CHINA’S oldest meteorological observatory, in the city’s Xujiahui area, is undergoing renovations to restore it to its appearance of almost a century ago — including rebuilding an observation tower on top of the building.
The Shanghai Meteorological Observatory on Xuhui District’s Puxi Road, also known as the Zikawei Observatory, was established in 1872 by French Catholic missionaries, and has been providing a continuous weather service for 142 years.
Nowadays, it’s best known as the city weather station providing a benchmark figure for rain and other elements.
The original building of the observatory, near the Xujiahui Cathedral — previously Saint Ignatius Cathedral, has been in use as part of the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.
“The renovations will make the building look like how it was in the 1930s,” said Liu Ouxuan, director of Shanghai Meteorological Service Center.
Liu told Shanghai Television the renovation will show respect to the history and contribution of the building and better protect it.
According to Liu, the structure was smaller before 1900, but was then rebuilt into its current three-story shape. An iron observation tower was erected on its roof in 1908 and was equipped with an anemometer.
There was also a clock on the outer wall of the building.
Currently, only the stone base of the iron tower can be can be seen but Liu said a new iron tower will be built and a clock fitted in the wall.
Liu said the building will be emptied and that work should be complete this year.
In the meantime, other weather stations will provide benchmark figures.