Category Archives: Paris architecture

Empty Streets

Birdsong. That’s what I hear these days when I wake up. Not the sounds of neighbours going to work or getting the kids ready for school. But the sound of robins and sparrows and starlings. I hope our friends in … Continue reading

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Art Nouveau and Aerodynamics in Auteuil

The southern reaches of the 16th arrondissement might be considered the Wild West of Paris. Auteuil was largely countryside when Haussmann was at work on central Paris, and his ideas about tidy facades that lined up neatly never stood much … Continue reading

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The ugliest building in Paris

In the last blog, I mentioned Gabriel Davioud, who is credited with designing some of the classic street furniture of Paris. I wanted to know more about him. That proved to be a challenge. The ordinarily helpful Gallica offered 25 … Continue reading

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A web of friends and a ceremony in a former corset factory

For many, Paris is the City of Light, grand museums, or extravagant shopping forays. For us, it is the City of Surprises, and now, a city of friends. Several years ago, when we started research on the history of communications … Continue reading

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Gustave Eiffel did not sleep here

On a recent visit to Laywine’s, our favourite pen and stationery store in Toronto, Philippa picked up a desk pad made by the French paper firm Exacompta, and found the following note on the front: Made in the heart of … Continue reading

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Paris Elevators: A Tiny Story

I am sure many of our readers have stayed in those small hotels that are so typical of Paris. Over the years they have been reconfigured to add modern conveniences that were not in the original design. We remember one … Continue reading

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Rescued from oblivion

On the morning of April 12, 2016, three of us set out from this courtyard on an astounding walk through the Marais. But the story starts much earlier. In 1980, a sharp-eyed passerby spotted some photographs in a Paris dumpster … Continue reading

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A Doomed Attempt at Out-Eiffelling Eiffel

Even before its inauguration on March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower was world famous. Loved by some, reviled by others, it would be the world’s tallest building until New York’s Chrysler Building took the lead in 1930. Of course, as … Continue reading

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Fifty Ways to Close Your Shutters

On our last visit to Paris in June, we did most of our travelling by bus, which meant time spent waiting at bus stops and journeys on which we gazed out the window at the streets, instead of hurtling through … Continue reading

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Hark the Herald

In casting about for a Christmassy theme for this week’s blog, I thought about angels. Angels have prominent roles in the Christmas story, and I had photographed lots of them in Paris, hadn’t I? Or had I? Well, yes and … Continue reading

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