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It was American Olympic gold medalist Johnny Weissmuller, later of Tarzan film fame, who inaugurated a municipal swimming facility in Paris, the Piscine Molitor.
in 1929. filling an entire triangular city block near the Bois de Boulogne and the complex where the french open tennis tournament is played, the massive, splendid, three-story art deco building was painted “tango yellow,” a vivid mustardy ocher, and boasted not one but two pools. Both the Olympic-size open-air pool and the slightly smaller glass-roofed pool were surrounded by tiered balconies of blue-doored changing rooms—all of it evoking the great ocean liners of the era. the outdoor “summer” pool even had sand “beaches.”
The Hôtel Molitor Paris now occupies a building substantially reinvented by Alain derbesse Architectes, which worked under the supervision of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux to virtually demolish what remained, then reconstruct it and add two guest levels on top for a total of 124 rooms and suites, plus a roof terrace with a summer restaurant. The eye-popping interiors are by Agence Nuel. Part faithful re-creation, part ricochet ride through time, the property packs in enough historic interest and visual verve to serve as the set of a Wes Anderson movie.
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