Editor’s note: This page will be updated with more photographs, details and history in due course.
Longtang (弄堂) is a colloquial term for lilong (里弄), a neighborhood of lanes populated by houses which had evolved since its creation from 1842 to about 1949, coinciding with the Western presence in this port city. They have evolved into 5 types: 1) the old shikumen (石库门) longtangs, 2) the new shikumen longtangs, 3) the new-type longtangs, 4) the garden longtangs, and 5) the apartment longtangs.
Shikumen (石库门), or translated as “stone gate”, is a style of housing unique to Shanghai that blends Chinese and Western structural styles. The influences could be found in everything from intricate carvings in wooden doors, stone archways and door steps. ~ Lilong Housing, A Traditional Settlement Form
“弄堂”是上海人对里弄的俗称，”里弄房子”就是弄堂建筑。弄堂是上海的特产，是属于上海人的。” ~ 上海人