Polishing Up A Capitalist Jewel

In the 1920s, when he commissioned his new Shanghai headquarters, Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank Chief Manager A.G. Stephens told his architect: "Spare no expense...Dominate the Bund." The Bund is the mile-long thoroughfare once known as the Wall Street of the Orient. And Stephens' onion-domed neoclassical structure, guarded by a pair of bronze lions, did indeed become the jewel of this waterfront street. Sir Ronald Macleay, Britain's Minister to China, grandly pronounced the completed structure "unsurpassed by any financial center or commercial house in Asia and the Far East from the Suez to the Bering Sea."

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