In Le Mans, this chapel could be destroyed: a petition to save it

In Le Mans, this chapel could be destroyed: a petition to save it

The building is located on the edge of Avenue du Général Leclerc in Le Mans. © Maxime DAVOUST/Actu Le Mans

It is much less imposing than Saint Julien Cathedral, but this discretion Chapel of Mans could soon disappear from the city’s heritage.

The building that is next door Saint-Joseph school-College, on the corner of avenue du général Leclerc and rue Gastelier, in the city center, it seems destined for demolition.

Petition against the project

The management of the company wishes to build a new building. Sketch designed by the Manceau cabinet Delaroux, is counting on the destruction of the chapel. A new place of worship should grow in its place.

The real estate project envisages the construction of a new building on the site of the chapel.
The real estate project envisages the construction of a new building on the site of the chapel. ©Atelier DELAROUX

Local residents and heritage defenders are mobilizing against this project. Two petitions have been posted on the website Change.org : ” NO demolition of the Saint-Joseph chapel ” and ” Against the destruction of the Saint-Joseph chapel in Le Mans“.

“One of the few interesting buildings on this street”

For opponents of the demolition, “this 19th-century freestone chapel does not represent a state of degradation justifying destruction”. Additionally, they decry the operation’s carbon footprint from an “ecological point of view.”

In 1966, the central breakthrough at Le Mans led to the destruction of notable buildings in favor of already outdated structures. 50 years later we continue this journey by destroying one of the few interesting buildings on this street.

Steevy Boulay: “People Are Crazy”

Animator Stevie Boulay, from Le Mans himself reacted and shared the petition: “People are crazy, destroy the most beautiful building on the avenue…”.

The reaction of the headmaster of Saint-Joseph

“I understand, I respect,” Saint-Joseph Principal Daniel Pretto said in response to the petitions. “Currently they have few signatories. However, “it is important that we take them into account.”

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Contacted by user News from Le Mansthe responsible person evokes “a project focused primarily on the well-being of pupils, improving accessibility and catering”.

As for the chapel, “we absolutely want to keep it as a place of worship,” emphasizes Daniel Pretto. The place that “belongs to the diocese” specifies. “It is the decision of the diocese, which no longer has the means to maintain it. »

“No interest in architecture and heritage”

Architect of Buildings of France would agree to the demolition. “He does not find any architectural or historical interest in the chapel,” the director points out.

Some elements could be preserved, such as stained glass windows or parts of the current facade. “We are thinking about the aesthetic side, taking into account feedback from local residents. Therefore, the study presented to them would not be definitive.

However, “we cannot change everything. The project is essential for the operation of the business,” says Daniel Pretto.
A new dining room and also a kitchen are planned. “The new building connects laboratories and specialized rooms and makes it more accessible. »
The date for the start of work has not yet been set.

A business from the 19th century

Saint-Joseph was originally founded Sisters of Providencebased in Ruille-sur-Loir (Sarth). In 1863, they created this girls’ school on land near the station.

The company went through several transformations in the 20th century. In 1969, the new college was inaugurated. In 1988, four elementary classrooms were built above the kindergarten.
The extension was built between 2008 and 2010. A multi-sports hall was recently added, in 2017.

These other vanished chapels

In 2021, it was the destruction of another Saint-Joseph chapel that made the news: the chapel in Lille that belongs to the Catholic University.

Closer to Le Mans, Sable-sur-Sarthe, the Saint-Martin chapel, whose construction began in 1880, was demolished in 2017.

The Saint-Joseph chapel dates from the 19th century.
The Saint-Joseph chapel dates from the 19th century. © DR

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