Inside a rapidly expanding cityscape nestles a small historical community shaken by the progression of time and urbanization. This small historical community now referred to as Laoximen was once a well known corner of Shanghai referred to as “Old West Gate.” This area holds historical remnants from the past 300 years that demonstrate the strength of wars, urbanization, and western influence. 

The government has begun the relocation of locals in order to begin demolition of historic communities spread throughout Laoximen. The homes and businesses of locals have been emptied and sealed shut with cement as the area is prepped for urban expansion efforts. While the area was deemed uninhabitable due to safety hazards and ill-maintained buildings, it has still been considered an emotional end to a fraction of history. A historical area that has withstood land-flattening wars and westernization has been brought down at the hands of urbanization. 

Picture 1: One of the few functioning business streets remains within the Laoximen residential community. Its neighboring street is littered with relocation signs, sealed empty buildings, and talk of another relocation effort.. 

Picture 2: A red sign can be spotted guaranteeing a new revival for this area as well as the safe relocation of local tenants. The signs fail to reassure locals as they struggle to keep their livelihoods afloat and persevere.