The Monoprix with a mass grave underneath isn't the only former Félix Potin store layered with history. This building at 140 rue de Rennes is another example:
It might register as just another Zara chain store as you walk by. Or you might raise your eyes a tad above the Zara sign and spy a little flowery detail and take a second look. Then you would notice the older signage:
I have a font fetish and am always on the lookout for interesting typography. The Art Nouveau lettering "Patisserie" demanded a closer examination of the building.
You can't see it in the photos, but there is a sign at the very top, under the netting, that says "Félix Potin". This store was an early 'Grand Surface' or Hypermarché establishment. Its interior was a confection of Art Nouveau details.
After the Potin period, the building faded in status and Tati, a cheap discount store, opened there. In 1986, it became a site of tragedy. If you examine the building closely, you'll find another sign:
You might not remember the Paris terrorist attacks of this period. Eight people died during an attack at Orly airport in 1978. Four people died when a Paris synagogue was bombed in 1980. Carlos the Jackal devised an attack on a train going between Toulouse and Paris that killed 5 and wounded 77 people. 1982 saw the famous grenade attack on the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in the Marais which killed 6 people. Another Orly airport attack in 1983 killed 8.
On September 17, 1986 the rue de Rennes Potin/Tati building was attacked. It was a wednesday afternoon when children in France are out of school. The Tati store was crowded with women and children when a bomb went off, killing 7 people and wounding 55.
The plaque was affixed in 1989 to commemorate this attack, a reminder that the Charlie Hebdo shooting was not the first modern terrorist attack on Paris. And a reminder of the many layers of history in Paris buildings.