I have already made few posts, e.g. here and here, about alleys and backyards and especially the old industrial activities which you could find in the 11th arrondissement. Here is something more.
The top picture shows a building from 1881, which originally was a factory, Couesnon, once the world’s most important music instrument factory, especially known for its wind instruments. In 1936 it was sold to the important metallurgical syndicate, affiliated to the C.G.T. (General Confederation of Labour) and became known as “La Maison des Métallos”. When they decided to leave, the place was supposed to be demolished, but different local initiatives stopped this and finally the City of Paris took over the place and it’s now transformed into a cultural centre with theatres, workshops…
The next place – created 1870 - was originally a factory for barrels, where they started to use rubber plugs to increase the tightness. They learnt how to use the material and created rubber boots, in one piece, completely water-tight. In 1936 they created tennis shoes, under the name "Spring Court", Spring for the rubber resort and Court for the tennis court. Tens of millions of these in different shapes have since been manufactured, e.g. worn by John Lennon…, but the manufacturing has since the 1980’s moved to elsewhere. The old factory is now occupied by different offices, some photo studios … and a small Spring Court shop.
The following ex-industrial building is the previous earthenware, faience, factory, “Faïencerie Loebnitz”, constructed in 1884. The architect is the same who designed the Printemps department store, Paul Sédille. There is an adjacent building which offered flats for the employees. The façade of the factory is decorated by four faience artworks, three of which were originally decorating a fine arts pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair in 1878 – a fourth one for the ceramics was added. The manufacturing left the premises during the 1930’s.
A last little thing: This little theatre, “Théâtre de Belleville”, with origins from 1850 and with changed names and past activities as bistro, music-hall… well-known in the area. It seems that a very young Maurice Chevalier, made his more or less unpaid débuts here, at the age of 13 or 14.
… and some odd photos from other squares, alleys and backyards.