11 rue Benoît Oriol
And to say it was the grandson (and great-nephew) of the Mongolfier brothers who designed this park to get everyone who's anyone in Saint Chamond together. Today, we celebrate the arts here. Let's look back at a fabulous destiny.
How about we take a ride in a hot air balloon (otherwise known as a Mongolfière) to admire this impressive estate. With a bit of luck, we might spot one of those fancy receptions attended by all the VIPs in industry and politics. That was exactly why Mongolfier's grandson (Montgolfier being the one we mentioned before, who invented the balloon) had this mansion built. Out of courtesy, he could have planned a quick flight overhead in one of his ancestor's devices. The one, the exemplary grandson, who did so much for the family name (he even became a Commander of the Legion of Honour). The one who at the time was the top director at the Forges et Aciéries.
For a long time, the estate remained in the hands of eminent men with connections to the iron and steel industry. As the industry declined, the great families became fewer (many of them moved to Paris) and the prestigious estate was put up for sale in 1979 and sold to the city. Numerous projects, both useful and futile, flourish here now.
In any case, in the last ten years or so the park has become the centre of attention again. Even if the bow tie and tails are no longer de rigueur, it is still quite classy, with events like the Rhino Jazz festival, whose timeless notes have been ringing out for the last ten years.
In fact since the city took over, the Château park has been transformed (among other things) into a cultural centre open to associations. A new look for a new life.
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