One Lonesome Door


Built between 1613 and 1632, the Hôtel de Retz first took this name in 1649, when Pierre de Retz and his wife acquired what had previously been known as the Hôtel d’Elbeuf.

The niece of the Cardinal of Retz sold the  building in 1678 after which it changed hands a few times before being sold to the President of the Parliament in 1722.  More changes of ownership ensued and in 1818 the famous sculptor Jean-François Deninger became the proud owner.

Some time thereafter, the building burnt down, to be rebuilt in 1839.  The new building had a variety of industrial and commercial uses, eventually becoming a toy factory in 1950 under the ownership of I. B. Frydman.  

Frydman’s daughter, Jaqueline, has since given new life to the site, with a major renovation between 1989 and 1994 as part of the Plan to Safeguard the Marais.  The building itself now houses a variety of prestigious companies, and the garden and courtyard is home to Le Passage de Retz, an exciting new exhibition space for contemporary art, overseen by Jacqueline Frydman.

The old doorway stands alone and proud, watching over these new activities.

Passage de Retz, 9 rue Charlot – 75003 Paris

6 thoughts on “One Lonesome Door

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