Montparnasse is centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse, the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail. Chagall, Modigliani, Miro, Kandinsky, Picasso, Stravinsky, Hemingway, Henry Miller and Cocteau as well as political exiles such as Lenin and Trotsky all hung out here at various times. Montpamasse remained an artistic center until the mid-1930s. Since the construction of the massive new Gare Montparnasse as well as the addition of many fashionable cafes, bars, restaurants and cinemas.
However, the area remains picturesque because of its lively atmosphere at night and of the monumental Montparnasse Tower, built in the 60s. It started as a redevelopment scheme of the Montparnasse and Maine railway stations in 1958 and had strong support from the new government. The tower itself was built between 1969 and 1973. During construction, the tower was very popular as it became a symbol of the new modern Paris. This changed however when the 210 meters tall Tour Montparnasse was completed. The 58 floors of the tower are mainly occupied by offices, while two floors are open to the public for viewing the city; the 56th floor with a restaurant, and the terrace on the top floor.
Its simple architecture, gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticised for being out of place in Paris urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned.