The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Musee d'Orsay

Paris

France

Contributed by 
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
August 8, 2002
December 14, 2017

A turn of the century train station marked for destruction was transformed in the 1970s into a new museum with a vast collection of late 19th century and early 20th century art.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

Musee D'Orsay is an example of an inspired reinterpretation of city resources and integration of the building's history and location. The train station's delicate steel arcade was renovated and numerous side landings and galleries house the museums works.

Access & Linkages

Comfort & Image

Uses & Activities

Sociability

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

The station is located upon the site of the old Palais D'Orsay which was burned to the ground in 1871 during the Paris commune. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style by architect, Victor Laloux, who had just completed the HÕâtel de Ville in Tours, the train staion and accompaning hotel opened upon the eve of the 1900 World's Fair. From 1900 to 1939, Orsay station was the head of the southwestern French railroad network. However, after 1939, the station was to serve only the suburbs, as its platforms had become too short for the longer more modern trains made possible by the progressive electrification of the railroads. After its closing the station/hotel served a variety of purposes, as the receiving center for returning prisoners of the second World War, as a theater and movie set (Orson Welles the Trial), and as an auction house. Threatened with demolition by the building of a new hotel complex, The train station was saved a year later by a public that was fueled by outrage over the recent destruction of Les Halles. The station became a landmarked building in 1978. With a modern interpretation that respects its nineteenth century roots, the new Musee d'Orsay opened its doors in 1986.

Related Links & Sources

Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay
Musee d'Orsay

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

Corrections or additions? Email info@pps.org
Comments
Related Articles & Resources

More Related Articles

The Key to Safe Streets: Five Cities Humanizing Street Design