Saint-Lazare Prison: A postscript
About This Chapter
Even as the fate of the old prison was sealed, its prisoners diverted to other locations, and demolition commenced, attention shifted to the remnant of Saint-Lazare which would be left behind; the section administrative which would become the Hôpital Saint-Lazare. The new institution would become a “great medico-social centre for the treatment of venereal diseases among women, and especially among the so-called femmes de moeurs lègéres.” After renovations by the architect Gaston Lefol the facility opened in 1937.
By 1955, changes in the law concerning prostitution and the great decrease in the number of cases of sexually-transmitted diseases led to the institution being repurposed and transferred to the control of the Department d’Assistance Publique. At this time, the facility became associated with the nearby Hôpital Labiboisière and was used for a variety of medical purposes until it was closed in 1998. The complex was then returned to the city of Paris which owned the property.
In 2003, plans were drawn up for the re-use and remodeling of the facility. Two years later, in 2005, the buildings finally were given landmark status. In 2010, they re-opened as a crèche andcentre social for the 10th arrondisement. In 2011, plans were announced for the continuing renovation of other sections of the now historically-protected prison buildings. (See lecourrierdelarchitecte.com/article_2513) Thus, after almost 900 years the social service memories, and present social services of Paris remain joined at this venerable site of Saint-Lazare.