So Peking University‘s Red Building is going to be renovated in time for next year’s 90th anniversary of the May 4th Movement. 新京报/The Beijing News’ Wang Hui reports:

北大红楼耄耋之年再“修身” 

PKU’s Red Building to “cultivate its moral character” in its old age

And no, I don’t get the headline either, and I can’t at this moment make my brain come up with anything better.

修缮完工后外观不改变,明年“五四”前重新迎客

Outside appearance won’t have changed after renovations are complete. Will welcome guests again before next year’s “May Fourth”.

承载着光荣与历史的北大红楼昨日开始了30年来的首次加固维修工程,工程将于明年5月前结束,届时,北大红楼将迎来“五四”运动90周年。国家文物局有关负责人介绍,此次维修以建筑加固和除险为主。整修后的红楼将与楼内的新文化运动纪念馆系列纪念活动一起面世。

PKU’s glorious and historic Red Building began its first strengthening and repair project in 30 years yesterday. The project will finish before May 4 next year, at which time PKU’s Red Building will welcome the 90th anniversary of the May Fourth Movement. The person responsible at the State Bureau of Cultural Relics said the main purpose of these repairs is strengthening and elimination of danger. After the refit the Red Building and the New Culture Movement Museum it houses will hold a series of commemorative activities.

现状

Current Situation

  古老红楼已成危险建筑

The ancient Red Building has already become a dangerous structure

从外表来看,位于沙滩的北大红楼虽然历经沧桑,但依然保持着坚挺的身姿。暗红色的墙体,棕红色的窗棂。实际上,由于当时红楼设计上的缺陷,超出使用期限,加上1976年唐山大地震的影响,目前,红楼已成为危险建筑。

Looking from the outside, the PKU Red Building located at Shatan, despite the vicissitudes of time, has still preserved its strong posture. The dark red walls, henna window lattices. In fact, because of flaws in the original plan of the Red Building and that it has exceeded its designed length of service, in addition to the effects of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake, currently the Red Building is already a dangerous structure.

红楼内部,白色墙皮已经脱落不少,红色的木质楼梯时常发出“嘎吱嘎吱”的声音,铺在上面的绿色防滑垫也已破损。保安介绍,楼内一年前已经基本搬空。

 Inside the Red Building, already much of the white wall plaster has fallen off, the red wooden stairs often creak, and the green anti-slip mats spread on top are already worn out. A guard said the building has been basically deserted for a year already.

亮点

Bright spots

  抵抗腐化标准可达50年

Anti-rot standard to last for 50 years

本次维修始于2004年,当时,国家文物局委托专业机构对红楼现状进行了全面评估与分析,多次召开论证会。去年5月,北京建工建筑设计研究院设计了《北大红楼保护修缮工程设计方案》,得到有关部门的批复。

This renovation started in 2004, when the organisation entrusted by the State Cultural Relics Bureau undertook an evaluation and analysis of the current state of the Red Building and held several meetings. In May last year, the Beijing Construction and Architectural Design Research Institute designed a “Programme for the PKU Red Building Preservation and Restoration Project,” receiving the approval of the relevant authorities.

工程将采用先进的碳纤维加固方法,把 碳纤维包裹在钢筋混凝土柱的外面。对于墙体出现的裂纹及酥碱,采用挖补技术,把残缺的砖替换出来,并将裂缝填平。针对红楼的屋顶及大梁出现的糟朽,工程将 按照抵抗腐化50年的标准进行防腐处理。从外表看,工程不会对红楼的外观产生影响。

The project will adopt advanced carbon-fibre strengthening methods, wrapping the carbon fibre around the ferroconcrete pillars. Where walls are cracked or fragile, they can be repaired by replacement, swapping the broken bricks for whole ones, filling in the cracks. The project will use a 50-year rot prevention standard to deal with the rot in the roof crossbeams.Viewed from the outside, there will be no influence on the appearance of the Red Building.

在楼内设施方面,工程人员将对内部照明设施进行统一处理,综合布线。在每个原有红色玻璃窗的里面加上一层铝合金窗,以便节能。

For the interior facilities, the project workers will install a unified lighting system and integrated wiring. To every window that originally had red glass will be added an aluminuim alloy window to conserve energy.

 ■ 新闻背景

News Background

北大红楼简史

Quick history of PKU’s Red Building

  北大红楼始建于1916年,1918年落成并投入使用,至今已达90年。

Construction of PKU’s Red Building began in 1916, and the building was completed and put into use in 1918, making it 90 years old.

作为原北京大学旧址,北大红楼是“五四”运动的发祥地,马克思主义在中国最早传播的地方。蔡元培、李大钊、毛泽东、鲁迅等人曾在这里工作和生活。

As the original campus of Peking University, PKU’s Red Building was the birthplace of the May Fourth Movement and the first place where Marxism was disseminated in China. Such people as Cai Yuanpei, Li Dazhao, Mao Zedong and Lu Xun worked and lived here.

1961年,北大红楼被国务院公布为第一批全国重点文物保护单位。

In 1961 the State Council named PKU’s Red Building as the first All China Key Cultural Heritage Conservation Unit.

2002年5月,红楼一层和前院内平房被辟为新文化运动纪念馆,正式开放。

In May 2002, the first floor and forecourt buildings of the Red Building were formally opened as the New Culture Movement Museum.

Alright, I think that’s the worst translation I’ve ever done. There are so many problems with it I don’t know where to begin.

So forget the crappiness of the translation: BeiDa and the Red Building have played some pretty huge roles in modern Chinese history, in particular in the resistance against imperialism, the spread of Marxism, and thereby the founding of New China. Regardless of your own particular political beliefs (and I really don’t want politics discussed here, it’s less relevant than it seems), you can’t deny this is a very important place in modern Chinese history. It’s a shame, but hardly a surprise, that the Red Building would have been left to decay so badly, but it’s great to see a restoration project on the books. I only hope the really do get it finished in time for the 90th anniversary of the May 4th Movement next year.

2 Responses to “repairing the red building”

  1. John Says:

    I wonder if the headline is meant to mean that the Red Building will continue to cultivate not its own character, but that of others just as it originally did, the object of the verb being implied.

  2. wangbo Says:

    Possibly. I took it to mean it was going to be renovated and spruced up, the cultivation of moral character being a kind of rather weak metaphor for the renovation work. Couldn’t find a way to turn that into a coherent English headline, though.