Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France


This photochrome print of the Hôtel de Ville, or Paris city hall, is part of “Views of Architecture, Monuments, and Other Sites in France” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The building depicted is the reconstructed version of the original Hôtel de Ville, which was built in 1533 and destroyed in 1871 during the upheavals of the Paris Commune. The reconstruction, undertaken by the French architects Theodore Ballu (1817–85) and Edouard Deperthes (1833–98), took place between 1876 and 1884 and resulted in an enlarged and enriched replica of the old building. The 1900 edition of Baedeker's Paris and its Environs, with routes from London to Paris: Handbook for Travellers declared the Hôtel de Ville to be “in many respects one of the finest buildings in the city . . . a magnificent structure in the French Renaissance style, with dome-covered pavilions at the angles (recalling the mediaeval towers), mansard windows, and lofty decorated chimneys.” The site of the Hôtel de Ville is historically significant as the location where executions were carried out during the French Revolution.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan


Title in Original Language

Hôtel de ville, Paris, France

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.

Last updated: July 8, 2014