The relationship between the United States and France is long and storied. Anyone walking through the centre of Paris will notice the myriad of streets named after Americans; from inventors to diplomats, philanthropists to politicians. However, there are also a number of Parisian streets in honour of American presidents.
Here are the 5 streets in Paris named after US Presidents.
The road dedicated to the first President of the United States is perched on the corner of the iconic Champs-Élysées. Established in 1787, the street would go later go through four name changes before being decreed Rue Washington in 1879. Over the 18th and 19th centuries Rue Washington was home to composers, artists, politicians and even the pioneer of aviation Alberto Santos-Dumont. Today, the exclusive street sits between two of France’s most famous shopping avenues, the Champs-Élysées and Boulevard Haussmann.
Alongside George Washington, Abraham Lincoln was also posthumously honoured with a street in 1879. A side road running off the Champs-Élysées, Rue Lincoln sits on land once home to Henry VI. The street is the shortest of all Parisian streets bearing a President’s name and equally as exclusive. Today, a cinema carrying the 15th President’s name sits quietly next to some of the most expensive apartments in Paris.
Once known as the Emperor’s avenue, the street, which opened in 1858, took its current name in 1918. Avenue Franklin-D.-Roosevelt stretches from Place du Trocadero, in front of the Eiffel Tower, almost 1000 metres to Place de L’Alma. While attending the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, the former avenue du Trocadéro was reopened bearing his name. Located just metres from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine, the avenue’s chic location made it a hotspot for the wealthy. A who’s who of French nobility and celebrity have lived on Avenue du President Wilson, including Albert I, Prince of Monaco, Pierre Renoir and Johnny Hallyday.
Like both Washington and Wilson streets, the road named after President Roosevelt sits Paris’ 8th arrondissement. Running right though the Champs-Élysées, the street is served by a metro station also named after the 32nd President. Once known as avenue Victor-Emmanuel III, the avenue would take its current name after President Roosevelt’s death, following World War II. Home to some of the most exclusive hotels in Paris, the avenue also houses Palais de la découverte.
The final avenue to take the name of an American President assumed its current name in 1964 following the assassination of president Kennedy the year prior. Sitting on the banks of the Seine, the avenue was originally part of the route that led directly to Versailles. A section of the land where the avenue sits was once property of another president, Benjamin Franklin, who built a home there in 1777. Franklin also has a street in his honour in the 16th arrondissement from his days as US envoy to France.
All five of the President’s streets are in the 8th or 16th arrondissements. Easily accessed by metro Lines 1 and 8, a brisk half an hour stroll from the Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel Tower will take you through all of them!