Monday, August 24, 2009
Going Gaga for Guimard
When it comes to tourist destinations, there's not much to see in the 16th arrondissement, just block after block of elegant Haussmanian apartment buildings, some lovely gardens, and plenty of high-end shops. And while there are a few sightseeing gems, like the Musee Marmottan and the Musee Guimet, for the most part, it's an area of town that the guidebooks all but forget. But take the 52 bus or metro line 9 down to the lower 16th, and there in the village of Auteuil are a number of Art Nouveau buildings well worth the price of the bus ticket. Pictured above is the gate at Castel Béranger, a complex of 36 apartments designed around 1890 by Hector Guimard, better known for his work on entrances to the Métro. (The two remaining Guimard designed shelters can be found at Abbesses and Porte Dauphine.) You'll find this sinuous gate at 14 rue la Fontaine; take a peek also at 60 rue de la Fontaine and 122 avenue Mozart.