Change comes to the Hôtel Lambert.

What’s next for Paris’s legendary Hôtel Lambert? Many are fearing the worst. In 2007, when Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani bought the 17th-century mansion (designed by Versailles architect Le Vau) from the Rothschild family and began planning a massive renovation, locals worried the results might not be to everyone’s taste. Now an outcry has erupted after word leaked that the sheikh had requested permits for an underground parking lot and four elevators. Reps for the Qatari family, however, insist that the sheikh, a committed Francophile who is working with renowned decorator Alberto Pinto, has no intention of destroying a historic gem. “The building is in poor condition—it needs the work,” says family attorney Eric Ginter. “But in no way is it going to be Disneyland.”