|If there is an
exceptional component in the history of the Tony Garnier Urban Museum,
it is the key role played by the inhabitants in reasserting the value
of their living place, denigrated as a suburb for too long.
The Tony Garnier Urban Museum is the result of their fight.
Gathered since 1983 into a Tenants Committee, they asked for and
obtained the regeneration of their neighbourhood. Since the official
opening in 1934, the Tony Garnier buildings had not been renovated at
all. Walls were blackened. The absence of elevators was badly felt by
an aging population. Buildings no longer met modern convenience
standards. Tenants had been obliged to build bathrooms in their flats,
as they did not exist at the time of the construction.
During 12 years, the Tenants Committee negotiated with the buildings
public owner (OPAC du Grand Lyon), on behalf of all tenants, to defend
their interests, to obtain improvements in the rehabilitation programme
launched in 1985, to monitor the quality of the rehabilitation works
carried out. Its representatives participated in every weekly worksite
meeting, becoming real experts in rehabilitation as well as outstanding
The idea of creating the Tony Garnier Urban Museum came from their
encounter with “Cité de la Création” in 1988. The
inhabitants were passionate supporters of the idea, lobbying
politicians, the buildings' public owner (OPAC du Grand Lyon) as well
as Central and Local Government administrations concerned.
By underlining the area's heritage value, promoting the image of Tony
Garnier, and assisting in the creation of a unique cultural experiment,
they greatly contributed to raising the district's image amongst urban