The Château de Haroué was constructed on the foundation of the former Château Bassompierre, incorporating its moat and towers. Built from 1720 to 1732 in the period called “The Golden Age of Lorraine,” among its owners was Charles Juste Beauvau-Craon, Minister of War under Louis XVI and builder of the Hôtel Beauvau in Paris (now the Ministry of Interior). Today Princesse Minnie de Beauvau-Craon resides there and opens her 18th-century family château to the public, elegantly showcasing the refinement and the “art de vivre” of the Enlightenment.
Among other impressive successes, Givenchy exhibitions and open air opera performances were recently hosted. In addition, a group of French Heritage Society Chairman’s Circle members were invited for an intimate candlelight dinner in October 2009. A French Heritage Society grant will assist in the restoration of the magnificent iron entrance gate by Lamour, the same artist who would later make the renowned iron gates at the Place Stanislas in Nancy, emblematic of 18th-century master craftsmen in Lorraine.
The Château de Brissac was first built in the 15th century as a medieval fortress. Its Louis XIII style façade, begun in the early 17th century, but never completed, is flanked by two medieval towers that remain from the original construction. Its stylistic contrasts make it one of the most unusual châteaux in all of France. Today, the magnificent Brissac is a half-constructed new château and a half-destroyed old château. Charles-André de Brissac, the Château’s dynamic owner, took on the family tradition and daunting task of continuing the restoration of this monumental property.
Over the past two decades, he has tenaciously carried out ten major restoration campaigns and has solicited and received the support of the State and the region. The project seeks to further its impact by promoting preservation and tourism throughout the Anjou region. The Château is open to the public as a bed and breakfast and also offers theater and flower festivals. FHS’ recent support involves grants to repair the ‘super structure’ of the northern wing as well as repairs of the roof, gutters, stonework and chimney.
St. Vincent de Paul parish moved to its present location in 1868 and was completed in 1869. Its current appearance is the result of a 1939 façade restoration. Originally intended to serve New York’s French immigrant community, it is also dedicated to the city’s African and African-American French-speaking communities. The church sponsored hospitals, orphanages, homes for the indigent elderly and residences for young women. It is a focal point of French society in New York. Among other memorable occasions, Edith Piaf was married there.
St. Vincent de Paul is also the chief place of remembrance for the fallen French and French-American soldiers of the two World Wars. After World War II, it played an important role in the integration of French refugee families into the New York community, and embraced all refugee children, regardless of religion. St. Vincent de Paul Church is a living testament to all that is finest in the French spirit and is an irreplaceable part of the city’s life. FHS grants will restore ten stained glass windows in Tiffany style that depict scenes from French history, and help with needed repairs to the roof and gutters.
St. Anthony’s Garden belongs to and is located behind Saint Louis Cathedral in New Orleans and is one of the oldest historic sites of the city. During initial excavations, more than 32,000 artifacts were unearthed dating from the earliest days of the city to the present and several French buildings and campsites were revealed. The Getty Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities have been involved in that phase of the project.
The garden, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, is being restored by Louis Benech, the renowned French landscape gardener. The project includes replanting uprooted magnolia trees and rebuilding walkways and their substructure. In addition, the 1859 marble obelisk monument to the sailors of the French warship Tonnerre will be cleaned and lowered to enhance the view of the garden. The statue is a testimony to the longstanding relationship between France and Louisiana and the French Heritage Society grant will aid in its restoration. When completed, the garden will be open to the public.