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Song's Garden House

Song Meiling was closely connected with Shanghai. When she was in the mainland she once said:"Shanghai is my second hometown and I have a special affection for Shanghai. I love it more than Hianan Island, my ancestral home." She had several houses in Shanghai among which the house, a Westernstyle garden house, in 139 Seymour Road (present day 369 Shaanxi Beilu Road) was the one she lived longer.

This house built in 1908 used to be a villa owned by a foreigner. After Song Yaoru, father of Song Meiling, died of illness in May 1918 Ni Guizhen, mother of Song Meiling, bought this house. At that time it was less than one year for Song Meiling back from the United States. On December 1, 1927 Song Meiling and Chiang Kai-shek had a Western style wedding in this house and then Song Meiling lived in another Western-style house given by her elder brother T.V. Soong as a dowry. So Song Meiling lived in the house, known as Song's Garden House, in Seymour Road for about ten years. This two-storey building is in a country villa style of Western Europe with a large garden in front of it planted with fresh green trees and mattress like grasses.

When Shanghai was liberated in 1949 the brothers and sisters. of Song family were in many parts of the world and only Soong Ching Ling stayed in mainland China. She put China Welfare Institute in charge of the house and now house it still under the care of the China Welfare Institute.

The Song's Garden House has a building area of more than 600 square meters and the area of the garden is about 900 square meters. The room once lived by Soong Ching Ling was in the second floor facing north with a balcony on the east side, close to the busy Seymour Road.

Though some of the furniture in the room lived by Soong Ching Ling have lost but the room is still in its original state. The hall in where the wedding was held for Song Meiling and Chiang Kai-shek now serves as the recreation room for retired cadres of China Welfare Institute. The structure of the building is still the same as that of fifty years ago.


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