Essential Architecture- The Bund, Shanghai

Huangpu Park

formerly Public Garden




Shanghai, China




  Early 20th century and Park regulations, 1917
  Today with monument.
Huangpu Park is the name of the triangular stretch of green at the northern end of the Bund in Shanghai, the oldest and smallest park of the city. It is the site of the high-rising Monument to the People's Heroes, commemorating those who helped to free China from foreign occupation, and the Bund Historical Museum, showing the history of the Bund in old photographs.

Name and history

The first park at this location was established in 1886 as Public Garden, the first park in China open to the public. Designed by a Scottish gardener in European style, it included a resting pavilion and a tennis court, aiming at the increasing number of foreigners living in Shanghai ever since the city became an international trade port in the 1840s.

The Public Garden was closed to Chinese people between 1890 and 1928, and according to a popular myth, a sign at the park's gate read "No dogs and Chinese are allowed". However, no such sign existed and the regulations instead stated "The Gardens are reserved for the foreign community", and further down: "No dogs and bicycles are admitted". In any case, the banning of Chinese from Huangpu Park and other parks in China has remained in Chinese public mind as one of the many moments of humiliation by the Western powers in the 19th and early 20th century.

After World War II, Public Garden was renamed Huangpu Park. Confined by Suzhou Creek to the north and Huangpu River to the east, the park bears the name of the latter, larger river.

The Park was remodeled in the 1990s with the addition of the Monument to the People's Heroes and the Bund Historical Museum.

While the place looks very different today, the historical name of Huangpu Park lives on in the names of places in the neighbourhood like Garden Bridge and the New Bund Garden, a high-rise apartment building in Hongkou District.

^ Robert A. Bickers and Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom. "Shanghai's 'Dogs and Chinese Not Admitted' Sign: Legend, History and Contemporary Symbol." China Quarterly, no. 142 (1995): 444-66.

In the media
In the Bruce Lee film Fist of Fury, a scene taking place at Huangpu Park gate has a (fictitious) "No dogs and Chinese allowed" sign, further adding to the legend.