haussmanhattan-Paris-NYC-photomontage-Luis Fernandes-4NYC’s Flatiron Building on Île de la Cité with the Pont Neuf in Paris

You may remember one of the early Fun Maps that we made, What If Manhattan Were Like Paris? where we superimposed the Hausmannian street grid of Paris onto Manhattan (retaining Central Park for orientation). Now, in Haussmanhattan Luis Fernandes has taken the concept to cityscapes using vintage photography. We’re not surprised Fernandes is both an architect and photographer, as the ties between the two cities have endless possibilities for comparisons, whether in graphic design, illustration, video, photography or more. And we’re honored that he did a reversal of What If Manhattan Were Like Paris? too!
In this series of photos, we’ll break down exactly parts of the urban fabric he pulled from both cities and the famous buildings you’ll see:

1. Arc de Triomphe at Madison Square Park

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Just behind the Flatiron Building at Madison Square Park sits the Arc de Triomphe, with its radial extensions of the Avenue Champs-Élysées and Avenue Charles de Gaulle. You’ll also recognize the Metropolitan Life Building at Madison Square too, once one of the world’s tallest buildings.

2. Woolworth Building on Île de la Cité with Notre Dame

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Here’s the Woolworth Building, still under construction sitting across from Notre Dame cathedral on Île de la Cité

3. Woolworth Building in the Latin Quarter of Paris

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In this photograph with some tilt-shift effect, the Woolworth Building is now in the Latin Quarter, next to the Square René Viviani.

4. Opera Garnier in Koreatown New York City

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In this image, Fernandes has plopped the Opera Garnier in Paris just south of Koreatown on 32nd Street and the Empire State Building.

5.  Flatiron Building in Place de la Republique

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Here’s the Flatiron Building under construction superimposed onto Place de la Republique in Paris, a roundabout pedestrianized in 2013.

6. Metropolitan Life Building Near the Eiffel Tower

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The Metropolitan Life Building at Madison Square Park resurfaces close to the Eiffel Tower. The dome of the Invalides seem to be in the background as well.
Did you know there is an apartment inside the Eiffel Tower? Check out the Top 10 Secrets of the Eiffel Tower.

7. Municipal Building next to Opera Garnier

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In this photo, the New York City Municipal Building downtown is placed next to the Opera Garnier. Take a video tour inside the real municipal building here.

8. The Plaza Hotel at the Pantheon

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The Plaza Hotel normally sits at the corner of Central Park and 5th Avenue but here, it’s now down the street from the Pantheon on the Left Bank of Paris, near the Luxembourg Gardens.

9. The Times Building on Rue de Rennes

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Also on the Left Bank is Rue de Rennes, onto which the old New York Times Building is placed. The original Times Building, built in 1903, is now home to the New Year’s Eve Ball. Now One Times Square, it’s also one of the most profitable yet most empty buildings in Midtown, covered in billboard advertisements. The building went through a marble recladding in the 1960s and is unrecognizable compared to the photograph above.
Check out evolution of Times Square in vintage photographs from 1898 to today.

10. Lost Gillender Building at Place St Michel

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This is the Gillender Building, a 20-story building that once stood at Nassau and Wall Street. The building that replaced it is now 14 Wall Street but the original slender building is one of the shortest-lived buildings in New York City, lasting only 13 years. Here it sits at Place St Michel near the church of Saint Sulpice (familiar in pop culture for being featured in The Da Vinci Code.

11. Williamsburgh Savings Bank on Île de la Cité

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In the first of two similar images, we have the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn alongside a truncated version of the Municipal Building near City Hall.

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It’s almost like New York City’s Flatiron Building belongs on the tip of Île de la Cité with the Pont Neuf in Paris.

13. Central Park in Paris

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What if Central Park were located in Paris? Similar to our What If Manhattan Were Like Paris? but reversed, Central Park retains its distinctive shape within the city of Paris, crossing over Île de la Cité, Île Saint Luis and the Seine River.

14. Opera Garnier Stretched into a Skyscraper

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The Opera Garnier gets stretched out in this photograph, reminiscent of the tower atop Grand Central Terminal.

15. Notre Dame Cathedral Stretched Into a Skyscraper

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Here’s the Notre Dame Cathedral stretched like a skyscraper–hard to imagine but don’t be surprised. In Mecca, one of the world’s tallest buildings over 100+ floors has the world’s highest prayer room.

16. Columbus Circle at Bastille

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Here, Columbus Circle has been superimposed onto Rue de Lyon near Bastille. The tall building, the General Motors Building, still exists in New York City, but completely clad in glass. Formerly known as the Colonnade Building, in this photograph you can still see the columns on the ground floor that gave the building its name. See this building and more in a photo series tracking the evolution of Columbus Circle over the years.

17. La Defense at the Brooklyn Bridge

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La Defense is a rare modern superimposition, onto Brooklyn Bridge and South Street Seaport. You can also see the Verizon building in the background, the largest high-rise data center in New York City.

18. The Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square at the Opera Garnier

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The recently re-opened Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square sits caddy-corner to the Opera Garnier. Check out the former secret subway entrance from the subway to the Knickerbocker Hotel, which probably didn’t make it when the building teleported to Paris.
Next, check out our fun map showing Manhattan designed like Paris or if Manhattan was in the Grand Canyon. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.