The Vestris Residence at Chatou
The following has been adapted from the Website of the Chatou municipality, near Paris (http://www.chatou.fr/chatou/index.asp).
The Vestris residence, shown below on a 19th Century postcard, was built in 1730 on the site of a much older dwelling.
It was purchased by the great Italian dancer Gaetano Vestris in 1761. Gaetano, then premier danseur at the Paris Opera, was the father of Auguste Vestris (born 1760). The residence was purchased in 1772 by Jacques Louis Le Peletier, Royal advisor. A street named after Le Peletier, oddly enough, runs very near to the present-day site of the Paris Opera.
In 1829, the Vestris residence was purchased by Camille Périer, Mayor of Chatou from 1832 to his death in 1844.
In 1878, seventeen benefactors took up a public subscription and purchased the residence to give Chatou a Town Hall.
The residence's basic structure thus dates from 1730, although many changes have been made since. The frescoes on the ground-floor reception rooms, where civil marriage ceremonies take place today, were commissioned by Camille Périer, and date from the early 19th Century.
The little bell-tower was built in 1879; the town's arms were carved just below. A large private park that had surrounded the residence was sold off in lots in the late 19th Century, new streets opened, and a public square created as well.
Following extensive interior work in 1925, notably a new staircase, the residence was thoroughly restored in 1964. The brick-and-stone cladding was removed from the outside, returning the residence to what is believed to have been its original appearance.
Perhaps the Paris Opera and the Town of Chatou will join forces to put up a Plaque to the honour of Vestris, Père et Fils ?