PARIS — A group of leading French architects have denounced a plan to renovate the Gare du Nord, one of Paris’s main train stations, calling the designs that would turn the station into a glassy, mammoth, restaurant-filled shopping mall “indecent,” “absurd” and “unacceptable.”
“This means: more distance to travel, significantly increased access times,” the experts wrote in an open letter published in Le Monde on Tuesday. They called the plan to triple the station’s surface area and saturate it with shops, restaurants and cafes in an area already buzzing with them a “serious offense” to users of transport.
Among the 19 signatories of the letter were the award-winning architect Jean Nouvel, as well as other renowned architects, historians and urban planners from Britain, France and the United States.
So, who says you need stop and buy anything?
I'm at a loss to understand the beef; stations "over there" should consider it an honor that they have sufficient traffic to entice private investors for retail development.
Amtrak is aggressively moving at stations - Wash, Chi, and, as Penn expands into the former Post Office, there as well. Even Denver, now that it has become a mass transit hub, is seeking and finding retail merchants. Be it assured, back over there, first hand observations of Salzburg, Innsbruck, Vienna, and Graz, all have active retailing within their premises.
So, why there is resistance on the part of any party to such development escapes me.
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