Linda Terrace


833 Avenue Joffre // Lane 833 Middle Huaihai Road // 淮海中路833弄

Entrance to Linda Terrace 人民坊, 833 Middle Huaihai Road 淮海中路833弄

Now called "People's Terrace" (Renminfang) 人民坊.

Comprised of 21 terrace houses and 6 townhouses, Linda Terrace was built in 1924. It was named in honor of Linda Cohen, the wife of the owner Alberto Cohen. In view of the modern-era changes in the neighborhood boundaries, the compound now counts 32 buildings and accommodates c. 1300 residents. 

An example of a rental ad in Linda Terrace: "Moderate sized houses 1 and 3 Linda Terrace: 1 living room, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms, servants' quarters, all modern conveniences, immediate occupation. China Realty Co." (TCP, 11 Nov 1927).

In 1929, the buildings along Avenue Joffre were rebuilt as three-story shops.

In 1930, China Realty Company purchased the compound for 250,000 taels.

At different times, the residents and businesses in the Linda Terrace included:

Among long-term residents who stayed in Linda Terrace for many years from the 1920s through the 1940s were the family of Dr. L. A. Hlebnikoff (No. 1), the architect N. C. Sokolovsky (No. 7), the Kuprianovitch family (No. 8), the Sekierski family (No. 12), E. G. Sedykh (No. 21) and S. G. Mikhalenko (No. 23).

Linda Terrace indicated on a 1939 city map. Virtual Shanghai
Entrance to Linda Terrace in 1949. Jack Birns
Linda Terrace on a sky view shot of the central French Concession
Ad for I. Shafran's engraving and signage workshop at 14 Linda Terrace. Parus magazine, 1937
Ad for Basil Beauty Parlour at 9 Linda Terrace. China Press, 1936
Stores at the entrance to Linda Terrace: Tai San Co, kiosk and Ideal at No. 835, Avenue Joffre. Coca Cola Archive
News report of the suicide E. Baikaloff, whose body was found in the alleyway in Linda Terrace. North-China Daily News, July 1935

"Avenue Joffre, the main street of the French Concession, lined with fashion stores, cafes and restaurants, had a large gate, always open, which led to a passage with row after row of three-story houses with balconies. This style of colonial architecture in Shanghai is called terraces; the women who own these houses rent out individual rooms.

"In the Linda Terrace hallway there is a dusty mirror; if you look at yourself you'll just see a blob. The stairs smell of raw onion and burnt milk; the doormat is worn to shreds by the tenants' feet. As you go upstairs, the rooms get cheaper. The smallest ones are in the attic; they are like furnaces in the summer and their walls are covered with frost in the winter. The boarding house owner, known locally as Kupriyanikha, looking like a bear in a chintz bonnet, greets a newcomer with a frown: "Where do you work? Got children? I'm not renting to families. One month's rent ahead and a deposit."

"She raises the rent every year, and if the tenants protest, she blocks the water supply, switches off the electricity and puts a padlock on the phone. In the morning, she inspects her domain: "Who left the kitchen tap dripping? Who left the front door open?""

From "Year of the Snake," a short story by Irina Graham, who lived in Shanghai in the 1930s.
Building No. 5, facing Route Vallon
Interior passages in Linda Terrace in our time
South-facing facades of an interior row of buildings
South facade of the complex on Nanchang Road, former Route Vallon
Linda Terrace in January 2018.
Interior staircase, 2018.