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martes, abril 14, 2009

Place des États Unis

Resulta apabullante pensar en la cantidad de domicilios célebres que contiene una ciudad como París. Tomemos como ejemplo la place des États Unis, no muy lejos de la que fuese última morada de Proust, en el 44 de la rue Amiral Hamelin.

Lo que prosigue está copiado de la versión en inglés de Wikipedia (la negrita es mía y hace referencia a los moradores):

·No. 1, Place des États-Unis: The Embassy of Kuwait. Originally the townhouse of the Countess Roza Branicka (1863-1941), this place was also a gathering-place for Polish immigrants at the beginning of the twentieth century.

·No. 2: The Ephrussi Mansion. Constructed in 1886 by Ernest Sanson for the banker, Jules Ephrussi (1846-1915). In 1922, it was acquired by the Egyptian king, Fuad I, whose eventual fall from power prompted the successor government, the Republic of Egypt, to seize it for use as the residence of its ambassador to France.

·No. 3: Here, the American ambassador, Levi Morton, established his residence and, for a brief period, the offices of the entire American legation. The American novelist, Edith Wharton, also lived here for a time.

·No. 3B: The Embassy of the Government of Bahrain. This small brick-and-stone building was built for Olga von Meyendorff (1838-1926) before becoming the home of the painter, Théobald Chartran, and his wife, Sylvie. The Chartrans' place was the haunt of artists, writers, and politicians.

·No. 4: The Deutsch de la Meurthe Mansion. Originally constructed for the industrialist and aviation pioneer, Henry Deutsch de la Meurthe (1846-1919), this building was, during World War II, occupied by the Gestapo. Beginning in the late 1940s, it was the residence of Francine Worms-Weisweiller (1916-2003), a descendant of the Deutsch de la Meurthe family, who was the patron of Jean Cocteau, and her husband, the American financier, Alec Weisweiller.

·No. 6: Former home of Prince Alexander Bariatinski (1870-1910) and of the princess who was born Catherine Alexandrovna Yurievskaya (1878-1959), the daughter of Czar Alexander II of Russia. Today, it is a showroom for the wares of the crystal-maker, Arc International, formerly known as Cristallerie d'Arques.

·No. 7: A building constructed on the site of the townhouse Ida Rubinstein, the dancer and patron of the arts, moved into in 1921. Nothing is left of her home, which was designed and decorated by the great Léon Bakst. The Nazis seized her valuables during their World War II occupation of Paris. Whether the house was razed as an act of wanton destruction or whether it came down under other circumstances is unclear; sources vary.

·No. 8: This attractive private house belonged, at the beginning of the twentieth century, to M. Saint-Paul, an influential counselor of state. Then it housed the renowned literary salon of the poet, Edmée de La Rochefoucauld (1895-1991), a cultivated environment often referred to as the waiting room for the prestigious French Academy.

·No. 10: The De Brantes Building, presently occupied by lawyers' offices.

·No. 11: The Bischoffsheim Building, also called the De Noailles Building, was constructed in 1895 by Ernest Sanson for the financier, Raphaël-Louis Bischoffsheim (1823-1906), and subsequently occupied by his granddaughter, the Viscountess Marie-Laure de Noailles (1902-1970), who provided there a haven for artists and writers. Madame de Noailles supported artistic luminaries such as Jean Cocteau, Luis Buñuel, and Man Ray. She lived at the Place des Etats-Unis from age eighteen until her death in 1970. During her tenure there, she was renowned for throwing exquisite parties and cultural soirees where the guest list often included the likes of Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Picabia, Balthus, Henri Matisse, and Salvador Dalí. The house later belonged to the Syrian-born Saudi arms dealer, Akram Ojjeh, then to his widow, Nahed, who sold it to the crystal-maker, Baccarat. This firm renovated the building with the help of the designer, Phillipe Starck, in order to open a luxurious showroom there, a facility it calls "a museum of crystal", and a restaurant named the Crystal Room.

·No. 12: This building, once a vast private house, is now the headquarters of the international liquor company, Pernod-Ricard.

·No. 14: A building constructed in 1910 on the site of the townhouse of the duc d'Isly (duke of Isly).

·No. 16: Having served as the American embassy, this structure became the property of Francisco-María de Yturbe y Anciola, the former Finance Minister of Mexico, who spent the last years of his life living there. It passed to his oldest son, Francisco-Tirso de Yturbe, another Mexican diplomat posted to Paris, then to his second son, Miguel de Yturbe, also a diplomat. Miguel de Yturbe married María Teresa Limantour, daughter of José Yves Limantour, who was also Finance Minister of Mexico for eighteen years under President Porfirio Díaz.

·No. 17: Presently the headquarters of the Association of Regional Daily Newspapers (Syndicat de la presse quotidienne régionale, or SPQR), the building was occupied by Count Charles Cahen d'Anvers and his wife, the countess. Cahen d'Anvers was the man who, in 1935, donated the château at Champs-sur-Marne to the French state. The Lebanese businessman, Samir Traboulsi, lived here at the time of the Pechiney-Triangle business and political corruption scandal.

·No. 18: A building at the western end of Square Thomas Jefferson, constructed by the architect, Pierre Humbert (b. 1848), for the young and wealthy Madmoiselle Mathilde de Montesquiou-Fézensac (1884-1960), who, much later, in 1920, married the musician and composer, Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937), when she was 36 years old and he was 76.