Tenement by the Theatre

20 Więckowskiego street

General

3-storey building located on the south-east corner of the crossroads of Więckowskiego and Wólczańska Streets. First testimonies [1] about the first attempt to build on this lot of land talk about Wenzel Anderlik, applying for a construction permit for a zoo. This was in 1888, when an industrialist, Dawid Prussak, was the owner of the real estate, and Hilary Majewski (1837-1892) was the City Architect.

Hilary Majewski is the best known City Architect of Lodz. He served at this post for twenty years, from 1872 till 1892.

As in a case of every architect holding this office, it is hard to evaluate his actual achievements, since one of his responsibilities was approving the plans, supervising constructions and final approving of the buildings. City Architect signed documents on every stage of the works. Years, when Hilary Majewski was a City Architect, were the period of rapid development of Lodz, when dozens, sometimes even up to two hundred, buildings were created every year.

On most of the construction plans from this period we can see Majewski’s signature. Of course it would be hard to imagine that one architect, even the most gifted and most hardworking, could possibly design so many buildins., It is certain however he oversaw most of those projects, influencing their final shape.

Despite the fact that it is hard to assess his achievements, he undoubtedly influenced the style of the buildings he oversaw during holding the office, though loyalty to the tsarist administration isolated him from the Polish society and created antipathy of the Polish press. Today, every person visiting Lodz, through experiencing the architectural fiber of the 19th century city, concisely or not, is influenced by the decisions he made [2].

History

In 1892, Mordka Lerner wanted to build [3] and most probably did, brick 2-storey building with an annexe and single-storey service building. The project was signed by eminent architect, Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger (1862-1924).

Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger graduated from the Lodz School of Crafts (1879), and the Saint-Petersburg Institute of Civil Engineers (1879-1884). Since the the beginning of the 90th of the nineteenth century, he started to work in Lodz as an architect, designing till 1912. There is no information about the last decade of his life. Most probably he struggled with the disease and undergoing treatment in resorts abroad. However, for 22 years of his professional career in Lodz he created a huge range of buildings. The number of its implementation reaches 250. He was a leading representative of Art Nouveau architecture and synagogue. Highly regarded in the Jewish community. Landau-Gutenteger is one of the greatest Lodz architects of the turn of the 19th and 20th century. He was regarded the leading architect designing in the Secession style in Poland [4]

The building took its current form in 1895. First, in 1893, the new owner - Mojżesz Rosengard applied for the annulment [5] of plans prepared by his predecessor. Documents were signed off by an architect named Ignacy Stebelski (1863-1909). His career was similar to many Lodz architects. In 1885, he graduated the Lodz College of Crafts and later studied at the Saint-Petersburg Civil Engineers Institute, which he graduated in 1892. In the same year he started to work as an assistant of the City Architect, replacing F. Chełmiński during the period his trips. At the same time he ran his own architectural office. As in other cases of architects working in public administration, it is hard to assess his achievements, because his signatures can be found on many documents of the buildings, construction of which he supervised [6]

Then, in 1895, Mojżesz [7] applied for “an approval of the project for the construction of a brick 3-storey apartment building and adding a third floor to the 2-storey apartment building”.

The present shape of the building emerged from the project designed by Adolf Zeligson (1867 - 1919), however it needs to be emphasized that also other, mentioned above, architects took part in the creation of the final structure.

Adolf Zeligson first studied in Lodz College of Crafts and then at the Saint-Petersburg Civil Engineers Institute. He was a friend of Poznański family – studied together with Mauricio, son of Izrael Poznański. Firstly, he was overshadowed by J. Jung, an architect, whom Izrael favored, however after his death (1900) and Jung retirement (1901), it was Adolf Zeligson, who realized the most lucrative and spectacular commissions of Poznański and Siberstein families. Amongst others, he designed palaces of the Poznański family; probably he also took part in the reconstruction of the building at 15 Ogrodowa Street. He designed palaces of Maurycy and Karol Poznański, one of the most beautiful and stately buildings in Lodz, today housing public institutions. First one is a Museum of Art, located on the corner of Więckowskiego and Gdańska Streets; second one, located only 150 meters down the road from the first one, houses Music Academy. Adolf Zeligson is also an author of the reconstruction of old synagogue at Wolborska Street, designed in a Moorish style – unfortunately it was destroyed at the beginning of the II World War.

Zeligson lived in Moscow (1907-1917) for ten years, where he was considered to be one of the most important architects of the pre I World War city. He died in Warsaw. On his grave, funded by his wife and son, it is written: “Goodness, beauty and truth guided his life, noble deeds filled it” [8].

Events

Today, the Building at 20 Więckowskiego Street, looks very impressive. It stands out due to the bright orange color of the facade. The new owner from Krakow renovated it few years ago. Now the house is called “Building by the theater”, due to its proximity to Teatr Nowy (New Theater), located on the other side of the street.

Today (29.12.1989 Onwards)

Today, the Building at 20 Więckowskiego Street, looks very impressive. It stands out due to the bright orange color of the facade. The new owner from Krakow renovated it few years ago. Now the house is called “Building by the theater”, due to its proximity to Teatr Nowy (New Theater), located on the other side of the street.

Links

[1]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 672

[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. 115-118

[3]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 2471

[4] When creating a biographical note the following book was used: „Ludzie którzy zbudowali Łódź – Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta”, Lodz 2009, Krzysztof Stefański p. 94-98

[5]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 3335

[6]   When creating a biographical note the following book was used: „Ludzie którzy zbudowali Łódź – Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta”, Lodz 2009, Krzysztof Stefański p. 159-160

[7]   APŁ, RGB – WB, syg. 4948

[8]   When creating a biographical note the following book was used: „Ludzie którzy zbudowali Łódź – Leksykon architektów i budowniczych miasta”, Lodz 2009, Krzysztof Stefański p. 182-184

[9]   „Spacerownik Łódzki 2”, Lodz 2010, Marzena Bomanowska, Ryszard Bonisławski, Joanna Podolska, p. 96

Notes

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Stamp Information

Country Polska Polska
City Lodz Lodz
Address 20 Więckowskiego street
Street Name Changes from 1933: Nowa Cegielniana, 1933-1939: Śródmiejska, 1939-1945: Moltkestraße, from 1945: Więckowskiego
District Śródmieście
Architectural Style Modernism
Architect(s) Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger, Ignacy Stebelski, Adolf Zeligson
Number of Floors 3
Construction Start Around 1895
Planned Use Apartment building
First Owner Wenzel Anderlik
Successive Owner(s) Mojżesz Rosengard, Dawid Prussak
Noticeable Tenants Artur Szyk


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