Another postcrossing card [CN-282175], this time from MaYan from China. On the card it sais: "The T-shaped juncture at the crossroads of Xidan. In the 1950's, the West Chang'an Avenue ended at Xidan. During the rebuilt, the old Judicial Department Street (on the right) and Baozi Street (on the left) were torn down and the place became today's crossrads."
Xidan began to develop in the Ming Dynasty as an area alongside the passage for traders from Southwestern China to enter Beijing. Restaurants and shops were eventually built for these merchants. Eventually, as the Western part of the city became the residential area for officials, Xidan became a commercial area. The location of several government agencies when Beijing was under the administration of the also helped Xidan's economic growth.Republic of China The area began to experience massive growth in the 1950s, as the population of Beijing began to move westwards. By the 1970s, Xidan, along with Qianmen and Wangfujing, became the three major commercial areas in Beijing. Currently, the area is known throughout Beijing as a shopping area. Many malls and department stores have stores within the area, the oldest of which is the China branch of the Taiwanese department store Chungyo. Xidan is also home to Lingjing Alley, which, at 32m (34 yards), is considered to be the broadest hutong in Beijing. [wikipedia]
Xidan as it looks today [I took the picture from here].