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Work set to begin on iconic tower
By Yang Jian

SHANGHAI'S landmark meteorological signal tower on the Bund, most recently a cafe with scenic views, is being restored to its original weather station function.

The 50-meter tall tower can still be used to record and deliver weather information and will release weather alerts or emergency warnings after renovations, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau announced yesterday.

Work will begin within the week and should be finished by September 25.

This will be the second major renovation of the tower in the past 20 years.

Built in 1907, the meteorological signal tower was once the tallest structure on the Bund, and the tallest tower in Far East, providing weather forecasts for navigation.

Signal flags on the tower gave mariners information on whether to go to sea.

With the technological advances, the signal tower was gradually phased out and in 1953 it was handed over to the city river police.

Now new instruments, including an automatic meteorological station, will be installed in the tower.

Its original role helping sailors on the Huangpu River won't be forgotten either.

"Meteorological signal balls will be hung on the tower to give weather warnings, restoring the tower's original function after 60 years," the bureau official said.

The Atanu Cafe, the most recent occupant of the building, has closed as preparations for renovations proceed.

The tower underwent its first major renovation in 1995, when it was moved 22 meters and had its facade restored.

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