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La Samaritaine

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Source: J.B. Scotin

La Samaritaine  was a large department store in Paris, France, located in the first arrondissement. The nearest métro station is Pont-Neuf, directly in front at the quai du Louvre and the rue de la Monnaie. The company was owned by Ernest Cognacq and Marie-Louise Jaÿ who hired architect Frantz Jourdain to expand their original store. It started as a small apparel shop and expanded to what became a series of department store buildings with a total of 90 different departments. It is currently owned by LVMH, a luxury-goods maker.The store, which had been operating at a loss since the 1970s, was finally closed in 2005 purportedly because the building did not meet safety codes. Plans for redeveloping the building involved lengthy complications, as the representatives of the store's founders argued with new owners LVMH over the building's future as a department store or a mixed-use development. In 2010 it was finally announced that a Japanese firm had been chosen to redesign the building as a combination hotel/apartments/offices, with a small retail component.
Architect Frantz Jourdian was originally hired to assist in the remodeling and expansion of the existing store building, known as Magasin 1. However, as the store's success continued to grow, Cognacq decided to expand into a building across the street, Magasin 2, which became the site for the Samaritaine as designed by Jourdain. The construction of the building was done in stages, partly because the store had to continue to remain open in order to bring in revenue. Much of the building was brought to the site prefabricated, allowing the construction to occur rapidly. The building was proposed in 1905 and after five years of construction, the building, filling the entire block from rues de la Monnaie, Arbre-Sec, des Petres, and Baillet, was complete in 1910. The original store, Magasin 1, was eventually updated with a steel and glass structure to match Magasin 2, which was located across the street.


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