impressive: the use of reinforced concrete allowed features hitherto unequaled. The
facades and interior were fully Art Deco (including the lobby, the imposing staircase of
white marble, the huge stained glass windows, the precious woods and crystal
chandeliers). The south facade was decorated with female figures and sea horses
sculpted by Anthony Sartorio .
In the evening, floodlights lit the facade, giving the casino "the appearance of a palace
out of a Thousand and One Nights." Two openings of the palace were held: on the 10
January 1929 with the opening of the theater and restaurant, then a second, two weeks
later, with the opening of the boule and baccarat rooms . Both openings were saluted by
the press as the major event of the tourist season .
The building was modernized in 1934, and lost its Art Deco areas after the Second
World War. Following risky management, financial difficulties, and the Le Roux case,
the management company went into liquidation in 1978. The hotel was later bought by
investors who wanted to tear it down. In 1981, the decor and furnishings of the palace
are auctioned along with its famous stained glass windows. With the exception of two
of its facades, the casino was completely demolished in May 1990. Sensitive to the
opinions of writers Michel Butor and Max Gallo, and supported by various advocacy
groups, Minister of Culture Jack Lang decided to classify the Art Deco facade as a
heritage site. In 2001, the Palais de la Méditerranée hotel company and the Societe du
Louvre invested 120 million euros for its reconstruction, on the recommendation of
businessman Jean-Frantz Taittinger. At the end of 2002, the Partouche Group took over
the management of the Palace casino.
In 2004, for its reopening, the Palais de la Méditerranée joined the group Concorde
When I started my search, I thought the US flag might mean it was a US consulate or
embassy. But no such thing existed in Nice until years after the war. The US
Consulate was in Marseille(s). The consulate in Marseille brought me to Hiram
Bingham IV, son of the Hiram Bingham in Quiz #315. Varian Fry, an American
journalist living in France, was mad that the US Consulate General wasn't doing what it
could to help people fleeing from the Nazis. But Vice Consul Hiram IV stepped up to
the plate. Like Raoul Wallenberg, he issued false papers (visas and passports) to Jews
and others. He even sheltered some of them in his home.
Given the themes of quizzes 368-370, I wonder if I'm even close to correct in my
answer to this week's quiz. Carol Farrant
N.B. Actually you did great. This is exactly right. And you were the first in with an
answer right or wrong. I'll forward you John Robert s' solution rather than try to
rewrite it. You'll like it. - Q. Gen.
I read John’s solution. It’s funny to see someone else going through the exact same
process…or, great minds think alike. I took my virtual stroll up and down the street
and it brought back nice vacation memories. Where the street changes its name is one
of the merry-go-rounds that I Iove. There was one in every French town we stopped
in. Carol Farrant
The photo is of a Staff Sargeant, no unit insignia on balcony of older building facing a
palm lined boulevard. There a is point of land in background with two streets distinctly
outlined. He had obtained a courtesy pass to United States Riviera Recreational Area in
Nice, France and was at Continental Hotel on June 19, 1945. This was one of several
hotels available to servicemen for R & R, before they were shipped home at the end of
the WWII in Europe.
The present day Hotel Intercontinenal Carlton, Cannes, France is at 58 Boulevard de la
Croisette - Cannes, France 06414. It was built as 343 room luxury hotel in 1911 and
has been the venue for various laisons and delicte' affairs including the famous Cannes
Film Festival. By googling location on maps, I was able to come up with both satellite
and street views which match the photo taken in 1945.
Rooms at this hotel are available for $162 US a night.
BTW: It is easy for an inept postal clerk to confuse US and foreign destinations by
sorting by zipcode alone and by not paying attention to the full address. The 06414
zipcode for Cannes, France is also the same zipcode for Cobalt, Connecticut 06414
N.B. Let's be glad they didn't confuse the postal codes and send all those Cannes
Film people to Connecticut instead. Keep in mind the picture was taken in Nice.
- Q. Gen.
Hi: got lucky by googling: Nice France June, 1945 - I found image of American Red
Cross Casino Club, aka Le Palis de la Mediterranee or Casino Palais Mediterrannee on
passion former days: wartime amour link. It appears to match building features in
contest photo as well as proximity to beach and the 40 to 45 degree angle to point of
land in right background; in Nice France as also seen today on maps and street view
features of google maps. The other link gives an account of travel to Nice France by a
GI after Armistice Day. The casino/ hotel provided the American Red Cross the facility
for use during June, 1945.`
The wartime amour photo gallery appears to be a photo shoot. Looks like this GI got
Basically, EMs and officers of US Army were given "a week off from the Army" and
went to Nice=France courtesy of the US Special Services of USA. There was no
saluting of officers and the only restriction was a 2 am curfew. The officers went to
Cannes and the ems went to Nice on the French Riviera and were given a U.S.R.R A.
courtesy pass and a guide.
Our subject Arthur Stewarts is on balcony by American flag with ods and no tie. The
rank is that of a staff sergeant; his unit patch is not visible. L'amour,
The building is the Casino Palais del le Mediterranee, which was built in 1929. If this
isn't correct I've wasted two hours of my determined life, if correct WOOOHOOO (it
was worth it.) Mary Osmar
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|Click here to see results of
5th occasional photoquiz survey.
|Click here to see results of
10th occasional photoquiz survey.
|Answer to Quiz #372 - October 21, 2012
|This is a photograph of John Roberts' Uncle Arthur Stewarts,
taken in Nice, France on June 19, 1945.
1. What is the building where he is standing?
2. What is the name of the street below?
3. Who built the place and for what purpose?
|Submitted by John Roberts, Founder of the History Posse.
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Carol Farrant Judy Pfaff
Collier Smith Mike Dalton
Stephen P. Hall Marcelle Comeau
Arthur Hartwell Diane Legere
John Pero Dennis Brann
Mary Osmar Diane Legere
Christine Walker Terry Hollenstain
WOW! Just WOW!
WOW, WOW, WOW!
The link to the photo
explains why he was
there. That is the same
|Soldiering for Freedom: A GI's Account
of World War II by Herman J. Obermayer
This listing is for a very interesting piece from WWII titled
WELCOME TO THE RIVIERA - BIENVENUE SUR LA
COTE D' AZURE - INSTRUCTION BOOK AND GUIDE
TO THE UNITED STATES RIVIERA RECREATIONAL
AREA - NICE.
This booklet measure approximately 4" x 6" and has 24
pages and a fold out map. It is in good condition showing
some signs of use.
I believe that this item is from 1945
This is a very interesting item that is perhaps best
described in the following article from the June 18, 1945
issue of "TIME MAGAZINE"
"The war-deadened French Riviera, pre-war Europe's
smartest playspot for the international set, has come back
to life as the "United States Riviera Rest Area" for
war-weary U.S. soldiers. The Sixth Army Group started
the revival last October. By last week, 6,000 G.I.s a week
were flocking into 42 luxury hotels near the sunny sands at
Nice. Shortening U.S.R.R.A. to "Heaven," they pronounced
it the best thing the U.S. Army ever did.
They found clean clothes, clean sheets on real beds, the
best French service, chamber music at lunch, tea dances,
swing bands at dinner, concerts, movies, Cokes, local gin
and beer. Signs grinned: '"No Saluting." For nothing or for
a few francs, they could hire bicycles, sunbathe, play at
the Lawn Tennis Club, take American Express tours in the
big rolltop busses. There were canoes, pedallo boats and
sloops with which to negotiate the blue Mediterranean.
Most incredible of all: if any of them got taken drunk,
gentle MPs put them gently to bed.
Having Wonderful Time. A typical G.I. evening on the
Riviera runs as follows: dinner at 7, movie at 8, then to the
Angleterre's Air Forces nightclub, where G.I.s jitterbug,
watch a floor show which includes jugglers, acrobats, tap
Nice is strictly for G.I.s. Visiting brass hats were warned they might get informal
treatment. General "Hap" Arnold, boss of the Air Forces, got it. Inspecting the town
after recuperating from an attack of pneumonia, he walked past a happy G.I. Said the
soldier, sticking out a friendly hand: "Name's Brown." Said the General, extending his
own: "Mine's Arnold."
At Nice there are but three taboos: no swimming (the Germans broke the sewer
conduits running into the sea); 2) no civilian guests above the first floor; 3) no visits to
Monte Carlo. The only rule: curfew at 1 a.m.
Set up by Colonel Thomas F. Gunn, the Army's rest area expert, the G.I. Heaven is
staffed with officers ready to do anything to make the soldier happy: they have even
arranged weddings. G.I.s are charged a nominal 100 francs ($2) on arrival. Outside U.S.
R.R.A. a black-market dinner might cost 1,500 francs; but on Heaven's reservation, the
customers get a millionaire's vacation for peanuts."
Information included in this booklet:
Welcome to the Riviera
•Things you Should Know
•Places to Go and Things to Do
|How Collier Wrestled the Puzzle to the Ground
|Using Google Maps was the key for me.
I looked for a multistory building of pre-WWII vintage, fronting the
bay in Nice, with a suitable view of the two headlands in the distance.
Then I used Street View to find an old building with curved balconies
or cornices, and ironwork, hoping such features would be preserved
The Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais on the Baie des
Anges in Nice, France satisfies these criteria. On the corner of the
Rue de Rivoli, it was named after Henri Negresco (1868-1920) who
had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. In keeping with the
conventions of the times, when the Negresco first opened in 1913 its
front opened facing the Mediterranean sea. [Much more info at
It is possible there are other similar buildings along this street, but this
seems to fit, given the curve of the shore, the traffice islands in the
You have the right neighborhood but the wrong building. I am going
to have to study the fine details to tell you the difference. However,
one clue that went unnoticed by John Roberts until now is the
American flag. It was there for a reason. If you can figure out why,
you will get the correct location.
Mr. Smith is definitely using the right methods, and he's in the right
neighborhood and street. I found some columns on the south face of
the Hotel Negresco, but was unable to determine if they were fluted.
The iron railings have straight, flat tops on them; quite unlike the
curve-topped railings in the photo. Another point is the man on the
sidewalk, leaning against the railing of a staircase descending to
sub-street level. There is no such descending staircase in front of the
Hotel Negresco, but there is, in front of the Palais de la Mediterranee.
Presence/absence of flags is transient and misleading.
I did notice the flag, and thought it might be a signal that the building
was an official US military site of some kind, so I was alert for any
mention in the history of the Negresco Hotel that it was used for that
purpose. Though the article I found didn't mention it, I didn't
disqualify it for a candidate.
Going back to look again, I finally found an old fuzzy map of the US
Riviera Recreational Area (Nice) [zoom in on the page scan of this
brochure:[tiny.cc/t8inmw] that appears to indicate the Casino Palais
Med. was used as an official facility of some kind, and is the only
large building along that street that is shown on the map as a US
facility. The Casino (in today's Street View) seems to show some
curved balconies and fluted columns like your photo shows. So I
revise my guess to be this building (Casino Palais Méditerranée, Nice,
France) on the Promenade des Anglais.
The casino project was organized by Frank Jay Gould and Joseph
Aletti Edouard Baudoin who had the desire to build the most beautiful
casino in the world. After a competition, its construction was
entrusted to architects Dalmas Pere et Fil. [tiny.cc/9bjnmw]
Thanks for the hint.
|Comments from Our Readers
The Palais de la Mediterranee is a luxury resort located on the numbers 13 and 15 of the
Promenade des Anglais in Nice . It is owned by investors from Qatar .
Palais de le Mediterranee is at present one of the several luxury accommodation
solutions one can spot in Nice. Located on Promenade des Anglais, this 5-star hotel (a
rating it was granted in 2009) is managed by the Concorde Hotels chain, but the history
of the building goes all the way to the late 1920s.
At its opening in 1929, the hotel was one of the highlights of the tourist season,
offering, besides hotel accommodations, a casino and a bar. Architecturally speaking, it
stood out as an exquisite embodiment of the Art Deco style, the guidelines of which
were observed in designing and decorating both the outside facades and the interior of
the hotel. Unfortunately, none of the original elements remain, since the modernization
carried out in 1934 and the period of administrative dereliction between 1978 and the
early 2000s have either modified them or have led to their loss or degradation.
After the Great War, when the wealthy began to search for a place to winter, hotels in
the countryside were falling into disuse in favor of the new palaces located along the
sea coast. The most popular were seaside resorts and gambling casinos. During the
Roaring Twenties, Nice already had two major recreational facilities: the Promenade
Pier and Casino Municipal. In 1920, developers decided that a third "festival palace"
was needed to build customer loyalty. The project took shape thanks to financier Frank
Jay Gould, and under the direction of the hotelier Joseph Aletti and casino operator
Edouard Baudoin, who wanted to build the most beautiful casino in the world. After a
|The Sixteenth Armadillo
VOL. I. No. 2 PILSEN, CZECHOSLOVAKIA FRIDAY,
JUNE 15, 1945 www.lonesentry.com/newspapers/16th-armored/index.html
Sergeant Wins Riviera Furlough For Naming Division Newspaper
Baseball Pitcher Is Very Surprised When Told Of Selection
"Well, I'll be damned", was the exclamation made by Sgt. Orville
Williams, D Co, 16th Tank Battalion, when he was informed that he
was the winner of the contest to name the Division newspaper
entitling him to a 7-day vacation at the Riviera.
Sgt. Williams, who is 26 years old, hails from Portland, Oregon
where he pitched for the Portland Beavers in the Pacific Coast League
during 1938, 1939 and 1940. At present he is on special duty with the
Division baseball team trying out for a berth on the pitching staff.
For two years prior to his induction into the army in 1942 he was
employed at the Oregon Shipyards in Portland, operated by Henry
Kaiser. From 1942 until December 1944 he served as a draftsman in
the Air Corps at which time he was transferred to the infantry. Sent
overseas on April 1 this year as a replacement, Williams joined the
Division at Mainz. His job in the 16th Tank has been that of loader on
a light tank. He was stationed at Foster and Randolph fields while
with the Air Corps.
When asked why he had suggested the name Armadillo for the paper,
Sgt. Williams said he had seen a lot of the little animals by that name
while he was stationed in Texas and that they always reminded him
of miniature tanks with their covering of "armor". Because of that
resemblance he felt that the name Armadillo would be very
representative for an Armored Division newspaper.
The judges who selected the name took into consideration the fact
that the name is representative and at the same time is not a name
used by some other publication. While all of the suggestions received
were good quite a number were names that are being used by other
newspapers and magazines.
Sgt. Williams is postponing his trip to the Riviera until he learns
whether or not he has succeeded in becoming a member of the
Division baseball team.
|The Passion of Former Days
20 July 2011
We've seen the wartime romances of
American soldiers and British girls during
World War Two; rest assured, the UK was not
the only place where an American could pick
up a local girl, or a local girl could pick up an
American soldier (seems mostly win-win, to
me). Here we have a series of photographs
following an American GI and French girl
falling in love (or, whatever) in Nice, France,
|Palais de le Mediterranee|
|13, Promenade des Anglais, 06000, Nice, France|
competition, its construction
was entrusted to architects
Dalmas & Son.
The project was extensive,
requiring thirty million francs for
construction and development.
Between 1927 to 1928 it
provided employment for 350
The design used was
reminiscent of the facade of the
Paris Opera. The result was
Hotels & Resorts. The management of the
hotel casino was conferred to the
Partouche Group. Nowadays it is a luxury
resort with restaurants, a solarium, a
swimming pool and panoramic views as
well as a casino. It also has an auditorium.
In 2012, it was transferred, in addition to
the Martinez in Cannes, the Hotel du
Louvre and the Concorde Lafayette, to
investors from Qatar.
Its main facade on the Promenade des
Anglais and the back facade facing the Rue de Congress were named historical
monuments on 18 August 1989 .
The hotel has 188 rooms and suites decorated by Sybille de Margerie. There is also a
Mediterranean restaurant, Le Padouk, a bar with Indian decor, the Pingala, as well as
and indoor-outdoor heated pool. The hotel has 1700 square meters of reception area,
divided into sixteen meeting rooms.
The hotel has officially received its fifth star September 30, 2009.
1. Palais de la Mediterrannee Hotel or the Red Cross Casino and Club
2. Promenade des Anglais
3. Frank Jay Gould and Joseph Aletti Edouard Baudoin.
They wanted to build the most beautiful casino in the world.
going to keep all the originals that feature my ancestors and distribute the rest to the
various branches of the family.
One such photograph shows my uncle, Arthur Stewarts, of Duryea, Pennsylvania. He
was on some sort of balcony wearing his army uniform and looking out over some
beach. We always assumed the photo was taken in Florida because of the palm trees
visible in the divided street below. Once we removed it from the album, we were able
to read what was written on the back. "Taken at the French Riviera, 'Nice, France,
June 19, 1945'" www.flickr.com/photos/26625162@N05/7982964329/
That was quite a surprise. The date was about a month after VE day. I cleaned the
photograph, scanned it and posted it to our Flickr site with a little write-up. Susie
wasn't quite finished with it though. She decided to figure out where in Nice, France
the photo was taken. We usually work together on such research, but we've been apart
while I've been caring for my father. She was taken with the idea that the photo site
might be the Excelsior Hotel and asked my opinion.
This made me really look hard at the photograph for the first time. Uncle Art appeared
I've recently acquired my grandparents'
photo album. I've had some fun trying to
identify everyone and date the photos.
I've also learned a lot about my
grandmother's teen years. The photo
album is made of acidic paper and is
falling to tatters. I'm removing the
photos, carefully cleaning them, scanning
them and storing them safely. We're
to be on some sort of balcony. In the
distance, a low hill tapered down to the
sea. In front of the balcony was a
divided street with the beach and ocean
beyond. The center median was dotted
with palm trees. On the sidewalk below,
In the distance, a low hill tapered down
to the sea.
a man leaned against the railing of a descending stairway to sub-street level.
Immediately behind my uncle was a white fluted column. The thick ironwork of the
balcony's railing was topped with looping arches. A distant building was visible
between the flagpole and the column.
I began my research with a satelite view of Nice, France from Google maps. Nice was
on the coast of the gentle curve of an inland northward
bulge of the sea. To the East, a spit of land jutted South
showing an elevated area labeled Mont Boron. I speculated
that this was the low hill in the photo's background.
Zooming in on Nice, I easily found the divided street with
its palm-planted median, that hugged the beachfront. To
the East, it was labeled Quai des Etats Unis, but further
west it was labeled Promenade des Anglais.
Switching to street view, I found an ideal candidate
building for the balcony photograph. It's the facade of the
Palais de la Mediterranee. www.google.com/search...
I say the facade, because the original building was torn
down in 1978. The beautiful facade was considered an
artwork worth saving,and is now the front of a new
Hotel-Casino. The descending staircase along the sidewalk
is still there, but it's surrounded by glass instead of a
railing. The white, fluted columns and intricately scrolled
railings of the balcony also still exist. It doesn't appear that
the balconies on either end are accessible anymore. It's as
though my Uncle Art's photo site has been enshrined. We
had fun finding the site so we thought your photo contest
detectives might as well.
Here's an image of one of the balconies inhabited by a
whimsical prop. www.panoramio.com/m/photo/39311462
Note that the balcony railings have a shield-shaped design
at either end. The shield is further divided into three areas
by a rounded-top, T-shaped, piece of ironwork. Just such
a shield is visible behind my Uncle Art's right hand (zoom
in). The shields are flanked by curly-Q's, one of which is
visible in the contest photo.
Here's another view that must have been taken facing East.
www.fivestaralliance.com/. Note the view through the
Here's a bit about the history of the place.
On the sidewalk below,
a man leaned against
the railing of a
descending stairway to
the sub-street level.
uncle was a
The thick ironwork of
the balcony's railing
was topped with looping
Uncle Art was a medic and served during the Battle of the Bulge. According to one
family story, he was a source of disagreement between the two enemy soldiers who
captured him. One of them insisted on shooting him!
|Two views of the facade of the Palais de la Mediterrannee
found on Google Images through the links above.
|Judy Pfaff Noticed One Important Clue that John Missed
|Book: Soldiering for Freedom: A GI's
Account of World War II by Herman J.
Obermayer, page 189 tells about the
premiere prewar casino, the Palais de la
Meditgerranee, the Red Cross operated a
snack bar, library, pool, and ping-pong
room, a movie theater and a pro station.
It has been rebuilt and is a first class hotel
and casino. Judy Pfaff
building, and the only one I've seen with
flags and people on the balconies --and
A tip of the hat, a gold star, and boundless
kudos to Judy. J.R.
I'm basking in my success. Thank you.
|These results are wonderful. My cousin will be thrilled with the
information your subscribers have found. This contest has far
exceeded my expectations.
This week's photo-submitter
|The Passion of Former Days
The placement of the flag,
along with the date, June
1945, reveals which balcony
Uncle Art was standing on
when his photo was taken. I'd
place him on the balcony just
to the left of the balcony with
the flag on it. What do you
|How John Solved the Puzzle
|With the American flag in the background my first assumption was
that possibly this was a military headquarters but other than some
references to R&R furloughs and even some posted letters from Nice
describing waiting in line for rooms there was no indication I could
yet find of where any HQ might have been. So I moved on to
looking at a Google map of Nice, both in street and birds-eye views
as best as is online. “Hotels in Nice” gave me several options to look
at up and down the small coast.
The street name came easy at that point and was backed up by other
references to it as the main seaside boulevard. Key visual clues were
the “Juliet” balcony, the fluted pillar and other building details such as
the rounded balconies in the near background and more importantly
what appears to be a more open area immediately behind this hotel
leading me to look for such an open area on the map. Looking at a
period map may have helped cement my hunches but having a
potential candidate then for hotel I continued by searching the history
of the hotel.
Since most of what comes up in a search is most recent I did
discover that the “New” rebuilt hotel on this spot only contains the
façade facing the water where Art is situated. It almost was
completely demolished after being abandoned for quite some time.
So it took a couple pages deeper in digging to find the actual builder
from the ‘20s and not the architects of the restoration but there it
was. Built by Frank Jay Gould as a casino foremost.