These photographs were taken at the beginning of January (been traveling and unable to upload before), after I learnt that the wrecking ball would soon come to the neighborhoods surrounding the historic Drum and Bell Towers (Gulou and Zhonglou). There has been (to my knowledge) a single mention in the state run media.
There is much controversy surrounding the clearance of these communities. I don’t have much to add to the debate, living with no plumbing or heating can’t be fun, but it is sad to see another slice of old Beijing life vanish.
Duly inspired, I went down to Gulou — which, as authorities promised, is changing — and snapped a few pics myself, including the one up top. A couple more:
For more professional photos, check out Strand’s blog. The rest are from him:
Zhonglou and Gulou Hutongs (Thomas Arne Strand)