Exploring Paris by Double-Decker Omnibus

[Photo Credit: Photoglob Co., Paris. Avenue des Champs Elysées, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-52503]

A few childhood friends visited Julia in Paris, providing her with a welcome opportunity to explore the city. On one occasion the girls rode atop the open deck of a horse-drawn omnibus, enjoying the evening views, as Julia wrote to her cousin Lucy LeBrun in July 1896: “I’ve thought of you on the few nights we have been out on the omnibus’s top – Once this week with the San Francisco girls . . . over to the Arc de l’Étoile.” The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (the Triumphal Arch of the Star) is a war memorial designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806. Located at the western edge of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (which is illustrated here), it forms the junction of twelve broad boulevards that radiate—starlike—through the city.

[Julia Morgan Papers, Special Collections, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2-D-17-10.]