Historic Courtyards and Residences That Could (or Should) Be Opened to the Public

Have you ever walked down a hutong past a grand gate and stopped to wonder just what was hidden behind those high brick walls? You might not have to wonder for much longer if Cai Qi, Communist Party Secretary for Beijing has his way.

Beijing should work harder to preserve its ancient courtyards and the residences of historical figures, Secretary Cai announced at last week’s inaugural meeting of something called the National Cultural Center Construction Leading Group. After all, nothing says, “We’re committed to preserving the organic culture and past of a city” like turning that job over to a cabal of government functionaries.

In any case, to the extent that the Municipal Government ever listens to our suggestions, if Secretary Cai is serious then we have a few spaces worth considering.