J.G. Ballard's Shanghai Neighbourhoods

Photographs By Andy Best

As a follow-up to my September, 2007, visit to Shanghai and Ballard's old home at 31A Amherst Avenue, "Amherst" Andy Best went out and conducted an exhaustive survey of what's left of the area's old mansions, as well as all the landmark buildings which would have been present during the 1930s and 1940s -- that time when the young Jim Ballard would have noticed them on his bicycle excursions... or are places we know he visited.

In order to help with your overall navigation, Andy also prepared two maps: one an overlay of a google map, the other a handrawn schematic of the same area showing the locations for all the photographs.

Here's the area Andy photographed. The numbers are the names of the different lanes.

Street sign on Amherst Avenue showing the locations of all the Lanes. The numbers indicate: 1. the Ballard home; 2. entrance to Lane 119; 3. entrance to Lane 155; 4. entrance to Lane 185; 5. entrance to Lane 211, and location of the sign; 6. entrance to Lane 345; 7. entrance to Lane 365; 8. entrance to Lane 393

And here's the area in finer detail. Each number represents a photograph, which is shown below. Each photo links to a larger version.


LANE 119

Pix 1: Looking north along Columbia Road from Fudan Road.

Pix 2: The new west entrance to the Ballard house.

Pix 3: Terraces off Columbia Road.

Pix 4: Corner of Amherst Avenue and Columbia Road.

Pix 5: Looking east along Amherst Avenue.

Pix 6: Looking south down Lane 119 that goes to the Ballard house.

Pix 7: Entering Lane 119.

Pix 8: House on Lane 119.

Pix 9: Continuing down Lane 119.

Pix 10: House opposite Ballard house on Lane 119.


LANE 155

Pix 11: Amherst Avenue entrance to Lane 155.

Pix 12: Lane 155 is mostly walled now.

Pix 13: Many of the houses on this lane are designed like Spanish holiday homes.

Pix 14: Inside the gates of the house in Pix 13.

Pix 16: House at the end of the lane.

Pix 17: Detail of door on house in pix 16.

LANE 185

Pix 18: Amherst Avenue entrance to Lane 185.

Pix 19: Rear of house at the beginning of Lane 185.

Pix 21: Red brick house.

Pix 22: Mock tudor and stone house.

Pix 24: Doorway at the end of the Lane.

Pix 25: House and yard at the end of the Lane.

LANE 211

Pix 28: Entrance to Lane 211 from Amherst Avernue.

Pix 29: British-made villa.

Pix 30: Semi-detached house.

Pix 31: House detail.

Pix 32: At a bend in Lane 211.

Pix 33: Twinned houses.

Pix 34: House detail.

Pix 35: Large house at Lane junction.

Pix 36: Lane 211 branches east.

Pix 37: Looking east, down to the end of Lane 211.

Pix 38: Walled house.

Pix 39: House set back from the Lane.

Pix 40: Repainted house with balcony.

Pix 41: Doorway detail.

Pix 42: Houses with front gardens at the end of Lane 211.

Pix 43: Last house to the south.

Pix 44: Front detail of one of the garden houses in Pix 43.

Pix 45: Continuing on the main curve of Lane 211.

Pix 46: House #38 on Lane 211.

Pix 47: Large houses broken into smaller rooms.

Pix 48: Round house behind a gate.

Pix 49: Brick arch doorway.

Pix 50: At the last corner in Lane 211.

Pix 51: Lane 329, an offshoot to the east on Lane 211.

Pix 52: In the courtyard of a house at the end of Lane 329.

Pix 53: Ivy detail.

Pix 54: Final leg of Lane 211, heading west and back to Amherst Avenue.

Pix 55: More brick arches.

Pix 56: Eaves detail.

LANE 345

Pix 58: Lane gated off with no access to sites.


LANE 365

Pix 59: Entrance to Lane 365 from Amherst Avenue.

Pix 60: One of two intact houses on Lane 365.

Pix 62: State of disrepair.

Pix 63: Doorway detail.

LANE 393

Pix 64: Entrance to Lane 393 leads to a house hidden behind a modern block.

Pix 65: House with pink trimmings.

Pix 66: Back of the pink house.

Pix 67: One other house hidden down Lane 393.

LANE 593
Plum Well Villas

Pix 71: Entrance to Lane 593, home of the Plum Well Villas.

Pix 72: Villa with wall and garden opposite the terrace.

Pix 73: Plum Well Villa terrace.

Pix 74: Doorway detail.

Pix 76: House on Lane 593.

Pix 77: Inside gated house.


Pix 26: Looking north along Amherst Avenue near the entrance of Lane 211.

Pix 27: Amherst Avenue Map showing the layout of all the Lanes in the area.

Pix 57: Looking north on Amherst Avenue near the entrance to Lane 345.

Pix 70: Looking north on Amherst from the entrance to Lane 593.

Pix 78: Walking south along Amherst.

Pix 79: House on Amherst.

Pix 80: House with garden on Amherst.

Pix 81: View through the gate.

Pix 82: Looking across Amherst to the entrance of Lane 211.

Pix 83: Mock tudor house on Amherst.

Pix 85: House across the corner from Lane 211.

Pix 94: Three-story house on Amherst near Lane 272.

Pix 95: Inside the grounds of the house in Pix 94.

Pix 97: Mock tudor house on Amherst.

Pix 98: Inside the grounds of tjhe house in Pix 97.

Pix 100: Chinese-style house on Amherst opposite Lane 185.


LANE 294

Pix 85: House on the corner of Amherst and Lane 294.

Pix 86: Lane entrance on on Amherst.

Pix 87: Three-story house on Lane 294.

Pix 88: Bend in Lane 294.

Pix 89: Brick house at the end of the Lane.

Pix 90: Looking out of Lane 294 onto Amherst.

LANE 272

Pix 92: House in Lane 272.

Pix 93: Arch detail.


LANE 300

Pix 104: Entrance to Lane 300 off Columbia Road.

Pix 105: Villas in Lane 300.

Pix 107: Rear of Villa off Columbia Road.



Pix 108: House on Fudan Road opposite the College.

Pix 109: Fudan College on Fudan Road.

Pix 110: Buildings where Amherst Avenue leads down to Fudan Road.



Pix 111: Nanyang Public School, Siccawei.

Pix 112: Nanyang School detail.



Pix 113: St. Ignatius School Library.

Pix 114: Part of the St. Ignatius School Library.

Pix 115: Side of the lLibrary.

Pix 116: St. Ignatius Cathedral, Siccawei.

Pix 117: St. Ignatius Convent.

Pix 118: St. Ignatius Convent.

Pix 119: Siccawei Observatory.


Pix 101: Clubhose as seen from Columbia Road.

Pix 102: Country Club lane entrance off Columbia Road.