(Click on photos to enlarge)
Bérangère Lomont, our eyes and ears in Paris, has been documenting the restoration of the Hôtel de Sully in the Marais. By way of introduction, she writes:
Without a doubt, the Hôtel de Sully is one of the most beautiful buildings in the Marais. Located on the old Gallo-Roman way which leads from Lutèce to Melun (and later became rue Saint Antoine) it was built during the reign of King Henri IV, first urbanist of Paris, on today’s Place des Vosges in the heart of Marais.
In 1625, Mesme Gallet, superintendent of finance and bon vivant, began to build a private mansion with a garden and an orangery, but sold it unfinished. For nine years, it languished until its third owner, 74 year old Maximilien de Béthune, first Duke of Sully, completed its interior decor.
The organization of the rooms is very typical of an apartment of the 17th century; the painted decors by Antoine Paillet with their large simulated perspectives give the illusion of space, which was in the mood in the Marais because of the tiny houses and the narrow streets.
The Hôtel kept the name of Sully, although it became an investment property with little shops in the 19th century. In 1944 it was bought by the State and entirely renovated. Since 2000, it has become the head office of Centre des Monuments Nationaux. In 2009, the restoration began of the façades and of the Duchess ‘s Apartment (added to the original structure in 1660) under the direction of Atelier Arcoa manager Jean-Sylvain Fourquet.
In the spirit of “Now and Then” I offer the following record of restoration…
(to read the rest of BB’s remarkable behind-the-scenes photo essay, please click here)