A club 'way out in the country'
A playground for Shanghai’s American community, first founded in 1918, the American country club relocated to Panyu Lu in 1927. Set outside the International Settlement on a five-acre expanse of farmland, the area at the time was considered ‘really out in the country’, according to a guidebook from the 1930s. Designed by American architect Elliott Hazzard (also behind the former Shanghai Power Company building, now The Shanghai EDITION) the club was a space for socials, gin fizz- and whiskey sour-fuelled parties, and a lot of sport – it was even home to the city's only open air outdoor pool.
The sprawling grounds might have been cemented over, but the social aspect of the former country club is still very much alive in its current iteration. As of last year, the renovated buildings have been incorporated into F&B and lifestyle hub, Columbia Circle. Although the former clubhouse building currently sits empty, and the pool (still with its original tiles) is off-limits for swimming, the surrounding area is buzzing with restaurants and bars, including familiar names like Pirata, Blackbird and Seesaw Coffee.
Research courtesy Historic Shanghai.