Saturday, 17 September 2011

Village shops

Sepia Saturday this week has sent me in the direction of shops.  I could have done Irish shops if I hadn't already done a post about Grafton Street in Dublin some time ago

The card from the centre of France is dated 20 October 1909 and shows the market place with what looks like a clothes shop, Belle Jardinière, beside Chez Lucien.

Amazingly I found a recent photo of the same spot from almost the same angle.  Chez Lucien has expanded to absorb Belle Jardinière but otherwise the buildings remain almost exactly as they were.  The disappointment is that they have done away with the magnificent signpost at the centre, which looks as though it might have been one of the old Michelin signs.

Other old cards I have of the same area show that many old buildings and town ramparts were taken down to make way for new building so it's good to see this part relatively untouched.  Or it could just be that time has passed it by for the last 100 years as the younger people left the rural area to find work in larger towns and cities.
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  1. It's interesting to examine the changes made to the buildings; the house to the right has had chimneys removed and other roofline work. Otherwise apart from ownership little else has changed.

  2. The scene still looks lovely today

  3. It looks like they extended the sidewalk out to include the area the sign was in a planted a tree there. too bad.

  4. Even the parasols are still evident at the cafè! A lucky find.

  5. How amazing that you have the same scene in two very different eras, very interesting.

  6. Ah, but you DID do a post about Grafton Street in Dublin not so long ago, my child. But not to worry - Ireland will still be there for next time your wonderful sepia day comes along. Think Belfast next time though, please. Now then, these pictures DO seem similar at first glance, at least to the untrained eye. However, I must inform you that the bottom picture has two large trees in it, so it couldn't possibly be the same square. Don't you agree?

    Michelin means "tyres" in Australia, if I am not mistaken. Perhaps a sign as well, though.

    The restaurant front is simply delightful. It reminds me of a favourite of mine down in the Argentine - Chez Gueverra was the name. Thank you for this. Ta.

    Bless you.

  7. It still looks very charming, though it's a peculiar choice of trees. Something taller with a light, airy canopy, allowing for dappled sunlight in the summer would have been nice. O.K., I am being picky.

  8. Wow, looking at the 'before' and 'after'...I guess I'm really old fashioned that I prefer the 'before' photo though the after has color in it already. I prefer the signpost over the tree in the center. :p

  9. It is surprising that this place has changed so little.

  10. Together the two photographs provide a fascinating exercise in town planning and an object lesson on how to preserve architectural heritage. Great photographs.

  11. @Bob, well spotted! I hadn't noticed the chimneys and the attic windows missing.

    @Howard, I like it today too.

    @Kristin, yes, that seems to be what they did.

    @Little Nell, very lucky!

    @Marylin, I didn't recognise it as the same until I studied it.

    @Vicar Ezra, why Belfast?

    @Christine, I agree that the trees aren't ideal.

    @lostforwords, more character in the old days, I think.

    @Postcardy, very surprising, given how many places tear down old buildings and replace with what someone considers to be new and improved ones.

  12. I just love things like this where we compare old photographs to how the area looks now!!! Brilliant. I agree, it is sad that they have done away with the old sign but lovely that the buildings look to be in good repair!

  13. What a lovely old scene. And I really enjoy "then and now" posts.

  14. Great job of finding these too! Too bad that they had to remove the fountain/sculpture thing, but it turned out to be in the middle of the road, I suppose. Very nice post.

    Thank you so much for stopping by to say hi.

    Take care,
    Kathy M.

  15. I think the pavement extension has made it more interesting, although it's a pity the signpost had to go. The effect is something of a traffic obstacle, which means it's less of a highway and more of a pedestrian-friendly area - hardly back to being a proper "Market Place" again, though perhaps this photo doesn't show the whole picture. Hopefully there'll be more people around at the right time of day/year.

    A visit to Google Maps Streetview shows a very pretty Market Place next to the church in an old town which appears to have kept much of its character.

    Great trip this week, thank you.

  16. It's aged quite nicely, though I think I liked it better before the trees were plopped down.

  17. This is the beauty of Europe, they have left so many of their stores almost untouched, if i had to do the same here in my city almost 99% of it has changed

  18. A much more inviting place to take a stroll before the changes were made. Sometimes progress isn't really progress at all.

  19. I love seeing the "then" and "now" shots! I kind of prefer th past to the present.

  20. A nice before and after set. Small villages and towns like this derive their roads from medieval times, and when all the traffic was bicycles and horse carts, a market square could be more open. Alas, the car now defines where and how a street meets the pavement.

  21. indeed, it is good that some places retain their essence over time. i immediately noticed the disappearance of that signpost... pity!!
    thanx 4 sharing!!


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