Musée d'Orsay: Juste Lisch Invalides Railway Station, proposal

Juste Lisch
Invalides Railway Station, proposal

Proposal for the Invalides Railway Station, elevations
Juste Lisch (attributed) (1828-1910)
Proposal for the Invalides Railway Station, elevations
Pencil, pen and black ink, watercolour
H. 45,9; W. 66 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Projet pour la gare des Invalides, élévations [Proposal for the Invalides Railway Station, elevations]

These two elevations were for the new station that the Compagnie de l'Ouest planned to build when they decided to extend the line from Moulineaux to the Invalides. The project included the erection of two symmetrical pavilions, one for departures and the other for arrivals, one on each side of the Hôtel des Invalides, designed by Libéral Bruant (1637-1697). At the centre of the esplanade, on a lower level, ten to twelve railway lines were to be set across an area of 35,000 m2. The two buildings reflect the architectural style that had become characteristic of Parisian railway stations since the architect François Alexandre Duquesney (1847-1850) built the Gare de l'Est.

The designer here was probably Juste Lisch, architect for the Compagnie de l'Ouest, whose archives contain a preparatory study for these drawings. The project aroused a fierce debate that acquired an unexpected dimension with the emergence of a new awareness of the heritage of Paris, championed by the Société des Amis des Monuments Parisiens. Protests flooded in about ruining the view of Bruant's facade and about the loss of one of the largest green spaces in Paris. Debated by the city council, in the press and finally in the French parliament, this project was finally abandoned in January 1894. A few years later, Lisch designed a new railway station, reduced to one single building in Louis XIV style, with tracks running underground. It was opened in 1900 for the Universal Exhibition.

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