Can Paris's Ugliest Building Win Fans With a New Look?

As the Tour Montparnasse turns 40, the much-despised office tower is getting a makeover. With a new lighting display and plans to replace its windows, the tower is trying to alter its image. But are the renovations likely to change perceptions?
Juanedc.com / flickr

"Built from steel and tobacco-colored glass, the 59-story Tour Montparnasse rises like a tombstone above Paris's idyllic canopy of low-lying flats. Postcards shun it in favor of its slimmer, more glamorous sister: the Eiffel Tower. The mayor has publicly yearned for its demolition, and a former president was so struck by the skyscraper he ensured it would be the last one ever built in the center of town," write Stacy Meichtry and Ben Schenkel.

But as the building enters middle age, defenders are hoping a facelift can alter impressions of the building they've come to appreciate. "'We're showing off the decolletage,' says Sylvie Andreu, who wrote a book for the Tour's anniversary. The Tour's bland appearance, she says, masks an 'inner depth.'"


Full Story: At 40, an Unloved Parisian Orphan Gets a Makeover

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 2012

Thinking about Grad School?

You need the essential resource for prospective planning students
Starting at $24.95