the Saint-Joseph chapel should finally be destroyed

The Saint-Joseph chapel in Lille is not eligible for historical monuments, indicates the Ministry of Culture. Nothing is therefore opposed to its demolition to make way for a university campus.

It’s the end of a long standoff. The Saint-Joseph chapel, located in the Vauban district in Lille, should be destroyed to make way for a university campus. The Ministry of Culture has just refused to register the building as a historic monument.
And the association of private university schools YNCREA, owner of the building, does not wish to go back on its expansion project. Nothing is therefore opposed to the demolition of the building. However, elements such as the stained glass windows or the tapestries will be preserved.

“If this chapel from the end of the 19th century in an eclectic style is not devoid of architectural interest, this is not sufficient to justify a classification as historical monuments”

Philippe Barbat, Director General of Heritage

Lille: the Saint-Joseph chapel should be destroyed



©France 3 NPDC

Nothing stands in the way of demolition

The Saint-Joseph chapel cannot therefore benefit from legal protection. And YNCREA, the owner of the premises, has decided to continue the expansion and modernization project of its campus, which involves a demolition of the chapel.

“It results from the contacts made with the representatives of YNCREA that they do not wish to modify their project to restructure the site of the Saint-Joseph college in order to establish their university course there.“, indicates the director general of heritage, in a letter of October 20, published on the site The Heritage Gazette.

By this letter, the Ministry of Culture indicates that the chapel is not eligible for historical monuments

By this letter, the Ministry of Culture indicates that the chapel is not eligible for historical monuments

© DR

A university campus will be built in place of the chapel

Built in 1876, the chapel has been unused for about twenty years. It is located inside the Center Scolaire Saint-Paul. It was sold to YNCREA and is the subject of a demolition permit which was signed on May 28, 2019.

Instead, YNCREA, which is part of the Catholic University of Lille, plans to build workspaces and a “learning center” (research laboratories, classrooms, media library, etc.).

The building project instead of the Saint-Joseph chapel, if it were to be destroyed.
The building project instead of the Saint-Joseph chapel, if it were to be destroyed.

The building project instead of the Saint-Joseph chapel, if it were to be destroyed.

© Agence Saison Menu Architects Urban planners

In an interview with Actu.fr in June 2020, Jérôme Crunelle, the director of projects of the YNCREA considered the demolition inevitable. “The ground is not straight, it is sagging, the stained glass windows need to be restored, the walls are crumbling. Above all, the building does not correspond to the needs of YNCREA. We want flexible, bright spaces. We want to be open to the neighborhood. However, the chapel does not have exterior access “, he assured.

A project that meets strong opposition in Lille

The prospect of such a demolition arouses great emotion in Lille. Last spring, a petition was signed by 5,500 people asking for this decision to be overturned. A request heard by Franck Riester, then Minister of Culture. The latter had requested additional instruction to seek an alternative solution to the destruction of the building.

This reprieve is no longer in order today, the Saint-Joseph chapel in the Vauban district should be destroyed.

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