Difference between revisions of "Grand Hôtel du Louvre"

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Template:Infobox building The Grand Hôtel du Louvre was a luxury hotel in the Place du Palais-Royal in Paris, France, near to the Louvre, that operated between 1855 and 1887. It had many innovative features, including many bathrooms and two steam-powered elevators. The hotel was progressively converted into retail space, becoming a large department store. A successor Hôtel du Louvre was established on the other side of the Place du Palais Royal. It continues to operate today.

Construction

The Grand Hôtel du Louvre was housed in the "Louvre Antiques" building.Template:Sfn The building was constructed at 164-168, rue de Rivoli, Paris by the Péreire brothers at the request of Baron Haussmann, the prefect of the Seine.Template:Sfn The Société immobilière de la rue de Rivoli was launched in June 1854 to undertake this and other projects in the area. Three months later a company to build the hotel was founded, with many of the same principals. The architect was Alfred Armand (1805-88). Jacques Ignace Hittorff (1793-1967), Auguste Pellechet (1829-1903) and Charles Rohault de Fleury (1801-75) also participated in the design.Template:Sfn Félix-Joseph Barrias was commissioned to paint the frescoes.Template:Sfn The Grand Hôtel du Louvre opened in 1855 in time for the Exposition Universelle.Template:Sfn

Facilities

An 1872 Baedeker guide described the Grand Hôtel du Louvre as "a huge, palatial edifice, the construction of which cost upwards of 50,000 l."Template:Sfn It was the largest hotel in Europe. On the ground floor there was a large courtyard with a glass roof and galleries. There were shops along the Template:Convert street front. A massive stairway led from the courtyard to the table d'hôte dining room.Template:Sfn The table d'hôte often accommodated over 300 diners.Template:Sfn There was also a more expensive restaurant, a salon Template:Convert in length and a large billiard room. The modern hotel included many bathrooms and twenty lavatories.Template:Sfn Another innovative feature was a pair of steam-powered lifts.Template:Sfn

The hotel had 700 rooms and a staff of 1,250. It became renowned for both its French and foreign cuisine.Template:Sfn The hotel provided interpreters and guides, a post office, a telegraph room and an bureau of exchange.Template:Sfn Although the public rooms were splendid, the hotel catered to tourists with modest budgets as well as to the wealthy.Template:Sfn The building was shared by Les Galeries du Louvre, a department store.Template:Sfn

History

The company that owned the building collapsed after a financial scandal and was dissolved on 30 June 1872. Another company had been founded on 26 March 1855, known as "Les Galeries du Louvre", to operate the store and the hotel. It became the Société du Louvre, which still exists. In August 1875 this company bought the buildings that held the Grands Magasins du Louvre and the Grand Hotel du Louvre.Template:Sfn

The hotel rooms were gradually taken over for retail space, and eventually the whole building was a department store.Template:Sfn The hotel was closed on 1 November 1887. In 1888 the Hôtel du Louvre opened on the other side of the Place du Palais Royal.Template:Sfn This successor continues to operate in this location today.Template:Sfn

References

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