News The Providence building is being demolished

The Providence building is being demolished

We are starting a key stage in the expansion of the Guéret art and archeology museum! Monday July 22, a huge shovel arrived on the site to knock down the old Providence building.

The demolition machines are in full action © Radio France
Camille André

In a cloud of dust, the device brings down the walls and the frame before the eyes of many Guérétois, who sometimes have a pinch in the heart.

A former school

Providence holds a special place in the hearts of Guérétois. The building is located between the Chapelle de la providence (converted into a performance hall) and the current museum. Initially, Providence was a convent. The place was then converted into a school, until the creation of the Marouzeau college. In recent years, housing has been built inside.

The building is gradually destroyed
The building is gradually destroyed © Radio France
Camille André

The building must be completely razed by the start of September. Ultimately, this is where the entrance hall of the museum will be built.

What will become of the beautiful stones?

Many Creusois parade past this impressive site. Michel came in particular to observe the work of the excavators, with a touch of sadness. This Guérétois has a vague memory of the interior of the building “I think there were associations for a while, and I had to go there like that“, he remembers.

The site attracts many Guérétois
The site attracts many Guérétois © Radio France
Camille André

While the machines continue their demolition work, he wonders, like many Creusois: what will happen to the beautiful freestone and old woodwork that adorned this building? Serge Cédelle, first deputy mayor of Guéret in charge of the works wants to reassure everyone: “In the current deconstruction, the most beautiful stones, in particular those of the cornice are recovered“. They will be used in particular to remake a cornice and a small wall.

The chapel of Providence will be preserved

On social networks as in the street, some Creusois are worried about the future of the chapel of Providence. This old religious building, converted into a performance hall and village hall will absolutely not be destroyed. It is planned to keep it in the final project of the enlargement of the museum, as can be seen in this image.

This is what the entrance to the future museum will look like, seen from rue de la Sénatorerie
This is what the entrance to the future museum will look like, seen from rue de la Sénatorerie
Basalt Architecture

Guérétois not all convinced by the museum expansion project

The purpose of this project is to enlarge the reception area and the educational space of the museum. It is also about create reserves to standards to store the works and to adapt the site to accessibility standards for people with disabilities. Two new buildings will be built and connected to the current museum, one of which in the shape of a cube.

The future museum, seen from another angle
The future museum, seen from another angle
Basalt architecture

This idea does not seem to appeal to all Guérétois. “Personally, I prefer the old to the new. I would have liked the buildings to be renovated in the same style. What they are going to do with their square, I’m not a fan“, Christelle testifies. Philippe adds:” The Providence building was part of the Guérétois and Creusois heritage, it is sad that it is destroyed

it hurts to see heritage demolished in this way

Michel, he is more measured. Certainly they wonder if the modern part and the old part of the museum will be harmonious, but he prefers to wait to see. “Why not a cube? Remember, people were moaning for the Louvre pyramid, and today we see what has become“.

The works of the museum must continue until the end of 2021.

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