In Notre-Dame du Raincy and the Great War, Etien Santiago explores how the 1923 church of Notre-Dame du Raincy, designed by Auguste and Gustave Perret, resonated with other French buildings erected during or soon after World War I. Officially designated a monument to a significant battle and the soldiers who died there, the church contains only two overt commemorative symbols, both of which are relatively discreet. Yet original sources reveal that the Perrets' contemporaries saw additional allusions to the war in the building's exposed concrete and bell tower, the latter of which evoked the “lanterns of the dead” typical of contemporaneous French Great War memorials. Moreover, to build Notre-Dame du Raincy, the Perrets drew direct inspiration from utilitarian wartime constructions. Contextualizing the church amid these related structures allows us to chart some of the multiple and often contradictory ways in which French citizens and designers grappled with the war and its legacy.

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