Georges Armand Lacroix in the Cité Fleurie, watering the garden © R. Coryell
Georges Armand Lacroix, President of the Association for the preservation of the Cité Fleurie from 1970 to 1982
For those who do not know the Cité Fleurie, 65 boulevard Arago in Paris in the 13th district is a housing estate Anglo-Norman style of 29 studios Anglo-Norman style, arranged in two rows surrounded by gardens. This city of artists was built with the materials of the supply pavilions of the 1878 Paris World Fair.
At the beginning of the year 1970, Henri Cadiou and Armand Lacroix are alerted by the presence of people taking measurements in the garden and they learn that the place will be sold to a real estate developer.
They decide to create an association with the tenants of the Cité Fleurie, it will be, on February 24, 1970: « Association of Artists of 65 Boulevard Arago for the protection of the workshops and gardens » The sculptor Georges Armand Lacroix is the president, the painter Henri Cadiou the treasurer, the sculptor Marcel Chauvenet the secretary. The architect Henri Calsat is the technical advisor.
President Armand Lacroix’s studio becomes the association headquarters, where they meet, to write press releases, leaflets, petitions, letters and prepare mailings.
The fight is absorbing, and Armand Lacroix devotes most of his time to it, supported by his wife Elizabeth Lacroix. Everyday is full of surprises and actions to run. Chase away those sent to demolish, alert the police, undertake legal action, set up files, take notes, organize petitions to sign, hold open houses, write autograph dedications, contact the press, receive journalists and visitors, organize studios visits and receive groups …
The fight is relayed among the media, the Cité Fleurie becomes famous..
In 1973 Armand Lacroix organizes an auction to raise funds for the purchase of the Cité Fleurie.
Finally, the funds raised are not enough, but they will make it possible to face the various expenses of the fight for the safeguard of the Cité Fleurie.
The real estate developer proposes to give to each leader a studio in the future construction. It’s a categorical refusal, the fight will continue!
In 1973 Armand Lacroix receives the Silver Medal of the city of Paris. It rewards people who have accomplished a « remarkable act concerning the City of Paris ».
On June 1974, the president of the French Republic Giscard d’Estaing receives the representatives of the association and promises his support.
In 1976, the Cité Fleurie become listed. Armand Lacroix and the painter Henri Cadiou receive the « SOS Paris » Prize for their action to save the Cité Fleurie.
In 1978 the protection of the Cité Fleurie is canceled because of form defect.
On March 1981, Armand Lacroix meets François Mitterrand, candidate for the presidential election when he is visiting the Cité Fleurie. He promises to « save » it, if he is elected.
On February 1982, Armand Lacroix dies from cancer. On May 1982 the Cité Fleurie is saved.
On May 1982, the part of the Cité Fleurie comprising the 29 studios is bought by a Private Social Housing Company. The place is no longer threatened and the vacant studios will be attributed to artists.