THE HUMAN STONE

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Angel of 57, rue de Turbigo. The rue de Turbigo is part of the St Martin district, not an aristocratic area like its neighbor le Marais. The smiling, colossal stone angel seems to stand guard over the human comedy unfolding at its feet. Wings unfurled with a span rivaling that of the Louvre’s Winged Victory,  its feathers  brush against the fourth floor apartments’ windows of this building designed by architect Eugene Demangeat in 1860. Demangeat was a key player in the building boom of Paris, orchestrated by Baron Haussmann under the aegis of Napoleon III.  The goal was to aerate, beautify and unify the capital city, until then a medieval maze of dark, insalubrious, winding streets. Next year,  the angel of the rue Turbigo  celebrates its 154th year, a serenely vigilant guardian angel radiating happiness throughout the neighborhood.

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From Promenade Plantee.

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Paris apartments.

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Paris apartments.

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La France Journal du Soir.

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Atlantes above the entrance of the 116, rue de Réaumur, 2nd arr. This building was built in 1898 by Albert Walwein . The statues of Atlantes are said “sheathed” (their lower part is melted in a pillar). Above the door, a relief with Diana and two Amours.

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Along Rue Réaumur there are many interesting building façades. In 1897, a new planning regulation was put in place. This meant that roofs could be extended and bay windows could be added to the stone façades. Quite a few architects won a prize for these additions.

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Caryatids around a window at the corner of the 101, rue de Réaumur and rue de Cléry, 2nd arr.

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The enormous heads of the goddess Hathor in Rue du Caire. Back in 1798 the future emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was about to pop off on his Egyptian Campaign, so things middle eastern were somewhat in the air. The Passage du Caire was supposed to be like a nod to the great souk of Cairo, but in the end was criticised for not being souklike one little bit. The architect of the building in these pictures, constructed around 1828.

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One of the many reasons that I love Paris is that I feel that there is something wonderful, and often unexpected, to discover around every corner. There are several whimsical examples of Parisian Art Nouveau architecture tucked away in quiet spots in the 7th arrondissement. Like the first time I turned a corner and stood face to face with Jules Lavirotte’s outrageous Art Nouveau masterpiece on 29, Avenue Rapp. Look carefully to discover the many whimsical details on this building –  from the windows above the door that look like Martian’s eyes, to the bison heads which holding up balconies, lizard door handles, fox-headed fur collars, fantastical fish, wonderful curves and shapes, young women and men.

29, avenue Rapp (l'art nouveau à Paris)

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Lavirotte designed this wildly decorated facade in 1901 for his friend Alexandre Bigot. A frequent collaborator, Bigot was a talented ceramist and he gave Lavirotte complete freedom with the design for this building. Bigot created the ceramic details himself, working closely with Lavirotte to execute his outrageous and lavish designs, along with the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Larrivé. Read more about the buildings Lavirotte designed in the 7th arrondissement of Paris on Wikipedia.

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39, rue Saint Sabin. The mansion, three levels plus attic above the cornice, was built in 1909 by company A. Chérioux according to plans by architect L. Delpoix and ornamented with statues and friezes made ​​by the sculptor E. Chenevière.
The three central windows of the first and second stage are connected together by a balcony railing wrought iron. Windows are surmounted first by a triangular pediment carved. They are framed by a square column supporting grooved on each side at the second floor, a sculpture of a woman who carried the garland of flowers located above windows.

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