A few weeks ago, I had an appointment with Danièle Pourtaud, the person in charge of patrimoine (heritage) in the 14th arrondissement. Because she had never heard of Beauford, I spent a few minutes telling her about him and his life in Montparnasse. I explained that with the exception of the few years that he lived in Clamart, Montparnasse had been his home. I also told her that my first choice for the location of the plaque is on the façade of the Hôtel Lenox on rue Delambre. Formerly called Hôtel des Ecoles, it is where Beauford lived for the majority of his first three years in Paris and is only a couple of minutes walk from his favorite cafés - Le Dôme and Le Select.
Mme Pourtaud's response was quite encouraging. She told me the exact procedure to follow and said that as long as I was able to complete all the steps required, she would support my effort!
What do I, as president of Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, need to do? First, I must contact the owner of the building and obtain permission to place the plaque there. To do so, I will need to create an initial communication that is sufficiently intriguing to gain an audience, at which point I will need to present my case.
Provided that I am successful, I then need to petition the City of Paris and fill out the appropriate form, which will include providing the text that will be on the plaque. I simultaneously need to contact Mme Pourtaud to inform her of my progress.
© Discover Paris!
After gaining approval from the City of Paris, Mme Pourtaud will put me in contact with companies that manufacture plaques so that I can request cost estimates. I am free to contact other companies not on her list as well.
The next step will be to pay for the plaque. At this point, I have no idea how much this might cost. Another fundraiser may be required!
Finally, Les Amis de Beauford Delaney will arrange for the date and time for the plaque's placement on the building's façade.
If, by chance, I am not successful in convincing the owners of the Hôtel Lenox to agree to have the plaque placed on the hotel's façade, then I'll need to find another suitable place and begin the process again.
Though the course of action is straightforward, it risks being very lengthy. I will keep you posted!