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La Samaritaine, Paris

This is a photo of La Samaritaine, a large department store in Paris. Since 2005, the 19th-century building has been closed for reasons of security and renovation to modern standards, and it is estimated that it will reopen its doors by the end of 2011.
The store was first opened in 1869 by Ernest Cognacq , starting out on a small scale with a very small boutique. Through the steady acquisition of neighboring buildings, Cognacq regularly expanded what could no longer be called a "boutique." The surrounding city blocks were entirely reworked and reconstructed progressively from 1883 to 1933. Notably, between 1903 and 1907, this work was taken on by the architect Frantz Jourdain, who applied an Art Nouveau aesthetic to the building. Further structural changes were successfully completed in 1933 by Henri Sauvage who, in his turn, reworked the architecture to reflect the aesthetic principles of Art Déco. The result was an eleven-story department store, one that is today considered a historical monument.
The store is well-known for its rooftop café, which affords excellent views of the city.


cube said...

How can they possibly stay in business being closed from 2005 to 2011?

Loïc BROHARD said...

It was bought in 2001 by LVMH, the luxury-goods company that had just previously purchased Le Bon Marché in 1998. LVMH is a French holding company and one of the world's largest luxury goods conglomerates. It is the parent of around 60 sub-companies... They have revenues of $25.87 billion US (2007) and 71,885 employees. In other words, they can afford "closing" for several years, and I guess the renovation must have good return on investment ! Only my guess..

PB from work said...

Some interesting and very high quality pictures Loic. I like the "factoids" too. Having been a geographer at Uni I have a lifelong interest in places and facts about them(especially nuggets of interesting trivia)
Sorry for being a dumbass but are they all your own pics? I ask because they're so delightfully varied. Most photographers' sites I visit - both pro and hobby - tend to very much one or two styles or themes. There is everything here!
PB from work

Loïc BROHARD said...

Many thanks for the comment...Yes, ALL photographs on this Blog are copyrighted © by the photographer = me :-)

Café P11 said...

i would like to visit that place