Monday, September 14, 2015

A Former Prison Site and Two Art Nouveau Buildings

Today was a bit disappointing on the photography front.  Yesterday I got an e-mail from my dear friend Steve suggesting that we visit the  Rue Cherche-Midi Prison.  One of his heroes, Etta Shiber had been incarcerated there by the Nazis during World War II.  She was an American who had helped British soldiers who found themselves in German occupied France.  A Google search told me that the prison had been razed in the 1960's to make room for a school of Social Sciences.  I knew we wouldn't be able to see the prison, but figured we would at least see an interesting historical marker.  However, when we arrived at the corner of rue Cherche-Midi and Boulevard Raspail,  there were temporary walls in the middle of the sidewalk to make space for a renovation that was going on.  Through the fencing we could see a stone marker in the ground, but it was so far away and so overgrown with grass and weeds that we couldn't see what it said.  We also saw three old pillars that were not part of the school.  I assume they had been all that was saved of the prison.  We'll have to remember this site the next time we're here and, with luck, the construction will be finished.

Today was Art Nouveau Day for us.  We went to see a private home, Maison des Arums, near the Eiffel Tower.  It was a beautiful building, but very difficult to photograph due to a large truck and a number of cars parked directly in front of it.

The last attraction for today was Céramic Hôtel on Avenue de Wagram, not far from the Arc de Triomphe.  It's another beautiful building designed by architect Jules Lavirotte, the architect who designed the building with the most ornate door in Paris.  The Céramic Hôtel is not as fancy as that building, but it's still a striking example of Art Nouveau architecture.  It was very difficult to photograph because I was too close to the building when I was on the same side of the street and would have been too far away if I had crossed the street.  I'm sorry the photographs aren't better.