Sunday, January 04, 2009

Going, going...Le Grand LeClerc

Yesterday, after an outing to Rodez on a brilliantly sunny afternoon, my husband came home and told me "I took some great pictures that you'll want to use on your blog."

Without missing a beat, I guessed that they would be of the Rodez area's latest destruction site: the old LeClerc hypermarket.

Weird minds think alike, I guess. I couldn't have been happier had he brought home his usual photos of pastoral peace, or crazy countryside scenes.

I myself had almost stopped to shoot several times, as I drive by the demolition scene almost daily. But I hadn't quite dared get up close and personal. In fact, the old parking garage kind of scared me even when it was still in use:

Le Grand LeClerc,
as the locals called it, must have seemed grand indeed when it was built, perhaps in the 1970s. The architecture below is the result of a renovation done in the past ten years, but somehow even the new look didn't cut it:

By the way, neither of us know what that tree is doing there, so don't bother to ask.

And yes, as you can see, tagging and graffiti strike abandoned sites even here in the heart of La France Profonde.

Now grocery shoppers flock to
le Nouveau LeClerc, complete with a mini-mall, a Flunch, and a fitness center.

But apparently the old site still welcomes us, at least for a few more days:

In its own way:

(All photos courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau. Click on them to enlarge.)


La Framéricaine said...

I always feel sad when old buildings are destroyed, even when they are, ostensibly, paving the way for the new and improved.

Happy New Year, Betty!

spacedlaw said...

I have a passion for derelict places, passion which I blame on having an architect for a father and being dragged every week to admire newly built stuff as a kid.
Love that last picture.

Tinsie said...

These photos are a piece of history! Any idea what will be built in its place?

Nadege said...

Flunch for fast lunch? Where is the
nouveau Leclerc?

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Those are great photos. They tell such a tale. The passage of time...pretty good fit with the beginning of a year.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, what an eyesore. Strange to think that in its time it was probably state of the art!

Le laquet said...

So is the nouveau LeClerc huge and gorgeous?

Deborah Rey said...

When we were still living in Millau the same thing happened to our LeClerq ... only they never told us and we never got a new one.
We lived right across the valley from the viaduct, so saw the entire construction. A piece of art and in no way spoiling our superbe view.
... and that is "talking de coq à l'âne". Oh well...

cityfarmer said...

I think we used to chat, did we not?
Somehow I lost track of you.

wcs said...

Can we look forward to photos of the new LeClerc?

Betty C. said...

Thanks to all for the comments. As for the new LeClerc, it is ensconced in a minimall and a little difficult to photograph as such. It's not really the type of subject that inspires me, but by popular demand I may try to get a shot!

Anonymous said...

Gee Betty, I was shocked to see the LeClerc go down. I remember going there when my husband Jim and I were there some years ago. well, keep us posted on the new one. Keep up the great blogging.
A great fan in Olympia WA