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The Form of City Changes More Quickly

Potlatch #25 (26 January 1956)

Translated by Gerardo Denís

As reported in issue #7 of Potlatch (August 1954) [The Destruction of Rue Sauvage], various private companies began destroying rue Sauvage in the early months of 1954. The land bordering on the side towards the Seine was promptly occupied by hovels. In 1955, the Ministry of Public Works began to take an incredibly energetic hand in matters, going so far as to cut off rue Sauvage just beyond rue Fulton in order to put up a huge building — to house PTT offices — covering approximately a quarter of the previous length of rue Sauvage. It no longer reaches boulevard de la Gare. It now ends at the top of rue Flamand.

The most attractive part of Square des Missions Étrangères (see issue #16 of Potlatch) has been occupied since the winter by a number of prefabricated caravans, reminiscent of Abbé Pierre's low blows.

Moreover, the constant movement of the red-light, pleasure (?) district, from the Left Bank, to the eastern side of boulevard Michel and then towards Montagne-Geneviève, is taking on alarming proportions. At present, Montagne-Geneviève is hemmed in by several establishments on rue Descartes.

The psychogeographical interest of the three places must therefore be considered to have substantially diminished, especially in the case of the first two, which are now practically not worth the trouble of a visit.