Essential Architecture-  Paris

Hôtel Bony & the Petit Hôtel Bourrienne


Jules-Jean-Baptiste Bony


32 Rue de Trévise, 9th.




NeoClassical (French Regency...)


rendered masonry


Town House (hôtel)
After the Revolution, this neighborhood became known as the New Athens (note the Classical Greek reference). The magnificent houses built by wealthy businessmen and government officers became famous for intellectual salons. Unfortunately, the few mansions that survive today are set back from the street and invisible to passers-by because the original gatehouses and gardens have been replaced by larger buildings. The Hôtel Bony has the advantage of having a glass hallway in front of it, allowing us a glimpse of the mansion beyond. This Neo-classical beauty has a Restoration interior. Its exterior grand curved stairs and flouncey loggia is practically a Rococo revival, but its sober Classical proportions and Corinthian pillars keep the building from becoming a pastry. If you have the time, you might try to visit the privately-owned Petit Hôtel Bourrienne at 58 Rue d’Hauteville, unfortunately hidden from the street but perfectly preserved inside. This was a 1783 Directoire gem built for “merveilleuse” Fortunée Hamelin, friend of Empress Josephine and hostess of one the most glittering salons of the time. Known for her witty conversation, and transparent dresses, Fortunée had the walls of her home painted with erotic allegories, fabulous flowers and tropical birds to remind her of Saint-Domingue, where she was born. The Napoleonic decor has been kept up by the current owners and can be visited by appointment.


By Lisa Pasold (Special thanks to