Modern architecture of Paris

The city of Paris has notable examples of architecture of every period from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. It was the birthplace of the Gothic style, and has important monuments of the French Renaissance, the Classical revival, and flamboyant style of the reign of Napoleon III; the Belle Époque, and the Art Nouveau style. The great Paris Universal Expositions of 1889 and 1900 added Paris landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Grand Palais. In the 20th century, the Art Deco style of architecture first appeared in Paris, and Paris architects also influenced the postmodern architecture of the second half of the century.

The 18th century – The triumph of neoclassicism
During the first half of the 18th century, the grand style of Louis XIV, defined by the Royal Academy of Architecture and evoking power and grandeur, dominated Paris architecture. In 1722, Louis XV returned the court to Versailles, and visited the city only on special occasions. While he rarely came into Paris, he did make important additions to the city’s landmarks. His first major building was the École Militaire, a new military school, on the Left Bank. It was built between 1739 and 1745 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Gabriel borrowed the design of the Pavillon d’Horloge of the Louvre by Lemercier for the central pavilion, a façade influenced by Mansart, and Italian touches from Palladio and Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

In the second part of the century, a more purely neoclassical style, based directly on Greek and Roman models, began to appear. It was strongly influenced by a visit to Rome in 1750 by the architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot and the future Marquis de Marigny, the director of buildings for King Louis XV. They and other architects who made the obligatory trip to Italy brought back classical ideas and drawings which defined Paris architecture until the 1830s.

Soufflot’s Roman trip led to the design of the new church of Saint Genevieve, now the Panthéon, the model of the neoclassical style, constructed on the summit of Mont Geneviéve between 1764 and 1790. It was not completed until the French Revolution, at which time it became a mausoleum for Revolutionary heroes. Other royal commissions in the new style included the royal mint, the Hotel des Monnaies on the Quai de Conti (6th arr.), with a 117-meter-long façade along the Seine, dominated by its massive central Avant-corps and vestibule decorated with doric columns and caisson ceilings (1767–75).

Religious architecture
Churches in the first half of the 18th century, such as the church of Saint-Roche at 196 rue Saint-Honoré (1738–39) by Robert de Cotte and Jules-Robert de Cotte, stayed with the late baroque style of superimposed orders. Later churches ventured into neoclassicism, at least on the exterior. The most prominent example of a neoclassical church was the Church of Saint Genevieve (1764–90), the future Pantheon. The church of Saint-Philippe-du-Roule at 153 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré (8th arr.) (1764–84) by Jean-François Chalgrin had an exterior inspired by the early Paleo-Christian church, though the nave in the interior was more traditional. The Church of Saint-Sulpice in the 6th arrondissement, by Jean-Nicolas Servandont, then by Oudot de Maclaurin and Jean-François Chalgrin was given a classical façade and two bell towers (1732–80). Funding was exhausted before the second tower was finished, leaving the two towers different in style. The church of Saint-Eustache on rue-du-Jour (1st arr.) an example of both Gothic and Renaissance architecture, had its west faced redone by Jean Hardouin-Mansart and then Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux, into a neoclassical façade with two orders (1754–78), and was intended to have two towers, but only one was finished.

Regency and Louis XV residential architecture
The Regency and then the rule of Louis XV saw a gradual evolution of the style of the hôtel particular, or mansion. The ornate wrought-iron balcony appeared on residences, along with other ornamental details called rocaille or rococo, often borrowed from Italy. The style first appeared on houses in the Marais, then in the neighborhoods of Saint-Honoré and Saint-Germain, where larger building lots were available. These became the most fashionable neighborhoods by the end of the 18th century. The new hôtels were often ornamented with curve façades, rotundas and lateral pavilions, and had their façades decorated with sculpted mascarons fruit, cascades of trophies and other sculptural decoration. The interiors were richly decorated with carved wood panels. The houses usually looked out onto courtyards on the front and gardens to the rear. The Hôtel de Chenizot, 51 rue Saint-Louis-en-Ile, by Pierre-Vigné de Vigny (about 1720), was a good example of the new style; it was a 17th-century house transformed by a new rocaille façade.

Urbanism – the Place de la Concorde
In 1748, the Academy of Arts commissioned a monumental statue of the king on horseback by the sculptor Bouchardon, and the Academy of Architecture was assigned to create a square, to be called Place Louis XV, where it could be erected. The site selected was the marshy open space between the Seine, the moat and bridge to the Tuileries garden, and the Champs-Élysées, which led to the Étoile, convergence of hunting trails on the western edge of the city (now Place Charles de Gaulle-Étoile). The winning plans for the square and buildings next to it were drawn by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel. Gabriel designed two large hôtels with a street between them, Rue Royale, designed to give a clear view of the statue in the center of the square. The façades of the two hotels, with long colonnades and classical pediments, were inspired by Perrault’s neoclassical façade of the Louvre. Construction began in 1754, and the statue was put in place and dedicated on 23 February 1763. The two large hôtels were still unfinished, but the façades were finished in 1765–66. The Place was the theater for some of the most dramatic events of the French Revolution, including the executions of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

Urbanism under Louis XVI
The later part of the 18th century saw the development of new residential blocks, particularly on the left bank at Odéon and Saint-Germain, and on the right bank in the first and second arrondissements. The most fashionable neighborhoods moved from the Marais toward the west. with large residential buildings constructed in a simplified and harmonious neoclassical style. The ground floors were often occupied by arcades to give pedestrians shelter from the rain and the traffic in the streets. Strict new building regulations were put into place in 1783 and 1784, which regulated the height of new buildings in relation to the width of the street, regulating the line of the cornice, the number of stories and the slope of the roofs. Under a 1784 decree of the Parlement of Paris, the height of most new buildings was limited to 54 pieds or 17.54 meters, with the height of the attic depending upon the width of the building.

Paris architecture on the eve of the Revolution
Paris in the 18th century had many beautiful buildings, but it was not a beautiful city. Functional buildings were built in the neoclassical style; the grain market (now the Chamber of Commerce) was given a neoclassical dome (1763–69) by Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières. Between 1785 and 1787, the royal government built a new wall around the edges of the city (The Wall of the Ferme générale) to prevent smuggling of goods into the city. it had fifty-five barriers, many of them in the form of Doric temples, designed by Claude Nicolas Ledoux. A few still exist, notably at Parc Monceau. The wall was highly unpopular and was an important factor in turning opinion against Louis XVI, and provoking the French Revolution.

In 1774 Louis XV had constructed a monumental fountain, the Fontaine des Quatre-Saisons, richly decorated with classical sculpture by the Bouchardon glorifying the King, at 57-59 rue de la Grenelle. While the fountain was huge, and dominated the narrow street, it originally had only two small spouts, from which residents of the neighborhood could fill their water containers. It was criticized by Voltaire in a letter to the Count de Caylus in 1739, as the fountain was still under construction:

I have no doubt that Bouchardon will make of this fountain a fine piece of architecture; but what kind of fountain has only two faucets where the water porters will come to fill their buckets? This isn’t the way fountains are built in Rome to beautify the city. We need to lift ourselves out of taste that is gross and shabby. Fountains should be built in public places, and viewed from all the gates. There isn’t a single public place in the vast faubourg Saint-Germain; that makes my blood boil. Paris is like the statue of Nabuchodonosor, partly made of gold and partly made of muck.

Revolutionary Paris
During the French Revolution, the churches of Paris were closed and nationalized, and many were badly damaged. Most destruction came not from the Revolutionaries, but from the new owners who purchased the buildings, and sometimes destroyed them for the building materials they contained. The Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Montmartre was destroyed, and its church left in ruins. Parts of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés were turned into a gunpowder factory; an explosion destroyed many of the buildings outside the church. The Church of Saint-Genevieve was turned into a mausoleum for revolutionary heroes. The sculpture on the façade of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame was smashed or removed, and the spire torn down. Many of the abandoned religious buildings, particularly in outer neighborhoods of the city, were turned into factories and workshops. Much of the architecture of the Revolution was theatrical and temporary, such as the extraordinary stage sets created for the Festival of the Supreme Being on the Champs-de-Mars in 1794. However, work continued on some pre-revolutionary projects. The rue des Colonnes in the second arrondissement, designed by Nicolas-Jacques-Antoine Vestier (1793–95), had a colonnade of simple Doric columns, characteristic of the Revolutionary period.

The Paris of Napoleon (1800–15)
In 1806, in imitation of Ancient Rome, Napoléon ordered the construction of a series of monuments dedicated to the military glory of France. The first and largest was the Arc de Triomphe, built at the edge of the city at the Barrière d’Étoile, and not finished before July 1836. He ordered the building of the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (1806–08), copied from the arch of Arch of Septimius Severus and Constantine in Rome, next to the Tuileries Palace. It was crowned with a team of bronze horses he took from the façade of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice. His soldiers celebrated his victories with grand parades around the Carrousel. He also commissioned the building of the Vendôme Column (1806–10), copied from the Trajan’s Column in Rome, made of the iron of cannon captured from the Russians and Austrians in 1805. At the end of the Rue de la Concorde (given again its former name of Rue Roya on 27 April 1814), he took the foundations of an unfinished church, the Église de la Madeleine, which had been started in 1763, and transformed it into the Temple de la Gloire, a military shrine to display the statues of France’s most famous generals.

Many of Napoleon’s contributions to Paris architecture were badly needed improvements to the city’s infrastructure; He started a new canal to bring drinking water to the city, rebuilt the city sewers, and began construction of the Rue de Rivoli, to permit the easier circulation of traffic between the east and west of the city. He also began construction of the Palais de la Bourse (1808–26), the Paris stock market, with its grand colonnade. it was not finished until 1826. In 1806 He began to build a new façade for the Palais-Bourbon, the modern National Assembly, to match the colonnade of the Temple of Military Glory (now the Madeleine), directly facing it across the Place de La Concorde.

The Egyptian style
Parisians had a taste for the Egyptian style long before Napoleon; pyramids, obelisks and sphinxes occurred frequently in Paris decoration, such as the decorative sphinxes decorating the balustrade of the Hotel Sale (now the Musée Picasso), (1654–59), and small pyramids decorating the Anglo-Chinese gardens of the Château de Bagatelle and Parc Monceau in the (18th century). However, Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign gave the style a new prestige, and for the first time it was based on drawings and actual models carried back the scholars who traveled with Napoleon’s soldiers to Egypt; the style soon appeared in public fountains and residential architecture, including the Fontaine du Fellah on rue de Sèvres by Francois-Jean Bralle (1807) and the Fontaine du Palmier by Bralle and Louis Simon Boizot (1808). The sphinxes around this fountain were Second-Empire additions in 1856–58 by the city architect of Napoleon III, Gabriel Davioud. The grandest Egyptian element added to Paris was the Luxor Obelisk from the Temple of Thebes, offered as a gift by the Viceroy of Egypt to Louis-Philippe, and erected on the Place de la Concorde in 1836. Examples continued to appear in the 20th century, from the Luxor movie palace on boulevard de Magenta in the 10th arrondissement (1921) to the Louvre pyramid by I.M. Pei (1988).

The Debut of iron architecture
Iron architecture made its Paris debut under Napoleon, with the construction of the Pont des Arts by Louis-Alexandre de Cessart and Jacques Lacroix-Dillon (1801–03). This was followed by a metal frame for the cupola of the Halle aux blé, or grain market (now the Paris Bourse de Commerce, or Chamber of Commerce). Designed by the architect François-Joseph Bélanger and the engineer François Brunet (1811). It replaced the wooden-framed dome built by Nicolas Le Camus de Mézières in 1767, which burned in 1802. It was the first iron frame used in a Paris building.

The Restoration (1815–30)
Public buildings and monuments
The royal government restored the symbols of the old regime, but continued the construction of most of the monuments and urban projects begun by Napoleon. All of the public buildings and churches of the Restoration were built in a relentlessly neoclassical style. Work resumed, slowly, on the unfinished Arc de Triomphe, begun by Napoleon. At the end of the reign of Louis XVIII, the government decided to transform it from a monument to the victories of Napoleon into a monument celebrating the victory of the Duke of Angôuleme over the Spanish revolutionaries who had overthrown their Bourbon king. A new inscription was planned: “To the Army of the Pyrenees” but the inscription had not been carved and the work was still not finished when the regime was toppled in 1830.

The Canal Saint-Martin was finished in 1822, and the building of the Bourse de Paris, or stock market, designed and begun by Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart from 1808 to 1813, was modified and completed by Éloi Labarre in 1826. New storehouses for grain near the Arsenal, new slaughterhouses, and new markets were finished. Three new suspension bridges were built over the Seine; the Pont d’Archeveché, the Pont des Invalides and footbridge of the Grève. All three were rebuilt later in the century.

Religious architecture
The church of La Madeleine, begun under Louis XVI, had been turned by Napoleon into the Temple of Glory (1807). It was now turned back to its original purpose, as the Royal church of La Madeleine. To commemorate the memory of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette to expiate the crime of their execution, King Louis XVIII built the Chapelle expiatoire designed by Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine in a neoclassical style similar to the Paris Pantheon.on the site of the small cemetery of the Madeleine, where their remains (now in the Basilica of Saint-Denis) had been hastily buried following their execution. It was completed and dedicated in 1826.

Several new churches were begun during the Restoration to replace those destroyed during the Revolution. A battle took place between architects who wanted a neogothic style, modeled after Notre-Dame, or the neoclassical style, modeled after the basilicas of ancient Rome. The battle was won by a majority of neoclassicists on the Commission of Public Buildings, who dominated until 1850. Jean Chalgrin had designed Saint-Philippe de Role before the Revolution in a neoclassical style; it was completed (1823–30) by Étienne-Hippolyte Godde. Godde also completed Chalgrin’s project for Saint-Pierre-du-Gros-Caillou {1822–29), and built the neoclassic basilicas of Notre-Dame-du-Bonne Nouvelle ((1823–30) and Saint-Denys-du-Saint-Sacrament (1826–35). Other notable neoclassical architects of the Restoration included Louis-Hippolyte Lebas, who built Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (1823–36); (1823–30); and Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, who built the church of Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (1824–44). Hittorff went on to along a brilliant career in the reigns of Louis Philippe and Napoleon III, designing the new plan of the Place de la Concorde and constructing the Gare du Nord railway station (1861–66).

Commercial architecture – the shopping gallery
A new form of commercial architecture had appeared at the end of the 18th century; the passage, or shopping gallery, a row of shops along a narrow street covered by a glass roof. They were made possible by improved technologies of glass and cast iron, and were popular since few Paris streets had sidewalks and pedestrians had to compete with wagons, carts, animals and crowds of people. The first indoor shopping gallery in Paris had opened at the Palais-Royal in 1786; rows of shops, along with cafes and the first restaurants, were located under the arcade around the garden. It was followed by the passage Feydau in 1790–91, the passage du Caire in 1799, and the Passage des Panoramas in 1800. In 1834 the architect Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine carried the idea a step further, covering an entire courtyard of the Palais-Royal, the Galerie d’Orleans, with a glass skylight. The gallery remained covered until 1935. It was the ancestor of the glass skylights of the Paris department stores of the later 19th century.

Residential architecture
During the Restoration, and particularly after the coronation of King Charles X in 1824. New residential neighborhoods were built on the Right Bank, as the city grew to the north and west. Between 1824 and 1826, a time of economic prosperity, the quarters of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Europe, Beaugrenelle and Passy were all laid out and construction began. The width of lots grew larger; from six to eight meters wide for a single house to between twelve and twenty meters for a residential building. The typical new residential building was four to five stories high, with an attic roof sloping forty-five degrees, broken by five to seven windows. The decoration was largely adapted from that of the Rue de Rivoli; horizontal rather than vertical orders, and simpler decoration. The windows were larger and occupied a larger portion of the façades. Decoration was provided by ornamental iron shutters and then wrought-iron balconies. Variations of this model were the standard on Paris boulevards until the Second Empire.

The hôtel particular, or large private house of the Restoration, usually was built in a neoclassical style, based on Greek architecture or the style of Palladio, particularly in the new residential quarters of Nouvelle Athenes and the Square d’Orleans on Rue Taibout (9th arrondissement), a private residential square (1829–35) in the English neoclassical style designed by Edward Cresy. Residents of the square included George Sand and Frédéric Chopin. Some of the houses in the new quarters in the 8th arrondissement, particularly the quarter of François I, begun in 1822, were made in a more picturesque style, a combination of the Renaissance and classical style, called the Troubadour style. This marked the beginning of the movement away from uniform neoclassicism toward eclectic residential architecture.

The Paris of Louis-Philippe (1830–48)
Monuments and public squares
The architectural style of public buildings under the Restoration and Louis-Philippe was determined by the Academie des Beaux-Arts, or Academy of Fine Arts, whose Perpetual Secretary from 1816 to 1839 was Quatremère de Quincy, a confirmed neoclassicist. The architectural style of public buildings and monuments was intended to associate Paris with the virtues and glories of ancient Greece and Rome, as it had been under Louis XIV, Napoleon and the Restoration.

The first great architectural project of the reign of Louis-Philippe was the remaking of the Place de la Concorde into its modern form. The moats of the Tuileries were filled, two large fountains, one representing the maritime commerce and industry of France, the other the river commerce and great rivers of France, designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff, were put in place, along with monumental sculptures representing the major cities of France. On 25 October 1836, a new centerpiece was put in place; a stone obelisk from Luxor, weighing two hundred fifty tons, brought on a specially built ship from Egypt, was slowly hoisted into place in the presence of Louis-Philippe and a huge crowd. In the same year, the Arc de Triomphe, begun in 1804 by Napoleon, was finally completed and dedicated. Following the return to Paris of the ashes of Napoleon from Saint Helena in 1840, they were placed with great ceremony in a tomb designed by Louis Visconti beneath the church of Les Invalides. Another Paris landmark, the column on the Place de la Bastille, was inaugurated on 28 July 1840, on the anniversary of the July Revolution, and dedicated to those killed during the uprising.

Several older monuments were put to new purposes: the Élysée Palace was purchased by the French state and became an official residence, and under late governments the residence of the Presidents of the French Republic. The Basilica of Sainte-Geneviève, originally built as a church, then, during the Revolution, made into a mausoleum for great Frenchmen, then a church again during the Restoration, once again became the Panthéon, holding the tombs of great Frenchmen.

Preservation and restoration
The reign of Louis-Philippe saw the beginning of a movement to preserve and restore some of the earliest landmarks of Paris, inspired in large part by Victor Hugo’s hugely successful novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre-Dame de Paris), published in 1831. The leading figure of the restoration movement was Prosper Mérimée, named by Louis-Philippe as the inspector General of Historic Monuments. The Commission of Public Monument was created in 1837, and in 1842, Mérimée began compiling the first official list of classified historical monuments, now known as the Base Mérimée.

The first structure to be restored was the nave of the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest in the city. Work also began in 1843 on the cathedral of Notre Dame, which had been badly damaged during the Revolution, and stripped of the statues on its façade. Much of the work was directed by the architect and historian Viollet-le-Duc who, sometimes, as he admitted, was guided by his own scholarship of the “spirit” of medieval architecture, rather strict historical accuracy. The other major restorations projects were Sainte Chapelle and the Hôtel de Ville, dating to the 17th century; the old buildings which pressed up against the back of the Hôtel de Ville were cleared away; two new wings were added, the interiors were lavishly redecorated, and the ceilings and walls of the large ceremonial salons were painted with murals by Eugène Delacroix. Unfortunately, all the interiors were burned in 1871 by the Paris Commune.

The Beaux-Arts style
At the same time, a small revolution was taking place at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, led by four young architects; Joseph-Louis Duc, Felix Duban, Henri Labrouste and Léon Vaudoyer, who had first studied Roman and Greek architecture at the Villa Medici in Rome, then in the 1820s began the systematic study of other historic architectural styles; including French architecture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. They instituted teaching about a variety of architectural styles at the École des Beaux-Arts, and installed fragments of Renaissance and Medieval buildings in the courtyard of the school so students could draw and copy them. Each of them also designed new non-classical buildings in Paris inspired by a variety of different historic styles; Labrouste built the Sainte-Geneviève Library (1844–50); Duc designed the new Palais de Justice and Court of Cassation on the Île-de-la-Cité (1852–68); and Vaudroyer designed the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers (1838–67), and Duban designed the new buildings of the École des Beaux-Arts. Together, these buildings, drawing upon Renaissance, Gothic and romanesque and other non-classical styles, broke the monopoly of neoclassical architecture in Paris.

The first train stations

The first train stations in Paris were called embarcadéres (a term used for water traffic), and their location was a source of great contention, as each railroad line was owned by a different company, and each went in a different direction. The first embarcadére was built by the Péreire brothers for the line Paris-Saint-Germain-en-Laye, at the Place de l’Europe. It opened on 26 August 1837, and with its success was quickly replaced by a larger building on rue de Stockholm, and then an even larger structure, the beginning of the Gare Saint-Lazare, built between 1841 and 1843. It was the station for the trains to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Versailles and Rouen.

The Péreire brothers argued that Gare Saint-Lazare should be the unique station of Paris, but the owners of the other lines each insisted on having their own station. The first Gare d’Orléans, now known as the Gare d’Austerlitz, was opened on 2 May 1843, and was greatly expanded in 1848 and 1852. The first Gare Montparnasse opened on 10 September 1840 on avenue du Maine, and was the terminus of the new Paris-Versailles line on the left bank of the Seine. It was quickly found to be too small, and was rebuilt between 1848 and 1852 at the junction of rue de Rennes and boulevard du Montparnasse, its present location.

The banker James Mayer de Rothschild received the permission of the government to build the first railroad line from Paris to the Belgian border in 1845, with branch lines to Calais and Dunkerque. The first embarcadére of the new line opened on rue de Dunkerque in 1846. It was replaced by a much grander station, Gare du Nord, in 1854. The first station of the line to eastern France, the Gare de l’Est was begun in 1847, but not finished until 1852. Construction of a new station for the line to the south, from Paris to Montereau-Fault-Yonne began in 1847 and was finished in 1852. In 1855 it was replaced by a new station, the first Gare de Lyon, on the same site.

Napoleon III and the Second Empire style (1848–70)
The rapidly growing French economy under Napoleon III led to major changes in the architecture and urban design of Paris. New types of architecture connected with the economic expansion; railroad stations, hotels, office buildings, department stores and exposition halls, occupied the center of Paris, which previously had been largely residential. To improve traffic circulation and bring light and air to the center of the city, Napoleon’s Prefect of the Seine, destroyed the crumbling and overcrowded neighborhoods in the heart of the city and built a network of grand boulevards. The expanded use of new building materials, especially iron frames, allowed the construction of much larger buildings for commerce and industry.

When he declared himself Emperor in 1852, Napoleon III moved his residence from the Elysée Palace to the Tuileries Palace, where his uncle Napoleon I had lived, adjoining the Louvre. He continued the construction of the Louvre, following the grand design of Henry IV; he built the Pavillon Richelieu (1857), the guichets of the Louvre (1867), and rebuilt the Pavillon de Flore; he broke with the neo-classicism of the wings of the Louvre built by Louis XIV; the new constructions were perfectly in harmony with the Renaissance wings.

The dominant architectural style of the Second Empire was the eclectic, drawing liberally from the architecture of the Gothic style, Renaissance style, and style of Louis XV and Louis XVI. The best example was the Opera Garnier, begun in 1862 but not finished until 1875. The architect was Charles Garnier (1825–1898), who won the competition against a Gothic-revival style by Viollet-le-Duc. When asked by the Empress Eugenie what the style of the building was called, he replied simply “Napoleon III.” It was at the time the largest theater in the world, but much of the interior space was devoted to purely decorative spaces; grand stairways, huge foyers for promenading, and large private boxes. The façade was decorated with seventeen different materials, marble, stone, porphyry and bronze. Other notable examples of Second Empire public architecture include the Palais de Justice and the Court of Cassation by Joseph-Louis Duc (1862–68); the Tribunal de Commerce by Antoine-Nicolas Bailly (1860–65), and the Théâtre du Châtelet by Gabriel Davioud (1859–62) and Theater de la Ville, facing each other on Place du Châtelet.

The Second Empire also saw the restoration of the famed stain glass windows and structure of Sainte-Chapelle by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc; and extensive restoration of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Later critics complained that some of the restoration was more imaginative than precisely historical.

The map and look of Paris changed dramatically under Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. Haussmann demolished the narrow streets and crumbling medieval houses in the center of the city (including the house where he was born) and replaced them with wide boulevards lined by large residential buildings, all of the same height (Twenty meters to the cornice, or five stories on boulevards and four on narrower streets), with façades in the same style, and faced with the same cream-colored stone. He completed the east-west axis of the city center, the Rue de Rivoli begun by Napoleon, built a new North-south axis, Boulevard de Sébastopol, and cut wide boulevards on both the right and left banks, including the Boulevard Saint-Germain, Boulevard Saint-Michel, usually culminating in a domed landmark. if a dome was not already there, Haussmann had one built, as he did with the Tribunal de Commerce and the Church of Saint-Augustin.

The centerpiece of the new design was the new Paris Opera, designed by Charles Garnier. In the latter years of the Empire, he built new boulevards to connect the city center with the eight new arrondissements which Napoleon III attached to the city in 1860, along with new city halls for each arrondissement. New city halls were also built for many of the original arrondissements. The new city hall of the First arrondissement by Jacques Ignace Hittorff (1855–60), close the medieval church of Saint-Germain-Auxerois the historic center of the city. The new city hall was in neo-Gothic style, echoing the medieval church, complete with a rose window. A neo-Gothic bell tower by Théodore Ballu (1862),

To provide green space and recreation for the residents of the outer neighborhoods of the city, Haussmann built large new parks Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes, Parc Montsouris and Parc des Buttes Chaumont to the west, east, north and south, filled with picturesque garden follies, as well as numerous smaller parks and squares where the new boulevards met. City architect Gabriel Davioud devoted considerable attention to the details of the city infrastructure. Haussmann also built a new water supply and sewer system under the new boulevards, planted thousands of trees along the boulevards, and ornamented the parks and boulevards with kiosks, gateways, lodges and ornamental grills, all designed by Davioud.

Religious architecture – the Neo-Gothic and eclectic styles
Religious architecture finally broke away from the neoclassical style which had dominated Paris church architecture since the 18th century. Neo-Gothic and other historical styles began to be built, particularly in the eight new arrondissements farther from the center added by Napoleon III in 1860. The first neo-Gothic church was the Basilica of Sainte-Clothilde, begun by Christian Gau in 1841, finished by Theodore Ballu in 1857. During the Second Empire, architects began to use metal frames combined with the Gothic style; the Eglise Saint-Laurent, a 15th-century church rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style by Simon-Claude-Constant Dufeux (1862–65), and Saint-Eugene-Sainte-Cecile by Louis-Auguste Boileau and Adrien-Louis Lusson (1854–55); and Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Belleville by Jean-Bapiste Lassus (1854–59). The largest new church built in Paris during the Second Empire was Church of Saint Augustine (1860–71), by Victor Baltard, the designer of the metal pavilions of the market of Les Halles. While the structure was supported by cast-iron columns, the façade was eclectic.

Railway stations and commercial architecture
The industrial revolution and economic expansion of Paris required much larger structures, particularly for railroad stations, which were considered the new ornamental gateways to the city. The new structures had iron skeletons, but they were concealed by Beaux-Arts façades. The Gare du Nord, by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff (1842–65), had a glass roof with iron columns thirty-eight meters high, while the façade was in the beaux-arts style faced with stone and decorated with statues representing the cities served by the railway.

The most dramatic use of iron and glass was in the new central market of Paris, Les Halles (1853–70), an ensemble of huge iron and glass pavilions designed by Victor Baltard (1805–1874). Henri Labrouste (1801–1875) used iron and glass to create a dramatic cathedral-like reading room for the Bibliothèque nationale de France, site Richelieu (1854–75).

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