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26 Rue de Clignancourt

Secret History
Picture the square formed by Boulevard Barbès, Rue Christiani, Rue Sofia and Rue de Clignancourt. Until 1930, it housed the largest department store in the world. In 1888, salesman Georges Dufayel took over his employer's store, the Palais de la Nouveauté, and created the Galeries Dufayel. A true temple to consumption, in it he built a theatre, a cinema, a cycle path and a winter garden. Up until 1957 it was topped by a dome featuring a lighthouse that illuminated the Parisian sky on performance evenings. On the front of the building, a high relief by the sculptor Dalou states ‘Progress brings commerce and industry’. After its owner went bankrupt, this luxurious temple served as an outpost for the American Red Cross. Today it houses a branch of BNP Paribas.
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