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The Cultural Square
Release:1999/12/31
The Cultural Square
The Cultural Square is located at central Shanghai with South Maoming Road in the east, South Shaanxi Road in the west, Middle Fuxing Road in the north and Yongjia Road in the south. In the 1920s and 1930s, it used to be the Canidrome (Yi Garden dog racing track), known as “No. 1 Casino in the Far East”.
 
In April 1952, determined by the Municipal People's Government and sanctioned by Mayor Chen Yi, the Yi Garden was rebuilt, expanded and newly built into Shanghai “People’s Cultural Square” (renamed “Cultural Square” on the approval of the municipal government in November that year), a central facility with complete equipment for the public political and cultural activities then. During the overhaul in December 1969, the mishandling of the construction team led to the fire burning down the entire conference hall, the stage and part of the original exhibition hall. In the spring of 1970, Premier Zhou Enlai approved the reconstruction of the Cultural Square in written instruction and in September that year, the new Cultural Square of the world's advanced level was completed at that time. In the early 1990s, the square served as the earliest securities market in Shanghai. After 1997, the main buildings of the square were transformed into the Jingwen Flower Market, which was the largest flower trading market in East China with as area of 15,000 square meters, nearly 300 stores and annual sales of about 3.5 billion cut flowers, accounting for 70-80% of the city's flower consumption. About 70% of the flower consumption of Shanghai residents was through the wholesale of the Jingwen Flower Market.
To advance the construction of major cultural facilities in Shanghai and provide the residents an excellent cultural and leisure space, the renovation of the Cultural Square began on September 27, 2005 and the project was completed in 2011. Covering an area of about 47,000 square meters, including a green area of 26,000 square meters and with the auxiliary facilities such as the underground parking lot and shops of 65,000 square meters (57,000 square meters in the ground), it is a multifunctional underground theater mainly for musicals with 2010 seats and the maximum depth of 26 meters, which is also the largest and deepest underground theater with the most seats in the world at present. Groups of sculptures are set in the green space, making a historical landscape reproducing the history from the greyhound racing course to the Jingwen Flower Market.