Wander the streets of the 9th arrondissement for long enough and you’ll soon notice that much of this arrondissement is characterised by Haussmannian style architecture and many residential buildings. The district is best-known for its covered arcades and many theatres. However, those with a keen eye will soon spy a few buildings of particular architectural note, including that of 14 rue d’Abbeville, a Belle Epoque building surrounded by a sea of Haussmannian constructions…
14 Rue d’Abbeville: The Art-Deco House Hiding in the 9th Arrondissement
Built at the turn of the 20th-century in the Art Nouveau fashion, No. 14 is easily the most beautiful and fascinating building of the street. Covered in a green nature-focused foliate glazed stoneware that’s applied directly onto the brick façade of the front of the building, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot the many floral and animal patterns! Crane your neck towards the 4th floor, and there are even squirrels and owls forever gazing upon the passersby below.
The wrought-iron door of the building matches the glazed stonework, itself a similar green colour. Commissioned by madame Balli, No. 14 is the brainchild of the architects Alexandre et Édouard Autant, while the ceramic glaze work is by Alexandre Bigot, who also worked on a series of other Art Nouveau buildings across the French capital.
Since 1986, the building has been listed as a heritage building of national importance. Unfortunately, the width of the road means that it’s pretty hard to appreciate the beauty of the building from face-on. Instead, you’ll want to head to the corner of rue Poissonnière. While the building is private and so its interior can’t be visited, the exterior is still well worth a glance at while in the area!
A brief history of rue d’Abbeville
Stretching its way across parts of the 9th and 10th arrondissements of the city (you may well have strolled through the 10e before without realising it, this is where Canal Saint Martin is situated), the road dates back to the 19th-century.
The product of two roads that have since converged into one, the street was officially given its name rue d’Abbeville in 1847 thanks to its position close to Gare du Nord (the station serves a direct train route between Paris and the Picardie town of Abbeville). Many other streets in the area surrounding the Parisian station are named in this manner.
Other attractions and points of interest nearby include the design-focused Musée des Arts et Metiers, including the Jules Verne steampunk inspired Arts et Metiers Metro station that’s a part of Paris’ extensive metro network. Walk in the other direction and some of the prettiest covered passages of Paris include Passage Jouffroy and Passage des Panoramas.