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The Chinese city of Zhuzhou, the second largest in the province of Hunan, is being pressed under the tremendous pressure of growth. Home to many factories and textile mills, residents are seeking new ways to live close to work while preserving the spaciousness of the countryside.

Thus, these wonderful photos of McMansion housing atop a five-story shopping center in the central district of Zhuzhou.

One must understand that before the last 3 decades, places like Zhuzhou were, in the most literal sense, feudal village enclaves of subsistence agriculture criss crossed by rail lines. (Actually, that describes most of China outside of Beijing and Shanghai, although some Nationals would demur.)

Like I said in some of my notes, the place is manic beyond understanding; this kind of stuff doesn't raise an eyebrow for your average Chinese. It's unused space....of course there should be houses.

Or, as we might say, they're making it up as they go.

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They tore that plant down a few years ago. There was a little bit of hand wringing over that decision even though the "neighborhood" had been gone since the war.


Any more about the story? Are these homes lived in by store executives? Are there going to be more homes added and this turned into a neighborhood?



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Time to fess up.

The factory was built in 1880 by H.A. Moyer. The 2 and a half story house on the roof, an "architectural gimmick," according to a 1937 newspaper interview with a Moyer family member, was never inhabited -- it contains elevator machinery and rafters

Moyer built carriages. Business must have been booming to spend that kind of loot on an elevator penthouse.

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