Founded in 1912, American School of Shanghai was one of the famous high level schools in old Shanghai. The campus on Avenue Pétain (today Hengshan lu) was opened in 1923. The building has long been off limit for visitors, and only part of the façade was still visible from the street. Fortunately, a building next door has just been renovated and turned into commercial. This gives an open view on the former Shanghai American School building.
From this angle, it is clear that the streetside façade is only a short part of the whold building. Although I lived in this neighborhood for years, I was never able to see it before so clearly. The skyscraper in the background it the Shanghai library, located on the spot of the former Culty Dairy.
As seen on below map, there was a back wing the building. This part has been demolished and modern and larger building has been built instead. The commercial building where I took the pictures from is located on the part where “Shanghai American School is written”. This was an empty space when the school was operating. The former running track is not occupied by a commercial building.
Walking down the alley next to the former school building, one can see the former school water tower. As mentioned by Betty Barr, who actually attended the school herself, “the tower was famous for romantic reason: couples used to climp up there to sign their names.” Looking at it today, it’s not recommended to climb it up, but it amazingly survived all those years.
The American school of Shanghai closed in 1950 but was been recreated in 1980 and still operating today in a different location. Their website is www.saschina.org .