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5. The Warehouse and General Stores of Paris, in Aubervilliers and Saint- Denis

Where once these warehouses were used to stock up different brands of food products, nowadays companies with big names have settled in the old depots. Funny stories to store away.

© W.Vainqueur

In the second half of the 19th century, urbanisation and industrialisation see the number of factories soar in the suburbs. As suppliers increase, so must the storing facilities. The north-east suburb of Paris offers in that sense perfect advantages: an ideal location near the main routes of communication and lots of large plots, available for a lesser price than in Paris.

A Parisian entrepreneur, Georges Tom Hainguerlot, buys in 1866 the plots located near the canal. The Warehouse and General Stores of Paris takes over and will expand endlessly to build its own storage depots. In the 1950s, the site occupies the whole area around Paris, from la porte de La Villette to la porte de La Chapelle. It is also linked to the Northern and Eastern railway networks, to the industrial railway and to the canal of Saint-Denis. Most of the items in storage are non-perishables – cereals, sugar, alcohol, oils, wood and coal.

After the deindustrialization period, the warehouses are unoccupied for a long time. The site enjoys a new boom, first after the arrival of cinema and television studios and then with the development of a new neighbourhood at the porte d'Aubervilliers. The original warehouses are renovated very nicely and new buidings rise, such as the " 270 ", one of the first " intelligent " buildings in accordance to the HQE standards (high quality environment).

Did you know ?

  • The Office de tourisme de Saint-Denis Plaine Commune and the Comité
    départemental du tourisme de la Seine-Saint-Denis organise regular visits, exhibitions on the history of the site in the building 202, as well as tours of recording studios.
  • The warehouse-docks are of British origin. A first dock was built in Liverpool in 1710 but the novelty comes from London (at the time one of the world's top shipping ports) around 1800, with the concentration in the one and same location of unloading/ loading and storage of merchandise.

Les EMGP en image

© W.Vainqueur
© W.Vainqueur
© W.Vainqueur

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Useful information

Entrepôts et magasins généraux de Paris (EMGP)
50, avenue du président Wilson, Saint-Denis et 45, avenue Victor Hugo, Aubervilliers.

Getting there

By RER B La Plaine Stade de France puis bus 153 : Proudhon ou 239 : Modes et médias
By Métro, ligne 12 : Front Populaire
By car : link to interactive map

Find out more

Office de tourisme de Saint-Denis Plaine Commune: www.saint-denis-tourisme.com

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