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Through the grapevine I hear that Paris is an open-air museum. True in some respects, but it is a living open-air museum for some and the home front for others. Nothing stays the same. Search out scenes from a movie from another decade, and you might be disappointed. However, more recent movies by the dozen have left their prints. Look for that smoke filled room and it has probably been gentrified. The spirit of Paris, however, remains.
Modernization can mean a return to what was. For example, the Parc Butte Chaumont will be restored to its 1867 landscape between 2013 and 2017. In the case of the Ritz Hotel, what was is faded. The hotel did not earn the label “Palace” so it is closing down the summer of 2012 and upgrading. The city, hotels and transportation are trying to become more accessible to those with limited mobility.
Preparing your vacation, you might want to know what’s what between now and 2020. Some of what is being changed follows.
- Reopening of the Musée Picasso after renovation and extension (June 2014),
- Creation of a Théâtre de la Marionnette (Puppet theatre), rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement (2013),
- brasserie and a luxury suite on the rooftop of the Moulin Rouge
- Extension and modernization of the Roland-Garros tennis stadium,
- End of work at Gare Saint Lazare (train station), with 10,000 m2 of shops on three levels (March 2012),
- Creation of green spaces and pedestrian areas along a 2.3 km stretch on the Left Bank and Right Bank of the Seine (July 2012),
- Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and restoring of it to its original state of 1867 (2013-2017),
- TGV train station at Orly airport (2020)
- Launch of the Louvre online reservation system (beginning 2012),
- Opening of an Angelina restaurant/tea room in the Hôtel de Sully (beginning 2012), Conversion by Japanese architects Sejima and Nishizawo of the former La Samaritaine department store into a luxury hotel, Le Cheval Blanc, with 80 rooms and suites overlooking the Seine, a conference centre and shops (2011-2014),
- Closure of The Ritz for full renovation, including the restaurant L’Espadon and the cooking school Ritz- Escoffier (summer 2012-Christmas 2014)
- heart of the Thoiry zoological garden, with 25 rooms fully accessible to persons with disabilities (end 2013)