New York City has often been on the forefront of architectural ingenuity. Concurrently, many of the City’s notable buildings were inspired by Old World architecture. Presented below, the first part of our series provides a survey of New York City buildings and their French inspirations. The authorities differ on the authenticity of some of these claims, after comparing them let us know what you think.

1. Les Invalides/Grant’s Tomb

Les Invalides is Napoleon’s golden domed Parisian tomb. The building was completed in 1708 as the Eglise du Dome, or the Chapel of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides. The church was designed by  Jules Hardouin Mansart, who was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica, as a private chapel for Louis IV. In 1840, Napoleon was entombed under the church’s rotunda.

It served as the inspiration for the interior of Grant’s Tomb.

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8 thoughts on “NYC Architecture Inspired by Europe: Part I France

  1. What a fun post!

    If I remember correctly, the main room of the Hall of Records buildings (originally built as the Surrogates’ Court Building?), across the street from the Municipal Building (which is across the street to the east), is in some ways an even better NYC version of the Paris Opera House lobby. (You go through the Hall of Records lobby to get to the Municipal Library, which is open to the general public.)

    And,while it is done in a very different style, of course, the grand stairway of the current Metropolitan Opera house seems very much inspired by the stairs of the Paris Opera House.

    Benjamin Hemric
    8/21/12, 9:10 p.m.

    Just discovered your posts last week while doing some impromptu research on the Airlines Building on Park Avenue. Very interesting, very well written posts!

    1. Thanks a lot, I am going to update the article. Please let us know if you have any other suggestions.

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