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The Building at 27 Piotrkowska St.

27 Piotrkowska St.

General

27 Piotrkowska is a corner building, located on the north-west corner of Piotrkowska Street and Więckowskiego Street intersection.

It is neoclassical two-story building, with two turrets windows on both sides of it. The building has a gable roof with four dormer windows.

 

History

Originally, until 1850, the property books show, under record number 199 that on this plot, stood a wooden house front thatched Cottage, built by the weaver Ferdinand Lik in 1827.

In the 40s of the nineteenth century, the miller William Maischatz become the owner of the property. In her book “Piotrkowska Street”, Anna Rynkowska writes that Maischatz was quickly Polonized and changed his surname to Majszac. In 1920, Real Estate Registry the names of  Wilhem Maischat successive heirs are listed as the property owners in the following years after his death  [1]. 

Plans for the construction of two outhouses can be found in the record [2] of the Lodz State Archives. Those constructions were erected in 1896, when the front buildings already existed. 

Hence the front buildings must have been built in the time before 1896. 

Franciszek Chełmiński (born 1862 in Augustów) is an architect signed on the outhouses construction plans. As the City Architect, he signed plans for over 100 buildings, however it’s hard to say, which of them he actually designed. He held the position of the City Architect since the death of Hilary Majewski (his father in law), ie 1892 until 1911. His work as city architect fell on the period of greatest prosperity of Lodz - the turn of nineteenth and twentieth centuries [3].

Thanks to the authors of piotrkowska-nr.pl portal, who researched pre-war press, we can now learn about the shops and services that were located in the building. It is a long and diversified list: [4]

  • Moses Perzik, Mercer Goods Store
  • Simon Cohn, Store of the Borst’s Cloth and Wool Factory JSC, from Zgierz
  • Gliński, Sale of shoe polish, ink, and paste for shoes and horse hooves.
  • Bielin, Watches and Jewelry Shop
  • Działowski, Sheet Glass Shop
  • D. Friede, Leather Gloves Factory
  • Tykocki, Tobacco Store
  • Kassir, Ostrich Feathers and Flowers Factory
  • Strakun, Bookstore, Reading Room and Printing House
  • A. Nasielski, Paper and Stationery Warehouse
  • Herman Schütz, Brooms and Brushes Shop
  • Pines and Ch. Szereszewski, Silk, Satin, Velvet and Plush Store - S. Kryńska Sewing Courses
  • Joskowicz, Engravings and Stamps

The building witnessed not only the vast variety of economic activities but also had its own and unique cultural life. 27th Piotrkowska was the address where the famous Astoria was situated. It was a coffeehouse established like those Paris ones, where the local bohemia gathered. In interwar period Astoria hosted crème de la crème of the Lodz Jewish artists. Writers, painters, musicians and sculptor went there after theatrical premiers to discuss on art [5].

It should be added that not everyone found Astoria as one of the sources of local higher culture.  Józef Mackiewicz, after a very short visit at Astoria, wrote in his article published in Vilnius conserwative newspaper “Word” (“Słowo”): “And here we have also Łódź. Cut in half by a big incredibly din ribbon, named Piotrkowska Street. Łódź Astoria is a coffeehouse where the floor is covered with sawdust like in a properly run pigsty, and the top is covered with a layer of mud and lessee’s cigarette butts. It was a place where I was noticed immediately, spontaneously taking off my wet hat. There was not one free table so I could leave without regret. All tables were occupied by people not even bothering taking off their wet hats. They all wobbled like they were praying, gesturing feverishly with their grabbing hands of Jewish speculators” [6].

Events

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Today (29.12.1989 Onwards)

A memorial plaque, commemorating Więckowski, after whom the street was named, was placed on the building from the Więckowski Street side in 1964. It states that colonel Stanisław Więckowski M.D. was meritorious social activist, politician and pedagogue. In 1937, he founded and, till 1939, presided over a Lodz Democratic Party. From 1940 till 1942, during II World War, he was a Chairman of the Underground Board of the Democratic Party in Warsaw. He died in Auschwitz on December 31, 1942. [7]

The ground floor of the building was adapted and presently houses food and general merchandise premises, the other floors are used for residential.

In recent years, Lodz City Hall commissioned renovation of the building that was carried out by company Vik-Bud.

Links

[1]   APŁ, AmŁ syg. 5493; 160 (picture of a windmill from 1856) from „Ulica Piotrkowska”, Lodz 1970, Anna Rynkowska, p. 76

[2]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 5370

[3] „Ludzie, którzy zbudowali Łódź – Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta”, Lodz 2009, Krzysztof Stefański p. 40

[4]   piotrkowska-nr.pl

[5]   Podolska J., Lodz interwar Jewish art, "Gazeta Wyborcza", Lodz, 2009, No. 188, p.5.

[6]   J. Mackiewicz, the Special report from Lodz. I wanted to see in heavy horses? (Part 1), "the word" 1937, No. 49. Quoted in. For: http://retropress.pl/slowo/co-chcialem-zobaczyc-w-miescie-ciezarowych-koni/

[7]   Text of the memorial plaque.

Notes

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Stamp Information

Country Polska Polska
City Lodz Lodz
Address 27 Piotrkowska St.
Street Name Changes [1939 - 1945] Adolf Hitler Strasse
District Downtown (City Center)
Monument Register Number Obszarowy wpis do rejestru, Pomn
Architectural Style Neoclassicism
Architect(s) Franciszek Chełmiński
Number of Floors 2
Construction Start Around 1896
Planned Use Apartments and Service Premises
First Owner Wilhelm Maischatz


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