Back To Shanghai Homepage
Call Us From 
Kong Xiangxi Mansion

Kong Xiangxi MansionIt looks like a giant pearl at the architectural spectacular street. The mansion is on old and magnificent 250 Duolun Road, Shanghai. Built in 1924, it is an Arab-Islamic style house, which is Chinese famous Nationalist politician Kong Xiangxi's (1880 - 1967) residence. Arab-Islamic style means dome, minaret, horse hoof like arch and stone made window panes are the main characteristics of the architecture. Kong Xiangxi Mansion has all these attractive things, they are aptly decorated at the front gate and the window panes of the majestic house. The patterned arch is without human and animal figures but only shapes and images are beautifully juxtaposed on it. Elegant glazed bricks are used in building the exterior walls of the mansion.

On the top of Kong Xiangxi Mansion, there were two horse hoof-like pavilions with domes on their roofs, but they had been demolished in 1960s. Originally, Kong Xiangxi Mansion was being divided as the main tower, the complementary tower and the dooryard. The three-storey main building here consisted of bedrooms and rooms for office use, and there were dwelling rooms for servants and maids in the complementary house.

There were delicately made iron doors carved the big digits "1924" at the entries on Duolun Road and the main building, but they had been removed in 1958, and the steel material was used for China's industry during the Great Leap Forward.

Kong Xiangxi was born in the year 1880 of a businessman family with strong scholastic background in Northern China. He had first been educated by his mother before he reached the age of 6. She died at that time, so he continued his study in his father's school, in learning various kinds of old Chinese book which were written by famous authors in the past. The well background and the love of learning had given little Kong Xiangxi a precious opportunity to enter an American school at the age of 10.

In his late teens, he had already taken part in academic activities in democratic movement and opposing the corruptive Qing government. In 1900, he went to the United States to continue his endeavoring study. He entered the famous Yale University in 1905 and he attained the Master of Economics two years later. At that time he was so moved by the strong character of the great founding father of modern China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen, whom he had been met at Cleveland, Ohio. So Kong decided to dedicate his life and career in democratic revolution and people's education. After he returned to China, he founded Oberlin Sansi Memorial School (now Shanxi Agricultural University), to which he was the principal. He taught history, geography and sports here too.

During 1910s, he followed Dr. Sun Yat-sen's line of democratic revolution, and made a lot of contributions for constructing much stronger China. At the top of his political and financial career, Kong Xiangxi was the Chairman of the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Finance and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Central Bank. But he had done something wrong during his times in office. On the one hand, he was promoting a frugal budget in order to fight the harsh financial condition of China, on the other hand, he thought that some emergency money should be spent despite the financial crisis was still going on in mid 1930s.

At the end of the devastating Anti-Japanese War, Kong Xiangxi had strongly been criticized for his family took the advantage of his power to accumulate wealth by unfair means. This situation had caught the eyes of Franklin Roosevelt, the US President then, he asked Chiang Kai-shek to dismiss Kong as Ministry of Finance. During the latter days of his life (since 1947), Kong Xiangxi lived in New York. He died at the age of 87.