Sunday, October 16, 2005

Villa Seurat - The Beginning

The rue Villa Seurat was contructed from 1924-26. It had been officially conceived as an neighbourhood of artists, with many studio spaces made available. It was named in honour of the French artist Georges Seurat, who died in 1891.

The main architects of this street were André Lurçat and the brothers Auguste and Gustave Perret. I haven't been able to confirm which of these men built #18 Villa Seurat in particular, but they are usually credited with being the authors of this street.
Lurcat [pictured below, right] was the one to convince the original landowner to allow his property to be sold in smaller lots (at least that's what paris-anglo says).

A listing of Auguste Perrier's work can be found here. The same may be found for Lurcat here (both at the Archinform.net website).

Lurçat's brother Jean Lurçat was an artist and one of the first residents of rue Villa Seurat (at #3). More on former residents of Villa Seurat in a future post.

Most of these homes, including #18, were designed in a French Modernist style, or "international style." The Archinform site has extensive listings of buildings done in this style, along with 100 thumbnail photographs of buildings done in this style.

The government of France has this description of Villa Seurat. Many of the buildings on the street were historically protected in 1975 ... but not Miller's #18. [the street photo above is from this website].

I found a couple of bits of information for this posting from Emile Lahner: The Book, which mentions that Lahner lived on this street in 1927.

Some time before 1931, artist Michael Fraenkel occupied 18 Villa Seurat. Henry Miller's first stay at Villa Seurat would happen that year.

Here's a PDF map file from the French government, which locates Villa Seurat and the surrounding streets of the 14th arrondisement.

To get an idea of the studio spaces offered inside these Villa Seurat homes, take a look at these contemporary photographs of a Villa Seurat apartment space, now available for rent [one pic is at left]. Live on Henry Miller's former street for "just" 1820 € a week for a massive three-bedroom space (that's 606 € per person ... did I mention that rent is due every week?).

Or save your hard-earned money, and take yourself on a tour of the street instead.

The photo of 18 Villa Seurat--at the top of this post--was apparently taken by Taro Igarashi and was found on this website.

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