Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hotel Lambert: the aftermath

Everyone must know by now that the Hotel Lambert (that storied Hotel Particulier at the tip of the Ile St Louis in Paris) was heavily damaged by fire on July 10th, 2013.
I had just left a month previously, having stayed a block away as usual on the Ile St Louis, but friends were staying in another apartment nearby and happened to be there for the dreaded fire. They sent me these images of the excitement and devastation shown here.
The fire started at the very end of a long renovation in the roof above the storied Galerie d'Hercule, seen above.
Crews battled the fire for days; sometimes these heroes do more damage than good but the fire had to be fought!
The Ile St Louis was overrun by hundreds of firefighters and trucks; this may not sound like much but the Island is tiny and could easily fit into a modern American city block.
Confused and dismayed tourists still roamed the island amid all of the excitement. Notice the trucks and ladders at the end of the street above.
The true aftermath and damage of the fire hasn't been shared publicly yet but these images are disturbing to say the least.  Fingers crossed and hopefully we all will know soon enough the fate of the Hotel Lambert.

13 comments:

Karen Albert said...

Oh no this is terrible for such a historical hotel Stefan. It does not take much for a fire to spread so quickly. As you said they worked to put it out several days. I hope it can be repaired and restored properly.

xoxo
Karena
2013 Design Series

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

No, I didn't know! That is absolutely horrible. I know the restoration will take years. Such a tragedy.

ADL Americas said...

Thanks for putting this out and I'm particularly worried about the condition of the frescos and murals designed Charles Le Brun, and they are priceless in my opinion.


ADL America.

http://sophisticatedplanks.blogspot.com/

Michael Hampton said...

I had no idea either! My biggest concerns are the painted Le Brun ceiling in the Galerie d' Hercule. The owners had already spent a fortune on the renovation alone. I heard it was somewhere near $100,000,000.00!

Mark D. Ruffner said...

A very sad story. As I look at how all those buildings are crowded together, my thoughts went to the Great Chicago Fire, and how this one might have spread. I hope there's an update on the historic interior . . .

Pax Britannica said...

Local sources say there has indeed been serious damage - the usual water damage - to painted ceilings and walls bellow the badly burned top floors. It is highly sensitive because of the controversy of allowing the extensive and intrusive 'renovations' in the first place, and the political delicacies over the new (Middle East) owners. Nevertheless, it must be said that the long de Rédé ownership had left the building in a very parlous condition, and much of his work reflected the somewhat unhistoric approach of his times - some of it was quite eccentric.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I think an earlier comment of mine got lost. Just very sorry to know about this fire and the potential loss of Le Brun work. I hope there'll be a positive update . . .

deana sidney said...

Ok, this is like the 5th fire I've heard of starting this way on grand old buildings. I just saw Uppark that was destroyed by it and a church in NYC. A workman left a torch going, can you imagine?? Aren't there protocols? It's just sick-making.

Yes, fingers crossed!!!

Henhurst Interiors said...

What an interesting legacy - very curious now to see how the building's future plays out.

All best,
Phyllis

Paisley Curtain said...

It is sad to loose any historic building anywhere in the world. It is very hard and expensive to recreate any of these historical gems.

You are right, destruction by fire follows the destruction by water from the fire trucks, but that is inevitable unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Re: Pax Brittanica-
Baron de Rede did not own the Hotel Lambert- he rented an apartment there, first from the Czartoryski family, then from Guy de Rothschild. It was de Rede who talked the de Rothschilds into buying it in 1975 +/- and they continued to allow him to rent.
It was Guy de Rothschild's estate who sold it to the Middle Eastern family. I was in the de Rede rooms and they were extraordinary.

Divine Theatre said...

Oh! That is a crying shame! Nonetheless, the fire will become part of the hotel's history and in 100 years people will talk about the Great Fire of 2013 as if it were a mere inconvenience, while enjoying their stay. :)

xo

Andie

Pax Britannica said...

To follow up, local sources point me to La Tribune de l'Art that reports the Cabinet des bains, painted by Eustache le Sueur, is destroyed http://www.latribunedelart.com/cabinet-des-bains-de-l-hotel-lambert-voila-ce-que-nous-ne-verrons-plus

However, a copy of the ceiling was made in 1851 [under the enlightened rule of the Prince-President, then Louis-Napoleon!) and is in the Musee de Cluny. http://www.latribunedelart.com/une-copie-du-plafond-du-cabinet-des-bains-de-l-hotel-lambert-conservee-a-cluny