The "New" Samaritaine Department Store Reopens
Another development worth celebrating by Parisians and visitors alike is the opening June 23, 2021 of what can be called the “new” Samaritaine after a 16-year closure.
It was founded in 1870 by Ernest Cognacq and his wife Marie-Louise Jaÿ, with a first boutique at the Pont-Neuf. They expanded to include the now landmarked Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings that made the department store so iconic. This shopping & family destination of Paris was purchased in 2001 by luxury powerhouse LVMH.
Closed in 2005, the new iteration, overseen by the award winning SANAA Agency, will artfully meld contemporary architecture and restoration of the historic buildings and include a socially diverse component—offices, subsidized housing and a child care center in the ancillary buildings that stretch two blocks between the Quai du Louvre and the Rue de Rivoli. The three main buildings will house a department store, food courts and restaurants, and in the Art Deco building facing the Seine River a 72-room Cheval Blanc hotel—now scheduled to open in September. An undertaking that would have made its founders proud.