PARIS — The Paris City Council rejected plans for a new skyscraper on the city's 19th-century skyline, in an exceptionally bitter vote Monday that embodies a larger debate over this city's image, and its future.
The fight isn't over yet. The mayor immediately declared the vote invalid, apparently hoping for a new round of balloting.
The vote came down to a decision over whether Paris be preserved like the masterpieces and landmarks that draw the world's tourists here, or embrace innovation and modern architecture.
The council voted 83-78 in a secret ballot against the Tour Triangle, a cone-like glassy design that would be the third-highest tower in Paris after the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse tower, often decried as a modern blight on the city's low-slung horizon.
Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo is in favor, but her environmental party allies have rejected the project.
Some conservative council members disclosed how they voted, which Hidalgo said violated the rules of a secret ballot.
"The law hasn't been applied... the vote is invalid," Hidalgo said after the chaotic vote, adding that she'll bring the matter before an administrative court.
The Swiss architectural agency Herzog and De Meuron, which designed the skyscraper, wouldn't comment on the vote.
The Tour Triangle revives the collective trauma over the controversial Montparnasse tower, still criticized as an architectural error by many Parisians more than 40 years after its construction. Many polls repeatedly showed their strong reluctance over skyscrapers in a city famous for its preserved architecture.
The Tour Triangle is designed to host offices on 42 floors near Paris' main exhibition center at Porte de Versailles on the city's southern edge.