The Lu Clan gained its power thanks to the spectacular victories of General Lu. In the 3rd Century CE he became the Lord of Huating (today whole City of Shanghai and surrounding areas). As a result, the Lu family were the most prominent landowners in the region for over 1000 years. By 1400s, their grip had weakened and their property contained only the riverside corner of Pudong.
Fortunately, another prominent member of the clan - prodigious scholar Lu Shen – helped the family bounce back. He became the highest ranking official ever to hail from Shanghai and restored the family fortune.
In 1524 famished Pudong farmers threatened Lu’s peaceful retirement in his gated villa in Lujiazui so he moved across the river to the walled city of Lujiazhai Lu. His new compound comprised of surrealist rocks, bowed bridges and lofty pavilions, and became the model the model for opulent garden residences that would soon flourish behind the city walls.