Tuesday 5 March 2024

A Peculiar Paris Pod (2)

Pellerin's Pet Project

He was a developer notably famed for one stunning building at La Defense, the huge business district to the west of Paris.
His baby was the Tour Pacific ...
... a huge block with a huge hole in the middle.
Buoyed by his success out west, M Pellerin turned his mind to his next project. There was a development opportunity at Noisy-Le-Grand a suburb to the east of Paris.
Noisy-le-Grand was once a relatively insignificant village served by a creaky double deck tram.
But its 1960s development was to encompass all sorts of "trendy" architecture. Like one of these ...
... or a bit of this.
Like so many sixties developments things are looking a little tired at Nutty-the-Great but M Pellerin had big plans for big development in the late 1980s - perhaps not as big as La Defense.
His initial proposals were for a "business centre" to the west of the town centre.
It was to be called Maille Horizon ...
... and would be joined to the main station by a mysterious red line.

Noisy-le-grand is on RER Line A which tuns to Marne la Vallee Chessy.
It has a distinctive building as befits the trendiness of the town. 
Needless to say all the bus services stop just outside!
But if you look for M Pellerin's development at Maille Horizon you will only see a few chunks of open space ...
... and some large chunks of modern housing.
There is no shopping center and no tower blocks!

M Pellerin's company went bust with only one of his three key projects constructed.

As we saw in yesterday's blog, the "Mini-Metro" was built!
We saw the delights of the terminus serving the RER station yesterday, but however intense his search, fbb could find no mention, no picture or no diagram of the Pod Metro at the RER station.

It just wasn't there!

But the station has FOUR exits; one leads out to the bus station area as you would expect ...
... seen here on a station map ...
... and here in more detail as entrance and exit 4
The three others are along an underground passage which emerges in the depths of the Arcades shopping centre.
These are numbered (surprisingly) 1, 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, StreetView does not fully penetrate the shopping centre and its many crooks and nannies ...
To add to the challenge, parts of the shipping centre are/were undergoing  refurbishment.
StreetView does, however, retain one sign and one obvious (?) entrance and exit.
Can you spito the lavish entrance to the "M" Mini Metro?
Not very imposing is it?

Another entrance to the lower floor of the shopping mall is equally uninspiring.
By now our astute reader will have discerned that the Mini Metro no longer operates. There is no Maille Horizon Business Centre for it to operate to. 

It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It's pushing up the daisies! Its technological processes are now history! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off the railway map, run up the siding and joined the eternal depot invisible!!

Even more, although the Mini Metro was kept in working order for a number of years, it was subsequently abandoned completely.

So it is no wonder we cannot find any sign of it.

But ...
Maybe there IS something to see.

More tomorrow.
Quiz Answers : 1974 prices
Crisps - 3p
Sliced loaf -  10p
2nd class stamp - 3.5p
Pint of Red Barrel - 16p
Pint of milk - 7p
Newspaper - 3p
Short bus ride - 5p
Tights - 19p
W Midlands semi - £7000
Austin Mini - £695
Twin tub - £87
Colour TV - £239
Scientific calculator - £90
Omega watch - £33
Electric kettle - £6
Bottle of whisky £3
Litre of petrol 7p

Average weekly wage £37

The big challenge, however, is to apply inflation to these figures and see which items, if any, are cheaper than on 1974. Any guesses? It is no secret that most products are dearer.
 Next Peculiar Paris Pod blog : Weds 6th March 

1 comment:

  1. Back in my day, when a new Mini Metro was announced, it was a small Car !