From the perspective of architectural research, globalization is often reduced to a merely recent phenomenon of construction firms and star architects operating worldwide today. This article argues for a global architectural history that examines the globally effective processes of exchange and circulation of capital, labor, and the increasingly unified standards of form, style, and material in building practice from a historical perspective as well: architectural globalization, therefore, can also be traced back, among other constellations, to a phase of an entanglement of the world that coincided with the height of European imperialism and colonialism around 1900. As a case-study serves in this essay the International Concession (Settlement) of Tientsin in China, where between ca. 1860 and 1945 altogether nine imperial powers from Japan, Europe (also the German Empire) and the USA developed their trading posts as veritable city quarters with representative architectures. Irony of history back-translated into present times: Today, these urban and architectural fragments from imperial pasts are being appropriated as an integral part of a veritable cultural heritage industry in which China itself, with the megacity of Tianjin, is now presenting itself as a global player, not least in the means of architecture and urban planning.