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18 October 2008 @ 09:46 am
The room in the elephant  

The Tuk Chang, in Bangkok, whose architect seemed keen to break with tradition (and most other things).
 


Charles François Ribart's 1758 proposed design for the Place Charles de Gaule, where the Arc de Triomph now stands, was rejected by the French government. Pity.

 


Fifty years later Napoleon (who appeared not to know of Ribart's design) wanted an Elephant Fountain erected where the Bastille prison had stood. It was to be cast from the melted bronze of cannon seized in his campaigns. Pierre-Charles Bridan sculpted a life-size plaster model (Hugo had Gavroche hide in it in “Les Misérables”) but due to Napoleon's decline from power the bronze was never poured. However, he stone wall that was to surround the fountain was completed and is there to this day.





 
The Elephant Hotel, built in 1885, burned down in 1896. To conduct an amorous liaison in this establishment became known as “seeing the elephant”.
It was one of three elephantine structures created by James V. Lafferty in New Jersey. They were individually commercial failures but attracted many tourists to surrounding areas.
 

 
 
The second, “The Light of Asia”, known locally as Old Jumbo, was built in 1884 and pulled down in 1900.



 

The third structure, now known as “Lucy”, was built in 1881, and is still standing thanks to the efforts of the Save Lucy Committee
For more information go to;
mmcsl.co.uk/coney/html/page009.htm



 
The above depicts an elephant banquet held in 1889 in the grounds of the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Great venue; terrible service!


A slightly seedy room could be found in this slightly seedy-looking elephant at the rear of the Moulin Rouge. One gentlemen at a time would enter the belly of the beast to glimpse a scantily clad lady dancing around. This pachydermatous peep show was dismantled in 1906. The final performance must have been quite poignant... or not.