2.2.09

Félix Potin - Rue de Rennes

A couple of days ago, Adam made a post about a building in Paris, which intrigued him (and which intrigued us all after having read his post). The architect was Paul Auscher (1866-1932).

Auscher was later responsible for a number of buildings in Paris, one of which is in a very striking Art Nouveau style – obviously the only one by him in this style - and using concrete as basic material. Most Parisians have seen this building, have probably even been visiting it, perhaps not all of us paying too much attention. You can find it on Rue de Rennes (no. 140). (You can read more about it – in French - on the excellent blog « Paris 1900 ».)
It was originally built for Félix Potin in 1904. Félix Potin was for about a century a leading retailer chain, especially in the Paris region. Everybody went to “Félix Potin” to buy “anything”. Potin and his successors created some big department stores, like this one, and around 1950 there were some 1200 Félix Potin mini markets in the Paris region. The chain was later taken over, obviously not well managed ... and today nothing is left, except some buildings. After Félix Potin this building has been occupied by Monoprix, Tati .... and today Zara, Spanish competitor to GAP, H&M.... The interior has changed completely, but fortunately the exterior has well survived a number of restorations, including a recent one (there is office space to rent).

I mentioned another remarkable Félix Potin building from 1910, situated on Rue Réaumur, in a previous post.









The top photo has been taken from in front of the only real skyscraper within the Paris borders, Tour Montparnasse, looking down Rue de Rennes. You can see the tower of Félix Potin at the left.
The Félix Potin building is in sharp contrast with its neighbour, the almost only recent building on this street, which is one of several FNAC* shops in Paris.

(I'm sorry for somewhat dark pictures, taken a cloudy January afternoon.)
_______
*/ FNAC is a leading chain in France for audio, books, records, DVDs, computer software and hardware, televisions, photographic equipment.... with more than 200 stores, mostly in France, but some 60 abroad, belonging to PPR (Pinault).

56 comments:

Dusty Lens said...

I enjoy this architecture, the city is like a living art gallery of buildings.

Cezar and Léia said...

Paris has so much beautiful architecture that a whole life would be needed to get to know all the interesting spots... Have a nice week! Léia and Cezar

SusuPetal said...

It's very decorative, no Finnish minimalism:)

It's cloudy here as well.

Have a nice week, Peter!

lyliane said...

J'étais 2 fois dans le XIVème la semaine dernière, mais le jeudi , la sortie avait été annulée, je n'avais pas envie de poiroter sur les quais de gare! Je n'ai pas vu ce bel immeuble, mais bien d'autres, je ne veux pas les passer sur le blog pour ne pas te faire concurrence, quoique je ne pourrais jamais, avec tes belles photos et tes intéressantes explications!
Tu as manifesté pour quoi?

LeenaM said...

I was just thinking those words of Cezar and Leya!
I never get tired watching that architecture of those buildings.

Happy day to you!

Cergie said...

C'est sûr que chez Félix Popotin tu trouves des gelées de groseille de Bar-le-Duc épépinées à la plume d'oie. Pour ma part j'aime autant la recette de ma tante Chochote.
Je ne fais pas de gelée de framboise mais de la confiotte, sinon c'est gâcher je trouve. Tant pire pour les pépins.

Cergie said...

Bar-le-Duc, capitale de la groseille

Cergie said...

Tout bien pesé... Akène ou pépin de framboise ?

GMG said...

Hi Peter! Great post as usually! Rue de Rennes always means for me my first visit to a FNAC, long time ago. Now I can see a FNAC from my window and it takes only 6 minutes walking slowly to get there... But the Felix Potin is a charming building!!

As for the general strike, I must confess that I was surprised to see that airports and railway stations weren't strongly affected, as far as I could see; I took my precautions and made it to Strasbourg with the Lufthansa Bus from Frankfurt, but wouldn't say that there was a general strike when I got to Strasbourg... ;))

Don't do shorter posts, otherwise I'll be left alone in the Blogosphere... ;)) The one on «Behind the Town Hall» is a great post, not a post «great»...

Have an excellent week!
Gil

hpy said...

A mon époque c'était Tati!

Adam said...

Fantastic photos Peter, especially the first which gives a real snapshot of the bustle of the Rue de Rennes. I imagine that the inside of the building was once equally as interesting, and I would have loved to have visited the shop when it first opened.

alice said...

Ah l'époque de "Félix Potin, on y revient"...Je dis ça mais je ne suis pas si vieille quand même, ça date de quand ce slogan?
Je ne peux plus passer à ce niveau de la rue de Rennes sans revoir les images de l'attentat, les vitrines brisées, les barrières...
Sinon, j'ai mis une petite chanson sur mon blog depuis ton passage, cher Peter.

alice said...

Bien sûr que tu devrais arrêter de fumer, on tient tous trop à toi! Mais ce ne doit pas être si facile...

Thérèse said...

Tati, Félix Potin: Paris forever!

Ruth said...

I want to go inside the room seen through the tall windows under "five o'clock." Looks warm and inviting there.

Virginia said...

I thought this looked familiar!! The bottom photo with the reflection is a half block from the hotel where we stayed our first trip. I photographed the modern builing from upstairs at Zara there on the corner. Is the FNAC under some type of construction? Also, do you know what that funny little door is on the 3 or 4th floor?
V
PS I'll email you my photo .

claude said...

Ma Mémé était un adepte de ce magasin. Il y a des architectes qui ont su créer des immeubles magnifiques qui font la beauté de Paris.
Tiens , le jardin du Luxembourg me rappel le déjêuner avec Lyliane, critina et ses amis Portugais !

Olivier said...

Felix Potin, on y revient ;o)
si on regarde, de vrai oeuvre d'art ces vieux magasins, un plaisir pour les yeux d'un amoureux de l'architecture.
Bon, je retourne dodo (et en plus, fini la neige, pas eut le temps de faire des photos)

Michelle said...

Amazing pictures. The streets are so busy there.

Michelle said...

Amazing pictures. The streets are so busy there.

Michelle said...

Amazing pictures. The streets are so busy there.

Nancy said...

What a fantastic blog! Thanks for educating us on the happenings in Paris. My french husband will love this!

Maxime said...

Impressionnante, la photo de la tour Monparnasse. De fait, je ne l'ai jamais vue de près, mais je sens que je préférerais le style Art Nouveau du vieux magasin Félix Potin. C'est beaucoup plus chaleureux qu'une paroi de verre ou un immense bloc de basalte style 2001 odyssée de l'espace !

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

great architecture Peter,
Yeh its really awsome the differneces in architecture, thats inspiring, it even seems to fit, like it has beenalways this way...

I also love the background (is that captured?) with the white sky, I always try to make my background natural, but maybe the sky was just that way that moment...

He Peter I just want to let you know that I always have 'to walk through all you older blogs, before I reach this one, maybe its because I click on your profile photo, than I get the old blogs first, . Q: Please can you considder to make a CLEAR link (with capital letters?) to this blog? Just a question. see what you do with it, I will visit you anyhow, but it would be nice if....


Good weekwishes and thanks for your visit, and good wishes for my mom.:)

JoAnnn's D Eyes/Holland

Cuckoo said...

Paris surely looks more brighter now. Summer time ?

Bergson said...

à le quartier de Montparnasse toute ma jeunesse la ville de guingamp, la gaité ...

Déja quelques décennies

Shionge said...

Hey Peter...I've always appreciated the buildings in Paris and many other parts of Europe too.

My gf who is checking in right now at the airport for her first trip to Paris is going to be overwhelmed and yes I am sure she'll have a good stay.

Shammickite said...

What a wonderfully elaborate building! Félix Potin had good taste in architects!

Virginia said...

Peter!
Are you out in la neige getting some nice snowy photos for us? Hear Paris is getting another wonderful snowfall making it even more magical. I am so envious!
V

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Wonderful post on stunning architecture in a place I call home...you take wonderful images dear friend.
Merci mille fois...! ! !

Ash said...

Splendid architecture....amazing photos!!

Ash said...

Paul Ascher.....Mmmm :-)

Azer Mantessa said...

"The Félix Potin building is in sharp contrast with its neighbour"

ermm ... i agree.

krystyna said...

Being here is always fascinating.
My best wishes to you, Peter!

Peter said...

Dusty Lens:
Indeed!

Léia & Cezar:
I guess I started my blog too late! :-)

SusuPetal:
We have it also, but Alvar Aalto didn't do so much in the Paris region! (A little bit, yes.) :-)

Peter said...

Lyliane:
Un peu de "concurrence" ne me gène pas! ... comme pour le Pérou! :-))

LeenaM:
Happy I'm not alone!

Cergie:
Moi aussi, j'aime bien les pépins (dans la confiture)!

Peter said...

GMG:
I guess most of like the FNAC shops! The difficulty is that you have a tendency to leave with more than planned!
Yes, the strike wasn't much felt, except for the school children. You circulated better than ever in Paris. A lot of people stayed at home, I believe.
OK. Let's try to keep them long then - together!!

HPY:
Ca va, ma vielle? :-))

Adam:
Same here! At least the outside is in good and rather original shape!

Peter said...

Alice:
Je pense que ce slogan est resté jusqu'à la fin, c'est à dire vers 1995-96. Ca ne te fait pas si vielle que ça!!! :-)
Pour l'attentat (chez Tati), j'ai hésité d'en parler. Comme d'habitude, j'avais peur de faire trop long!
Pour la cigarette... Non, ce n'est pas facile, mais avec toutes ces interdicitions, on fume quand' même moins!

Thérèse:
... et aujourd'hui GAP, H&M, Zara...! :-)

Ruth:
Need some new dresses? Unfortunately the interior is not what it used to be and there is no "five o'clock". Rather at Mariage Frères? :-)

Peter said...

Virginia:
Thanks for the photo. For the doors, I don't know. Maybe something to do with security, fire escapes... ?

Claude:
Que de la nostalgie et des bons souvenirs! :-)

Olivier:
Repose-toi bien! :-)

Peter said...

MMMichelle:
Yes, it's a rather busy street! Quite nice, with a variety of interesting shops. :-)

Nancy:
Happy that you appreciate! Welcime back, also together with your husband! :-)

Maxime:
Je pense qu'une majorité pense comme toi!

Peter said...

JoAnn:
I have nothing against a mixed architecture. It depends. There are places where it's possible and even nice, other, where it's more doubtful. ... and then it's the question of what the new building will look like.
The sky is as it was, a January afternoon!
Regarding your difficulties to reach me, I don't quite understand. I tested and see no link to my old blog. Have you tried Google Reader? It's an easy way to reach the blog you like to visit.

Cuckoo:
Not really summer yet! :-) Just on the freezing point today and a bit of snow yeterday!

Bergosn:
Le temps passe! :-)

Peter said...

Shionge:
If your gf arrived yesterday, she may have had some difficulties or delay; snow and ice at the airport. So there were some delays. Hope everything is OK for her now... and the sun is back! :-)

Shammickite:
Yes, he chose some good ones! :-)

Virginia:
No more snow photos. I did it so recently, so I thought it would be too much. The snow disappeared quite rapidly. :-)

Peter said...

Terrie:
Nice to hear you call it "home"!
"Merci mille fois"... for visiting my blog!

Ash:
Nice to see you back here, dear Ash! Paul Ash-cher, Ascher, Auscher...?

Azer:
Nice that we can agree! :-)

Peter said...

Krystyna:
The same to you, dear Krystyna!

Mo said...

Ah a building I don't know. Thans will check this one out next visit.

Catherine said...

Je viens de chez Cézar et Léia.
J'aime beaucoup ce post très complet sur le quartier Montparnasse, documenté et intéressant. Même pour moi qui suis née à Paris et qui y a toujours vécu.
Cet immeuble Félix Potin m'a toujours fait lever la tête pour n'en oublier aucun détail.

JM said...

Auscher's building is absolutely beautiful! (I like Art Nouveau a lot!)
The perspective of the street is fantastic and I was wondering where were you until I read it and see the skyscrapper shot! :-)

Peter said...

Catherine:
Merci de cette visite qui m'a permis de découvrir ton blog très intéressant! Je l'ai immédiatement mis entre les autres blog sur Paris à visiter!

JM:
I did not climb the skyscraper, was just standing in front of it, but a bit higher than the street of course!

richard said...

Nice building. The tower on the corner looks like an absinthe or eau-de-toilette bottle

Cutie said...

I truly love the buildings in Paris. Anyway, does Paris has any problems with snow? I know London is hit by it really badly this year.

Neva said...

It is sad when something that must have been high quality does not survive the next owner....I like the buildings in Paris.....they are unique!

Marie-Noyale said...

Encore une preuve que je ne leve pas assez souvent la tete!!!
C'est amusant ce "Five o'clock"sign??

Peter said...

Richard:
You may be right!

Cutie:
No real snow problems. We had a few hours Monday morning, but the rain took over!

Neva:
Yes, many of them are unique, especially the older ones of course! :-)

Peter said...

Marie-Noyale:
Pourtant, c'est le devoir d'une bloggeuse! :-))

Abraham Lincoln said...

I would give anything if we had trains, anywhere in Ohio, like your trains in Paris. We don't even have old, smokey, ones and the age of steam disappeared here too. We got diesels that look like the freight trains they are.

As for architecture -- nothing over here is like anything over there.

Nice post, Peter.

And, BTW, thank you for your visits to my blog.

Peter said...

Abraham:
If everything looked alike everywhere, it would not be too interesting! :-)