I had an afternoon to spend in Nancy with no real plans, so I bought a 24-hour transportation pass and started riding the tramways at random. The tramways are actually more of a trolleybus system because there are areas downtown with a rail slot to follow but at complicated intersections and in the suburbs there is no rail at all and the system is driven like a bus. I was able to see that Nancy has extensive and uninteresting suburbs but finally in one part of town, the houses caught my eye, so I hopped off to take a closer look.
There was nothing really special about the first rows of modest houses, but they were clearly somewhat out of the ordinary with complicated roofs and eaves.
Some of the details started jumping out more and more.
I was clearing getting into a richer and richer area.
Frankly, all of this extra frou-frou does not appeal to me at all. It seemed as though each house had more and more unnecessary and excessively heavy details. Nevertheless, even though I would not want to live in such a place, the houses were interesting to examine, just for spotting all of the things that were wrong, and then every now and then, the architect got something unexpectedly right.
Apparently most of the houses in this neighbourhood were designed by the Lorraine architect Charles Masson. His speciality was to add Art Déco extrusions to the façades and he was also a master of wrought iron design. The wrought iron fences and some of the window grills were among the best things that I saw while wandering around with a number of other camera bearing tourists, mostly German, but I also heard a British couple chatting about architectural design.
I was impressed by how this more modern apartment building managed to fit into the neighbourhood perfectly due to its vegetal camouflage.
But from I have been told about the place (horrible cold, damp, foggy winters), it's one of those places I have never wanted to visit. At least now, thanks to your pictures, I know there is something there other than Place Stanislas.
I very much enjoyed all the different facades, roof lines and the varied colors of roof tiles. Many different designs and color combinations. From pictures I have seen of the town square it gave me the impression of Nancy being an affluent city.
We have a few new neighbourhoods in our city where there are about five styles of homes to pick from and the brick, siding and roofs are all the same color. The architects and planners have no imagination or creativity. I have observed that the people who live there try to give their home an identity by trying to paint their front doors very different from their neighbor.
Industrial buildings often had cleaner lines than the houses.
Even the more modest apartment blocks had fancy iron balcony rails.
Just about all of the apartment buildings in this area had stained glass over the entrance doors. Naturally, I would have wanted to see the effect from the inside, but all of these doors were dutifully locked on a Sunday afternoon.
Kerouac, Did you go to Dalat when you were in Vietnam? It is where the French rubber planters and hunting parties retreated to in the hot summer.The hill country was/is beautiful and many rich families from France built houses like some of these mansions.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]