Saturday, October 3, 2009

Achitectural Preservation...sort of

This wonderful gate (portail in French)  is hidden on a small street going nowhere in particular in the Marais.  It must be 20 feet tall and, although marred and worn looking, seems to promise entry to a fascinating, maybe even secret place, shaded by fig trees and a bit wild.  That's when you're walking south.

And then you pass it and look back.

This is all that remains of the Hôtel Raoul, destroyed in the 1960s by the city of Paris in a plan to expand the streets of the area (The City of Paris planning authorities of that period have a lot to answer for!) and rehouse the inhabitants.  The portail itself was spared because of the last minute intervention of the City Architect in charge of the Marais. 

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