Tenement Pinkus

1-3 Koshchushki Blvd.

General

Mieczyław Pinkus (1852–1940) - merchant, industrialist and social activist, who moved to Lodz around 1878. He made a fortune brokering Russian cotton, later multiplying his estate by marriage.  For 12 years, starting in 1888, he worked in textile industry and even after withdrawing from it, he remained an active entrepreneur. He was a member of economic and real estate owners’ organizations (among others: Stock Exchange Committee, Credit Association, and Office of the Senior Merchants Assembly). He was a member of the Synagogue Supervisory Board and authorities of the Religious Jewish Community, as well as Commissions for Construction of Jewish Hospitals – Children’s and Psychiatric. As a candidate of the Assimilators’ Movement he was elected to the City Council (1917). He was a well-known art collector, supporting also Jewish artists, including S. Hirszenberg and L. Pilichowski [1]. In 1939, he was forced by the Germans to vacate his grand house, located at Spacerowa Street. He moved to Warsaw, where he died in 1940.

Dawid Lande (1868–1928) - Lodz architect. In 1891, graduated from the Institute of Civil Engineers in Saint-Petersburg; moved to Lodz in 1893, where he carried out very diverse activity, quickly gaining recognition and becoming a leading architect of the city, winning many awards and prizes, also in nonlocal competitions. Completed nearly 200 projects, mainly of grand, richly decorated private and public buildings. Next to above mentioned, Pinkus Building, he also designed the State Bank and Rosenblum Buildings, located on former Spacerowa Street. His style dominated historical forms; however he also designed buildings in Art Nouveau style, especially in Warsaw. Due to his achievements he should be recognized as the main architect of Lodz in the turn of the 19th and 20th century.  In the 1920s, he was greatly respected as the doyen of Lodz architecture [2].

History

The history of a corner building on Kościuszko Avenue (former Spacerowa and Zielona) starts in 1894, when the owner, together with an architect – Dawid Lande – filed and application, to the General Governorate in Piotrkow for the construction permit, including the plan of a corner building [3].

The building was ready only after two years. In 1896, Pinkus applied for another permit, this time for the 4 story apartment building to be located on Zielona Street, on the empty lot of land separating two existing houses [4]. Thus in the years 1894-1896 the tallest, at the time, apartment building was constructed. The representative corner building, most impressive part of the complex, housed private apartments, offices and shops. The neo-baroque facade had high “French” roofs. The corner was accentuated with the vertical element in the shape of an octagonal dome [5].

The owner of the building occupied the front apartment on the first floor. Opposite to the house stood the non-existent today synagogue. Many industrialists with families were living in the building. At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, the building was a place for social gatherings of famous artists, writers and journalists, among the guests were Birnabaum, Halpern, Jaracz, Osterwa and Zalwerowicz. Renowned painters, Samuel Hirszenberg and his brother Leon, lived and worked on the top floor [6].

During the II World War, Germans evicted the rightful owner and took over the building, locating in it Military Headquarters of General von Blaskowizt and Municipal Offices, adapting it and therefore transforming the interiors to suit new occupants.

Right after the war, between 1945 and 1949, the building was returned to Pinkus’s heirs. In 1953, however, they were illegally expropriated and the ownership was transferred to the State Treasury.

In the following years the building housed Municipal Departments for Śródmieście and Polesie Districts. In that period the condition of the house deteriorated due to lack of sufficient maintenance, the interior was yet again adapted for office space and only basic repairs were done. In that period a big part of the decor was also destroyed.

In 1993 Pinkus’s heirs regained the ownership of the building.

Portal Polska Niezwykła (Remarkable Poland Portal) informs that there are 500 rooms in the building [7]. Unfortunately most of them is in a poor condition and requires renovation.

Events

The chance for the renovation of the building may be a planned construction of a tunnel, connecting Lodz Fabryczna Train Station with Lodz Kaliska Train Station. City residents, interested in its transportation, point out the necessity to build a train station - under the Kościuszko Avenue and Zielona Street intersection - which would create an interchange for the North-South Tramway [8]. In such case, there is a chance that the area would attract investors interested in the renovation of the Pincus Building and its interiors would again be full of life.

Today (29.12.1989 Onwards)

The chance for the renovation of the building may be a planned construction of a tunnel, connecting Lodz Fabryczna Train Station with Lodz Kaliska Train Station. City residents, interested in its transportation, point out the necessity to build a train station - under the Kościuszko Avenue and Zielona Street intersection - which would create an interchange for the North-South Tramway [8]. In such case, there is a chance that the area would attract investors interested in the renovation of the Pincus Building and its interiors would again be full of life.

Links

[1]   http://www.jhi.pl/psj/Pinkus_Mieczyslaw_(Mendel)

[2]   When creating a biographical note the following book was used: „Ludzie którzy zbudowali Łódź – Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta”, Lodz 2009, Krzysztof Stefański p. 99-102

[3]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 3845

[4]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 5536

[5]   „Atlas Architektury Dawnej Łodzi do 1939 r.”, Krzysztof Stefański, Archidiecezjalne Wydawnictwo Łódzkie, Lodz 2008, p. 52

[6]   Spacerownik. Łódź żydowska, ed. J.Podolska, Lodz   2009.

[7]  http://www.polskaniezwykla.pl/web/place/18857,lodz-kamienica-mieczyslawa-pinkusa-i-
       jakuba-lendego.html

[8]  http://www.rynekkolejowy.pl/57949/lodz_centrum_czy_powstanie_stacja_pod_
       al_kosciuszki.htm

Notes

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Stamp Information

Country Polska Polska
City Lodz Lodz
Address 1-3 Koshchushki Blvd.
Street Name Changes [1925 1939] Nowo Spacerowa, [1939 - 1945] HermannGöringStrasse, [1945 - ] al. Kościuszki
District City Center (Downtown)
Monument Register Number A/17
Architectural Style Classic
Architect(s) David Lande
Number of Floors 5
Construction Start 1894
Construction Completion 1896
Planned Use Residential Building with Commercial Units
First Owner Mieczyslaw Pinkus and Jacob Lende
Successive Owner(s) The Supreme Court and Court of Appeal PRL, the National Treasury
Noticeable Tenants Samuel Hirshenberg and his brother Leon, Musicians: Birnbaum, Halpern, Writers headed with Jaracz, Osterwa, Zalwerowicz


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