It is unique, one of kind.
You will not find a façade or Métro signage like this anywhere else in Paris.
Situated at number 97 Rue Réaumur, Sentier is unique for a couple of reasons. It is one of the few Métro stations to be incorporated into a building and has its own, very unusual signage.
The building was built in 1900, but it was not until 1904 that Sentier Métro became part of the façade and the underground station below.
Named after the trail that lead to the fortifications of the city.
Sentier meaning trail or path.
Metro stations, facades and entrances have evolved over time and changed with fashion and practicality. This unusual blue and red signage came about around the 1940’s when Hector Guimard’s elaborate, Art Nouveau entrances were considered old fashioned.
Although the train company used this distinctive red and blue emblem on their maps and advertising, only two of this type of signage was ever manufactured.
One for Denfert Rochereau which was unfortunately destroyed and the other for Sentier. The only surviving sign of its type.
Rue Réaumur is lined with monumental buildings and the magnificent façade at number 97, that provides an entrance to the metro and an anchor to hold the Métro signage is yet another fine example along this street.
Decorative iron work adorns the recessed windows and curved balconies and the ornamental stone work designed by architects Ph. Jolwald and Ch. Devillard, in 1900, is nothing short of spectacular.
Taking a metro ride to Sentier can be incorporated with a visit, along the same metro line to Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the newly renovated pedestrianised square of Republique and the Paris Opera House; Palais Garnier.
Or simply stroll along Rue Réaumur to admire the magnificent architecture.
Many of the buildings along Rue Réaumur were built for industry and commerce, including textiles and printed press.
The large windows that you can see here were designed to allow the light to flood into the large warehouses.
I have researched in vein to try to discover why only two of these signs were made. This is the only explanation that I can come up with.
The Métro signage must be loud and clear for all to see in a distance.
The Hector Guimard, canopied structure would have been futile, as there was no street entrance for it to sit above. The totem pole type of signage would have seen a lone pole in the middle of the footpath and perhaps the yellow ‘M’ came later and would not have been visible enough against the beautiful building where it needed to hang.
For whatever reason it was, one thing is for certain, it has left us with one unique, mysterious Métro sign to gaze at in wonderment.
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