Paris’ Reid Hall-oweened

The Garden at Reid Hall

Paris’ Reid Hall-oweened

Parler Paris…

Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Paris, France

Community Calendar Updated Every Wednesday

“The Fractional Ownership Solution” Conference Call
FREE to French Property Insider Subscribers!

Learn how to own your own piece of Paris at a fraction of the cost during this one-hour conference call with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares, and hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of French Property Insider and Director of French Property Consultation.

Date: Sunday, November 11, 2007

Time: 8:00 p.m. Paris time, 2 p.m. E.S.T.

Cost: FREE to French Property Insider Subscribers — a 50€ value!
To register, email [email protected]

Not an FPI Subscriber? Subscribe now at /frenchproperty/insider only $49.50 for one year/50 issues or $79.50 for two years/100 issues! Or pay 50€ by credit card at //order/genericorder.html

For more information visit [email protected]

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

When Aaron Phillips, wrote to ask if I would come and “just say a few words about the process of transferring accounts/citizenship/housing/life in general and the Paris real estate market,” I felt honored.

Aaron is an American student studying in Paris this Fall semester through the University of Florida’s Paris Research Center, at Columbia University’s Reid Hall, where one of their courses is entitled “Modern Paris and Contemporary French Culture,” and as he said, “housing here is definitely an aspect of that.”

Even after having been in Paris only a couple of months, he felt that several of his fellow students were considering or had their minds set on following in my footsteps to this continent, permanently. There are ten students in a program called “International Affairs and the Public Sphere,” and another four in “Landscape Architecture” classes. The Center itself represents about a dozen schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Vassar College, Wesleyan College, Dartmouth College, Smith College, Tulane University, and Sarah Lawrence College, so others would be invited to join them.

Most people don’t know about the oasis that lies behind the black doors at Reid Hall, a bright white 1th-century building on a small quiet street near boulevard du Montparnasse in the 6th arrondissement. It’s the home base of Columbia University in Paris, but also serves as an educational center for other American universities and for scholars from around the world. “Its long and distinguished past of intellectual, artistic, and cultural exchange has made it significant to the relationship between France and the United States for over a century.”

When you enter the doors, only by ringing the discrete bell and being admitted by the receptionist, you at once feel you have entered a very special
domain, privy to only a few. It once served as a porcelain factory and warehouse in the mid 1700′s, then at the turn of the 19th-century, two French brothers named Dagoty purchased it and converted it to one of the largest and most successful porcelain factories in France, with subsidies by Napoleon I. Dagoty was appointed the supplier of porcelain to Empress j2999ephine. At one time, over one hundred workers were in their employ and additional warehouses and storerooms were built, richly ornamented with mirrors and decorative shelving. Dagoty porcelain could be found in the Palace of Versailles and the White House under James Monroe’s administration, featuring an American eagle motif for use at official state dinners.

In 1834, the site became the home of the Keller Institute, the first Protestant school established in France since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, whose student body came from the home of bourgeois Huguenots, or French Protestants, and wealthy expatriates. What is not clear is why the successful porcelain factory was converted at that time, but by 1893, The Keller Institute was forced to close its doors, and the complex was purchased by a wealthy philanthropist and social activist named Elizabeth Mills Reid, whose father was founder of the Bank of California, and whose husband was the American minister to Paris, Whitelaw Reid. It was here that she established the “American Girls Club” to provide artistic and academic opportunities to young American women living in Paris. The success led Reid to expand the complex to include a neighboring building and its umbrageous and verdant courtyard.

World War I seemed a more important cause and at the outbreak the property was converted into a hospital, and its classrooms were used to house wounded soldiers. A number of new buildings were constructed to accommodate the enormous number of casualties being cared for by the American Red Cross. Reid Hall remained in the hands of the American Red Cross until 1922, when it was reconverted to house a center for advanced and university studies for American women.

Once again, Reid Hall became important to American women’s academics in Western Europe with visits and lectures by such luminaries and neighbors as Gertrude Stein. The onset of World War II then took toll on the complex converting it as a refuge, first for Polish university women, then for Belgian teachers, and later for the women students of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Sèvres. Once the war was over, it was reconverted once again to a university center, this time with a coeducational student body.

The University of Florida’s presence of their “Paris Research Center” at Reid Hall is relatively new, having established membership there in 2003 under the direction of Dr. Gayle Zachmann, Associate Professor of French. Dr. Zachmann could not be present at the round-table discussion I led yesterday, but in attendance was Dr. Richard Conley, Professor of Political Science, and Rachel Hart, Rachel Hart, Coordinator of Logistics for the Educational Program. About a dozen or so more Parler Paris Readers came to witness the discussion, politely not interrupting, allowing the students to field their questions.

The students were an impression assortment of young men and women, with an air of sophistication and a high level of knowledge. They understood, from what I observed, that they were very lucky to be participating in the program here in Paris and how much they would gain from their time here. What I tried to impress upon them, was that it could change them for life. Once they had viewed their roots from the other side of the pond, and had experienced another culture, as profound a one as French, their points of view may never be the same again.

A la prochaine…  

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris


P.S. Happy Halloween and All Saint’s Day (Toussaint)…when France takes a holiday to honor the dead. Tomorrow is a perfect day to visit the cemetaries and decorate the graves with flowers and wreaths.

Save money when transferring from dollars to euros!

HiFX takes the pain and guesswork out of currency conversion. They offer a range of services and can provide the ideal solution to fit your specific situation when transferring money for your French property mortgage and more. Save more of your own hard-earned money with HiFX!

For more information, click here:

This Week in French Property Insider…

MoissacOne Reader’s Experience Purchasing a Home in France…

Dear Adrian, Now that the smoke has cleared and all papers signed I would like to one, thank you and your support group, including John Howell of John Howell & Co, Justin Harris of HiFX, and the people at Banque Patrimoine & Immobilier in Paris for all the help in our quest to purchase a home in France. And two, tell you about our quest and purchase of our new dwelling in Moissac, France…

ong>Learn how to buy property in France!

French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

Subscribe today!
$49.50 for one year/50 issues or $79.50 for two years/100 issues!
Prices increase on December 1, 2007

Plus, when you subscribe now, you can participate in a FREE Conference Call, exclusively for French Property Insider subscribers… “The Fractional Ownership Solution” with Steve Navaro of Paris Home Shares, and hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of French Property Insider and Director of French Property Consultation on Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. Paris time. To register email [email protected]

Subscribe today at /frenchproperty/insider

For more information visit [email protected]

Miami FloridaNEW! Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
February 16-17, 2008
Alliance Française, Miami, Florida

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed two-day conference is a MUST.

Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two days in Miami will point you in the right direction to make it really happen! Includes three course lunch and cocktail reception.

For more information and to register, visit: /frenchproperty/conference/

Or email Schuyler Hoffman at [email protected]

Subscribe to Champs-Elysées Audio Magazine!

Perfect your French language skills with a subscription to Champs-Elysées Audio Magazines. On CD or cassette and produced monthly, each issue is packed with a range of news and features on current events, theatre, gastronomy, music and politics. Every edition comes with a full printed transcript, complete notes and glossary.

Subscribe today and perfect your languages!

We wanted better guides. So we wrote them.

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus the newest guide, Practical Paris!


[email protected]

Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

Le Penthouse Voltaire

American comfort with French flair! Overlooking Boulevards Richard Lenoir and Voltaire, in the 11th Arrondissement.This three-bedroom, two-bath luxury penthouse with wrap-around balconies and spectacular views, sleeps 6.

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/voltaire.html
or email: [email protected] 

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is November 13, 2007 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!

For further details, visit

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