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A Tremendous Architectural Loss For Paris.

Jul 10 2013


If you love Paris for its architecture as I do, then you will be devastated to learn that the Hotel Lambert, the 17th century hotel particulier on the very Eastern tip of Île Saint-Louis, partially burned down early this morning.

Located at 2 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, the private residence was designed by Louis Le Vau in 1640, the primary architect behind Versailles, and houses the historically important galerie d'Hercule decorated with frescos by Lebrun and Lesueur. It was declared a historical monument in 1862.

It was sold by the estate of Guy de Rothschild to the Emir of Qatar in 2007 and had been undergoing extensive renovation since 2010 to include amongst other "improvements", a custom car elevator. It is unclear at this point how much of the architectural treasure can be salvaged.


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Don't even get me started on this. As far as the architectural patrimony of France goes, this is a tragedy beyond anything anyone could imagine. It should NEVER have been allowed to be sold to another private owner. At the risk of being politically incorrect, it was allowed to be sold to an owner whose aesthetic and cultural sensitivity was probably not the most acute. I know we're still waiting to hear about the final damage. One can only hope that the Galerie d'Hercule was spared.

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