Désiré Argence, the mayor of Troyes from 1859 to 1870, gave his name to the Espace Argence, a performing arts and conference centre, seating 3,000 and housing many meeting rooms.
It is located on the site of Troyes’ first train station that, from 1848 to 1857, served passengers travelling to Montereau (near Paris), a trip that took around five hours.
At the time it was called the «Embarcadère». The creation of the Paris-Mulhouse line in 1858 necessitated the construction of today’s station outside the city centre.
The beautiful brick and stone buildings then housed a lycée (secondary school) until 1979. Today, only the central block and two entry pavilions remain.
The Argence cultural centre also houses the Conservatoire, dedicated to Marcel Landowski (1915-1999), a famous pianist, composer and renowned promoter of a renewal of French musical life.
Its resolutely contemporary architecture contrasts agreeably with the rest of the building (rue de la Paix entrance).
Here we also find the Municipal Wind Band.