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15 rue de Laval (Workshop)


In April 1847, Cavaillé-Coll left the annex at 42, rue Notre -Dame de Lorette made up of sheds facing onto rue Laval and forming a quadrilateral with the "Omnibus cafés restaurants à domicile" Company buildings which had been there since 1832. Alexis Vicomte de Botherel, a banker and one of the most daring speculators of that time, had founded the company. He had twelve wagons filled with hot fine foods and twelve filled with all kinds of wine going round the streets of Paris every day. He employed three hundred masons to build, as if by magic, a magnificent mansion with fifteen kitchens, the main one measuring no less than 40 metres long by 8 metres wide. All Paris crowded to visit this gigantic establishment the like of which had never been seen before in gastronomic history. "Lost illusions"! For the adventure was to be interrupted seven years later, opening up the outbuildings on the land to speculators and to all kinds of investments. In spite of all this, Cavaillé-Coll built a great number of instruments there.

Through the intermediary of generous donors, La Société d’Encouragement pour l’Industrie Nationale (S.E.I.N) awarded several outbuildings on this property to Cavaillé-Coll after he won the Medal in march and April 1834 for his presentation of his circular saw on the recommendations of Charles Mallet and Benjamin Francoeur.

Several organs were built there, in particular the one for the Ajaccio Cathedral which was played by Louis Séjan, the organist, on January 31 1847: "This performance took place on Wednesday evening in Mr. Cavallé-Coll's workshops, on rue de Laval; the accuracy and purity of the stops of this beautiful instrument could only increase the esteem in which Mr. Cavaillé-Coll's conscientiousness and talent is held by connoisseurs. - Corsica will henceforth have an instrument whose grandiose and solemn harmonies are worthy of the memory of the great man it gave birth to, and, through the nobility of religious music, be a balm to the sense of "vendetta" that still exists in the hearts of Napoleon's compatriots, in spite of the progress in civilisation". (La Gazette Musicale, no 1, January 5 1834).

The Company's investments were decided by a 263,000-franc Bond issued to Cavaillé-Coll by Henri Place, the banker. The construction of organs for the cathedrals of Quimper, Saint-Brieuc, Saint-Paul in Nîmes, Saint-Servan, the Madeleine in Paris, and others was planned.

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Omnibus Restaurant