After Bespoke Beijing posted on their Instagram yesterday (September 24) that the square between the Drum and Bell Towers had reopened (ahead of schedule according to them), we decided to pop by and take a look for ourselves. The square was a hive of activity on Wednesday morning, with workers rushing (we assume) to put in the finishing touches before October 1.
We last reported on the state of the square in July, which at that point had been in a state of flux since March, and it’s fair to say there have been some major changes. Judging by the bollards blocking the southeast and southwest entrances, it looks like the entire area has been pedestrianized, with smooth paving replacing the roads on either side of the square. The most striking change is that the bars and shops that used to line the square have been replaced with a low gray wall dividing off the houses behind.
With all the questions that were circulating regarding the future of the square when the surrounding buildings started to be demolished, we have to say that the this result is much better than expected. The greatly increased greenery, including a veritable grove of bamboo on the southwest corner, is a very nice touch. The square may have lost a bit of its original atmosphere, but overall it looks like a very agreeable place to take a stroll.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on September 25, 2014.
Photos: Robynne Tindall, True Run Media