Memories of Lozère: the chaotic construction of the Mende courthouse

Memories of Lozère: the chaotic construction of the Mende courthouse

Le tribunal de Mende. DR – DR

Cette rubrique hebdomadaire est réalisée par Jean-Marie Gazagne.

The court was first installed in the former consular house of Mende. But as time passed, the place deteriorated and became unsanitary. It was in 1832 that the decision was taken to build a new building which would bring together the criminal court and administrative services.

The general council allocated 100,000 francs (220,000 euros) for this operation. It was at the entrance to the town, near the Aigues-Passes gate, that a large enclosure was chosen. The project was validated by the departmental architect, M. Boivin. But he having retired, he supervised the work from Bagnols-les-Bains.

Incidents followed one another on the construction site. Faced with this state of affairs, there was no inauguration. From 1836, before the installation of services, the building underwent major repairs.

Cracks and mold

Thus, in April, cracks appeared in the vault of the pas perdus and the ground floor was damaged by humidity. Sanitation work was carried out but it was insufficient. The hygienic conditions were deplorable and the archives were moldy on the shelves. To make things better, the public road passing in front of the building was raised and the ground floor where the registry and the parquet were located was found in the basement.

Despite this catastrophic situation, the general council refused to finance new work. It was not until 1854-1855 that redevelopments were carried out. It took the intervention of the prefect for two consecutive years and the support of political figures to unblock the situation.

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