06 January, 2013

Verneau, destination nowhere

A greyish and foggy Sunday will be the last day of the existence of the Verneau district, such as the Angevins knew it since the fifties' when is was necessary to rebuilt new facilities to house inhabitants whose homes were destroyed during the bombardments of the second world war. About 400 flats  in eight old buidlings of three floors each where were sheltered thousands of Angers families, then others coming from abroad when economic growth made necessary to import workforce, will disappear on Monday.

 Nobody, except maybe old people to whom that environment merge with their youth, will miss those buildings which were, year after year, attacked by the pauperization of their inhabitants and became themselves the visible symbol of the empoverishment of the district. Devised at a time of abundant and cheap energy, these buildings were, along the years, more costly to maintain. For their owner, the social housing authority Angers Loire Habitat, it was more approriate to tear them down.

The Verneau district will even be erased. Angers city council want it to be merged with the new and neighbouring Les Hauts de Saint-Aubin district and served by the new tramway. Similar schemes were implemented in other districts of Angers like La Roseraie, Grand Pigeon, Belle-Beille and, recently, Monplaisir. Verneau will be soon nothing more than a souvenir.

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