Christopher Mead (MA'78, PhD'86)

Penn State University Press

The name of the architect Victor Baltard is inseparable from the Halles Centrales of Paris, the complex of iron-and-glass pavilions built between 1854 and 1874 in the historic heart of the city. Making Modern Paris is the only comprehensive study to address systematically not only the role Baltard played in the markets’ design and construction but also how the markets relate to the rest of Baltard’s work and professional practice. Christopher Curtis Mead interprets the Central Markets as a cogent expression of Baltard’s professional experience as he adjusted his academic training to new criteria of municipal administration, urban planning, and building technology. Considering his entire career over the three decades he worked for the Prefecture of the Seine, this investigation of how architectural and urban practice came together in Baltard’s work offers a case study of the historical process that produced modern Paris between 1840 and 1870.