Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Then and Now: Rue Nationale towards place Pinel, Paris

c. 1910-2009

Rue Nationale, like most streets which cross boulevard Vincent Auriol, exemplifies the extensive urban renewal that took place in Paris' 13th arrondissement in the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately, it has all the defining characteristics of modernist city planning while lacking much redeeming value elsewhere. Its apartment blocks are set back from the street behind plentiful yet inactive green spaces, themselves fenced or walled in from the sidewalk. There is no continuous street wall and very little retail presence, and the rather uninspiring architecture leaves most visual interest here to be provided by generous curbside parking.

Original photo: "LL-2097 Rés." Collection LL/Roger-Viollet. Parisienne de Photographie. 24 Jan. 2009.

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