During the traumatic destruction of the city, a few gems were spared. Auguste Perret organized his urban project around the buildings spared by the bombings. Therefore the lay-out of old streets like Rue de Paris and Avenue Foch were kept, the Museum of Natural History was carefully given prominence, as well as the historic docks which make up part of the city’s identity.
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The Bassins du Roy, de la Barre and du Commerce (respectively King’s Dock, Creek Dock and Commerce Dock) are the basis of a geographical lay-out which the first urban grid followed and which will determine the two grids of the reconstructed city.
Notre – Dame Cathedral
Damaged by the bombings, work around the Cathedral was quickly started. Auguste Perret’s idea was to give it prominence by creating a square around it.
The Ship Owner’s Mansion
Discover the particular atmosphere of an opulent house built in the prosperous century of successful maritime trade! The Ship owner’s Mansion, its eighteenth century architecture, its interior lay-out around a light shaft, is one of the gems of historic Le Havre, going back to just after the French Revolution.
Dubocage de Bléville Manor House
Also listed as Historic Monument, this private mansion, built in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, has been turned into a Museum of Art and History. It houses beautiful furniture collections and series of artefacts which tell the story of old Le Havre de Grâce.
The Natural History Museum
Built in 1760 by Dubois, an engineer, this building was first used as a Court House and later became Law Courts. It was turned into a Natural History Museum in 1881. It was extensively damaged during WWII and reopened after restoration in 1973. Its peculiar positioning is a reminder of the old streets lay-out.
The Perrey District
Apart from a few brick buildings dating from before the war, the Perrey districts is made of experimental blocks rebuilt using the “Camus” comprehensive prefabrication process. This system was patented in 1948 and was much used in the following years. Large prefabricated load-bearing panels are already equipped with door frames, ventilation shafts and smoke ducts and finished surface coating.