Withering away in Paris’s shadow, a deserted burg lingers like the scent of melancholy elegance floating from a pressed flower…
Goussainville (the vieux village) is a town about 12 miles north of Paris. The small hamlet thrived for centuries, until the early 1970’s when the construction of Charles de Gaulle Airport chased many of the inhabitants away.
Then, on June 3, 1973, a Russian version of the Concorde crashed during the Paris Airshow, plowing through 15 homes and a school (fortunately closed) in Goussainville. In addition to the crew of six, eight people on the ground lost their lives. This tragedy all but signed the village’s death certificate.
In the face of the mass exodus out of the town, the courts forced airport authorities to buy up the properties, which they did, and maintain them–a task they preferred leave to time…
Continue on for my photos of the poetry and desolation that remain.
I first learned of Goussainville-vieux pays from the informative article written by Messy Nessy Chic. Her piece is very thorough, and she includes some great photographs and even a video as well! Check it out.
I also used an article that appeared on The Atlantic Cities website for research.
For those interested in the 1973 Airshow Crash, Wiki has a great reference entry about it.
All photos and text © 2013 Paris Paul Prescott
© 2013 Paris Paul Prescott