NORA SENI in. IJMES International Journal of Middle East Studies, 26(1994)

‘In cities like Paris and London, in the 19th century the leading bankers not only supported the developing industrialization but also established practices that determined the nature of their charitable and philanthropic activity and their patronage of the arts. They supported scientific and archeological research as well. The recurrence of these practices over the century is increasingly recognized and would justify investigation to uncover the underlying rules that governed the activities of bankers outside the financial sphere. In other words, it would justify research in term of anthropology of bankers. One aspect that has, so far, received insufficient attention is the impact these bankers had on cities – both in their role as builders and protectors of schools and hospitals and in the imprint they made on the urban landscape. In housing for example the Stern, Heine and Weill families established foundations in Paris for the construction of HBM (Habitat bonmarché, low cost housing), and architects adopted by the great banking families, such as William Bouwens, chosen by the banker Henri Germain to build the Parisian headquarters of Credit Lyonnais, designed the great undertakings of the Parisian Belle Époque.’ 

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