I left the Place Dauphine and continued across the Pont Neuf to the Right Bank and La Samaritaine.
The department store is gone; it was having serious financial difficulties prior to the buildings' closures. The new project will include apartments, offices, and a luxury hotel, but only a minor retail component. The site is as prime a piece of real estate as any in Paris, and the art deco buildings are as recognizable to Parisians as Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. I'm glad that they're not being destroyed.
Back in 1982, Ken and I and other members of our group would frequent the department store's café on the roof. For the price of a cup of coffee, you could spend hours up there taking in the views from what is essentially the center of Paris. It was a traditional café with waiters and seating outside in the open, replaced some years later with a more modern self-service kind of place. It was not the same. I wonder if the new project will include a roof-top café?
La Samaritaine's advertising slogan was "On trouve tout à la Samaritaine" (You can find everything at the Samaritaine) for many decades, so I used it in the past tense for my title.