Paris...à pied, les yeux ouverts, le nez en l'air
ou l'architecture dans tous ses détails


Ternes - Monceau - Batignolles & Epinettes





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industrial buildings
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    "Ternes" is a residential area (but less stuffy than the Plaine Monceau) as well as being a business and entertainment area.



    The vast majority are in stone with just a few in brick or stucco. This meant that the area escaped much of the destruction in the 60s and 70s which led to the concrete eyesores by anonymous architects in other parts of the city. By looking skywards at the social housing in Place du Général Koenig you catch a glimpse of the decorative detail which proves that “social” didn’t necessarily mean low-cost. At 41 ave de Wagram there is a contemporary façade to what used to be the Théâtre de l’Empire which is more than just plate glass. Right opposite stands the Ceramic Hotel with its superb art nouveau front.




    These are often to be found on the stone-clad buildings dating from 1860 – 1914 hence the numerous examples in this area many of which have touches of originality.





decorative features

artists' studios

    Even if many artists preferred Monceau or Batignolles, the area still has a number of studio workshops some of which cannot be seen from the street. Many of them have been successfully restored recently especially those in the rue Emile Allez whose bright colours are not particularly Parisian; and they have kept the winches used to haul up large canvasses from the street.



    The Salle Wagram was opened in 1812 as a café-cum-dance hall or “ginguette” » (being outside the city walls at that time no duty was paid on wine) and converted into a dance-hall in 1865. It was also used for political rallies and sporting events such as boxing matches. More recently it has been used as a recording studio (Maria Callas /Leonard Bernstein) and as a setting for many films. The Théâtre de l’Empire at 41 avenue de Wagram was built in 1897 on the site of a naval club. It was rebuilt in 1924 and renovated in 1962. It was used as a television studio until its destruction by fire in 2005 since when it has been a luxury hotel. A little further down the avenue one of the very few gaming clubs daring to publize themselves. Not far away (beyond Place des Ternes) is the chief Parisian concert hall, Salle Pleyel. In 1816 a roller coaster was erected in the rue Bélidor and there was an outdoor fairground called Luna Park at Porte Maillot. This was demolished in 1948 and the site eventually became the Palais des Congrès.



Business, trade, employment

    On the huge swathe of land between the rue de Courcelles and rue des Renaudes there was, from 1821 to 1894, a gas works using distilled coal which made the neighbourhood filthy. In 1892 a manufacturer of bicycles and later cars (Clément) set up in  rue Brunel before moving its workshops out to the suburbs. The “Magasins Réunis” department store (now a FNAC) took over the site of “L’Economie Ménagère” in 1912. Today, industry has given way to offices of which there are many although the area is still residential. The Palais des Congrès is used for conventions and stage spectaculars.






artists and celebrities

    Edmond Audran, composer (1842-1901) lived at 27 rue Guillaume Tell. Léon Barillot, painter and engraver of animals (1844-1929) lived at 29bis rue Pierre Demour. Albert Besnard (1849-1934)  had his home at 17 rue Guillaume Tell. 2 place du Général Koenig was the last Paris residence of Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). Jules Cheret, painter and designer of posters (1836-1932) was at 41 rue Bayen. Edouard Detaille, painter (1848-1912) lived at 24 avenue de la Grande Armée before settling at 129 boulevard Malsherbes. Captain Dreyfus lived at 7 rue des Renaudes.  Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905) a Finn painter who painted a famous portrait of  Pasteur stayed at 147 avenue de Villiers where he shared a studio with  Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret (1852-1929), Gustave Courtois and Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884) before the latter moved to  rue Legendre. The composers Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) lived at 93 avenue Niel and Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) at 4 avenue Carnot. The painter Georges Rochegrosse lived for a while in one the detached houses in the  villa des Ternes as did the novelist Edmond About (1828-1885). The composer Déodat de Séverac (1872-1921) stayed at 17 rue Brey. The composer and organist Louis Vierne  (1870-1937) lived at 32 rue Saint Ferdinand.  


    Apart from Pierre Bonnard many of these names have faded from memory  and yet!

    Albert Besnard won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1874 and beacame the first painter to be elected to the Académie Française since 1760; among his sitters were such well-known personalities as Princess Mathilde, the actress Réjane, Gabriele d'Annunzio, Mr and Mrs Cognacq owners of la Samaritaine department store; he also decorated the hall of the faculté de Pharmacie, an amphitheatre at the Sorbonne,  ceilings at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris (City hall), at Comédie Française and Petit Palais.

    Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret also worked at the decoration of the Hôtel de Ville and the Sorbonne; his works can be found at the Orsay museum in Paris as well  in  Lyon, Chambery and the Metropolitan museum in New York.

    Jules Chéret produced hundred of posters for well-known brands, performers and theatres (Moulin Rouge, Folies Bergères) and even the curtain for the theatre inside the Musée Grévin (Tussaud museum); he inluenced Toulouse-Lautrec whom he knew; he also worked on the Hôtel de Ville de Paris, public buildings in Nice...

    Albert Edelfelt came to Paris in1874 and he studied with Jean-Léon Gérome; le musée d'Orsay conserve plusieurs toiles de lui.



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