I recently made a post about the sculptor Jules Dalou (see here). I neglected to mention one of his works which can be found on the façade of a building in the 18th arrondissement.

Started in 1856, the “Grands Magasins Dufayel”, increased in size over the years and was, when complete in 1913, considered to be the world’s largest department store, specialized in furniture and house equipment. There were some 15 000 employees. “Dufayel” seems to have been the first to offer organized credit to customers. (A staff of 800 employees visited then people to get the weekly installments.) The stores were situated in a working class area and the clientele was not only “bourgoise” as was rather the case with the other newly started department stores. “Dufayel” closed in 1930 and was later taken over by a bank, with a transformation (demolition) of the interior. In the 1990’s large parts of the buildings were further transformed, rebuilt to apartments.

Some pictures “stolen” on the net show what the interiors once looked like. They included a concert hall, a theatre, a cinema…

The main entrance, decorated by Jules Dalou stood ready in 1895. His works represent “Le Progrès entrainant l’industrie et le commerce” (Progress drawing along industry and commerce).  The dome on the top, which also was some kind of lighthouse, disappeared in 1957. 

This is what you today can see of the partly tranformed buildings. ("Virgin", recently closed, had an outlet here.) 


Starman said...

Thanks for the tour.

martinealison said...

Bonjour cher Peter,

J'aime te lire et apprendre sur les bâtiments de notre capitale. Une sorte de biographie de la ville.
Tes documents et photos sont toujours très attrayantes et magnifiques.
Gros bisous à toi.

Cergie said...

Puisque te voilà de nouveau sur Dalou, je me permets de te rappeler la brasserie éponyme que tu as aussi néclected :


Et qu'il y a aussi une oeuvre de lui au pont Alexandre III : les lions.

(Ici le pont avec les nymphes de la Seine :

http://cergipontin.blogspot.com/2013/11/les-nymphes-de-la-seine-nymphs-of-seine.html )

Cezar and Léia said...

You prepared a very interesting article with beautiful images, the first one is a special detail, and thanks for all information!

Jeanie said...

How beautiful, Peter. I really appreciate the vintage etchings you found along with your own photos. Until I read your other post, he was "new to me." I love how I learn here!

Studio at the Farm said...

What and amazing past this old building has had! I am glad it is still standing, and very attractive. I wonder what it looks like inside?
Thank you, Peter, for another good post!

Alain said...

Assez curieusement, surtout pour l'époque, c'est une femme qui personnalise "L'Industrie", un marteau dans une main et une paire de tenailles dans l'autre (et non pas une faucille). Dufayel n'est plus, mais il y a Tati !

Thérèse said...

Une belle page d'architecture.