30 August 2023

Works in progress from the top of the Tour Saint-Jacques

Four more photos from my 2013 climb to the top of the Tour Saint-Jacques in the center of Paris...

On the left above, the rooftop of the Opéra Garnier, the older opera house in Paris. Operas are performed nowadays in the new Opéra Bastille theatre, while the performances at The Opéra Garnier are mainly ballets. On the right, a closer view of the cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris as it looked 10 years ago. It's still not a sure thing that the restoration of the cathedral to repair the damage done by the 2019 fire will be completed by next summer, when Paris hosts the summer Olympic games. The man who was directing the work died suddenly a week or two ago.

These last to photos show two buildings that people love to hate. On the left is the Pompidou Center (aka Beaubourg), which was built in the late 1970s. It houses a library, an art museum, a famous restaurant. On the right, the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper was built in the early 1970s. The views from the top of that tower are spectacular. This is another building that is being renovated and modernized. Work to give it a new look began in 2019 and is scheduled to be completed before the start of the 2024 Paris Olympic games. Read about it here, with drawings and photos.


  1. When I first worked in Paris (1984) well before the Internet, Centre Pompidou and its library with all the international press was a weekly visit for me. And right around the corner, Cafe Costes, Starck's first commercial design another second living room for me.

    1. I lived not too far from the Pompidou Center from 1979 until 1982.

  2. I hope the Olympics will be a good thing for Paris and environs... but, all I can envision, is a big mess of craziness.

  3. Thanks for posting the link to the article about tall buildings in Paris. It's sad the guy in charge of the Notre Dame project has died.

  4. Thanks for the article about the greening of the Tour Montparnasse, very interesting. I imagine the man directing the Notre Dame restoration was under a great deal of stress.


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