Part 2 of Procrastination in the City: Les Halles
The Quartier des Halles, an area near the Louvre, is being completely torn down and rebuilt for the second time in 30 years. For many centuries it housed merchant markets but in the modern era visitors were only attracted by the nearby great museums of the city. Les Halles itself was not very useful or inspiring.
But Paris knew that Les Halles needed not only an “upgrade” but a complete reenvisioning. But it didn’t start off so well, the first plan, completed in 1979 would make most architects cringe. The buildings closed themselves off from the street and existing urban fabric of the neighborhood and the construction was terrible. The buildings quickly fell into disrepair and tourism in that area certainly didn’t blossom.