About Us

Historic Shanghai was founded in 1998 by Tess Johnston, Patrick Cranley & Tina Kanagaratnam with the goal of raising awareness of Shanghai’s built heritage and social and cultural history. The city’s unique history – the flamboyant years of the Concession era, followed by the Communist victory which punished those associated with it – has meant that much of its history has been deliberately neglected or forgotten. Historic Shanghai’s research and collection of books, directories, maps, interviews and photographs helps to piece together the story of this remarkable city.

Historic Shanghai’s founders, from left: Tess Johnston, Patrick Cranley & Tina Kanagaratnam

The starting point for our exploration of Shanghai is its unique built heritage: Art Deco dominates the pre-1949 architecture of this city, but we find everything from “Tudorbethan” to Mediterranean and China’s own “Nanjing Decade” style in city’s lane neighborhoods, mansions, commercial and civic buildings.
Historic Shanghai organizes regular walking tours, as well as presentations, expert and author talks, and film screenings that illustrate and illuminate Shanghai history and culture. For details on upcoming events, click here.

Historic Shanghai’s monthly walking tours explore the built heritage of different Shanghai neighborhoods.

World Congress on Art Deco in Shanghai – 2015
In November 2015, Historic Shanghai hosted the 2015  World Congress on Art Deco in Shanghai – a wonderful week of talks, walks and entertainment, held for the first time in Asia in our dynamic city. For more on Shanghai Art Deco, visit www.shanghaiartdeco.net.
Art Deco mansion-Yongjia

The World Congress on Art Deco will explore Shanghai’s Art Deco heritage.

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