by Tsinghua University and Tongji University, as a case for study. From this we can see that, Jinan Old Railway Station plays an important role in China's modem architectural history and it was a landmark building in Jinan. Unfortunately, such a station architectural group with a typical European style did not draw enough attention and even did not escape the fate to be demolished and constructed in China's vigorous tide 0f urban construction. In 1992, after an intense discussion among some high-ranking officials and experts, the railway station was eventually demolished. Since then, the station architecture which had been in existence for 81 years exited out of the stage of history, which made many exPerts (TM)d residents sadly si®h with reSret

In recent years' with urban construction returning to ** relatlve governmental authorities have focused °" 1116 of "ban characteristic tourist economy. Jinan Old Railway Station draws the attention again and the reconstruction of the station is put on the , ^ agenda. For the reconstruction of the old railway station, ,°, u . both the voice of support and the voice of opposition are the,,, . , ,, , . ra heard and many experts and scholars have put forward ., . . . . ,. , ,. . their own opinions. First, some cultural relics experts are not timistic about the reconstruction and they believe once a heritage or an ancient architecture is destroyed, it can no longer be undone. Jiang Bo has pointed out ., the key to the question: Ihen we put it demolished confusedly in order to develop the economy; now we want to reconstruct it confusedly in order to develop cultural Wang Chen from Shandong University also points out that

It is unnecessary to reconstruct the railway station; although it regrettable. It is the fact. In the present high-speed rail era, reconstruction at the original site no longer suits the development of "f"1 ""ff* it at a new site and that would be completely a fake. We should respect history and reality,

Second, there are many voices to support the reconstruction as well. Many residents of Jinan say that they really hope to see the old railway station again, The Director of the Archaeological Institute of Jinan, Li Ming, emphasizes that "the reconstruction is not without significance; the greatest significance of the rehabilitation is to warn the future generations that we had a wrong attitude towards our history and that is our shame monument." Professor Zhang Runwu believes that,

architectures, as the witness to history and the carrier of the informaiton era, faithfully record the scientific and technological education, culture and arts, politics and ethics, customs, economy and finance, etc of its building time. To reconstruct the railway station is in favor of the construction of the historical and cultural city of Jinan. The key is to choose the site. Reconstructing the station at the original site is more valuable. ( Zhang, 1999)

Therefore, as a continuation of the historical context, this article starts from the building of Jinan Old Railway Station, focuses on the analysis of the historical, architectural and cultural value of the station, and further explores the significance of the reconstruction of the station. …

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