Thursday, December 16, 2010

Something's missing

Are you tired of market pictures, yet? I took this one from the southeastern corner of the market square, looking north toward the collégiale church and the château. I kept looking at it, thinking that it didn't quite look right. Something was different.

The newly renovated market square is missing a familiar sight: the high-pitched roofs of the old présidial.

Then I think I figured out what it was. The large roof of the old présidial is missing (see what it looked like here). It should be visible just to the left of the smaller church tower, blocking the view of the château's roof line. It's been torn down. That's not surprising, given that the roof had huge gashes in it and looked like it might collapse any time.

Within the past year, a large scaffolding was erected around the giant roof, and I thought that repairs were under way. But it seems that demolition was the goal. I have no information about whether the demolition is temporary or permanent. Did they remove the old broken roof and build something more modest to save the building? Are there plans to rebuild the roof as it once was? Who knows?

I'll have to talk to my friends who live in town and see what they know. We live outside the town limits in another jurisdiction, so we don't get any newsletters or other official information about what goes on in Saint-Aignan proper. It would be a shame to permanently lose that old roof; it was a distinctive part of the town's skyline. On the other hand, renovations cost money and saving the building and making it usable (not to mention safer) might be more realistic in this case than preserving the skyline.

I know, being a city planner, that you can't save everything. Sometimes photographs and memories have to suffice. And, actually, the view is much better this way.


  1. Didn't know you were a city planner - if I had to do it all over again I think that would be a cool job.

  2. I'll never get tired of market pictures.

    Even if they show a horse meat vendor.

  3. I love the market pictures and
    am hoping for more.

  4. Alright, bare with me as I get "deep" for a second. I feel, in the U.S., that I can outlive a building. Shopping centers rise and fall every 10 years. In Europe, with the buildings being hundreds of years old, I feel as if I could die and someone would be walking the market grounds in my place the next second and no one would notice that I was gone. I know, it's called life, I get it. But that's the feeling that I get and I don't like it. It may not stop me from moving there however. Does that make sense to you? Or am I just rambling for my own sake?
    Okay, enough of that blah blah blah. My next comment will be funny. Or at least I'll try to be funny.
    Your Friend, m.

  5. You could have walked over and checked to see if the building was still there. If so, that would probably mean they're planning to rebuild the roof.

  6. The title of your blog is hilarious. Love your pictures of France. Is it different being a city planner in France vs. the USA?

  7. rick, lots of politics. Lots.

    peter, caught that, eh?

    nadege, not to worry.

    mark, I dunno, I thought that was pretty funny... ;)

    starman, the building is still there. I just don't know what it looks like on top! I should climb up to the château and see what I can see from above.

    petite hermine, very different. In France, I'm retired.

  8. I never really tire of market pictures. This little market reminds me of the one in Montbazon, which I went to regularly.

    I am getting to the Rodez market a bit this year because it coincides with my harpsichord lessons on Saturday morning. For years, I hardly went -- a pity, but driving into town every weekday makes me want to spend the weekend here chez moi.


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