Tenement Houses of Praga

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Revitalisation of old houses is a difficult and expensive task that brings all the benefits to the city dwellers and the city itself 

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2017-04-06
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Monuments have no time to waist

What is the impact of an accidentally found pre-war drawing on revitalization? How to recover the facade’s decorative elements? And why once functional beautiful old railings are too low for us today?

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Lokalizacje inwestycji

Okrzei 26 Street

Elegant tenement is reclaiming its former splendor. Its adorned elevation combines elements of Art Nouveau and eclecticism, reclaiming its former splendour. Dragon and bat reliefs on the facade, original wooden doors and decorative fittings have been restored. After completion of the revitalisation of the corner, magnificent sculptures of owls with outstretched wings will reappear, restoring the meaning of the authentic name of the building - "The House of Owls".  

 

What’s interesting is that the house will look a bit different than before the war, yet exactly as planned by its creators. It was built around 1906 for prince Bronisław Massalski. The author is however unknown. In the source literature it is often attributed to Henry Stiffelman and Stanislaw Weiss, due to characteristic features of the exterior decor.

 

Drawings from the time of the partitions of Poland show that the project approved by the authorities was different from the present state of the building. The plan to build an additional floor was prevented by the First World War. Today, thanks to the cooperation with the conservator it will see the light of day.

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Kępna 15

The tenement at number 15 was built approx. in 1897 for Louis Karol Manitius, an engineer and industrialist from Warsaw, owner of several enamel workshops and a son of an evangelical bishop Karl Gustav. The house, eclectic in style, is one of the most original and best preserved in the district. Once renovated, one can admire again the magnificent facade, including the monogram of the owner of the first house on the frieze. The extremely rich interior of the house has been preserved with its decorative elements on the staircases and the cast iron railings with floral motifs.  

The tenement is on one of the oldest streets of Warsaw Praga, once inhabited by mainly wealthy burghers. On the map from 1765 Kępna Street is a road extending from the Vistula to Targowa Street. On its southern side was a market of Skaryszew, transformed into Harbor Praga in the interwar period. The present name of the street probably derives from Saska Kępa Street, which is connected with Kępna through a bridge over an old Vistula bed.

 

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Targowa 21

Targowa is one of the most unique streets of Praga. It dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth century. It was one of the main axes of the village Targowe Wielkie. In the 17th century it used to link Praga with Skaryszew.

In 1880 there was a wholesale market in this area, which supplied commodities like cattle, pigs, horses, carriages, harnesses, firewood and corn to other markets in the city. After it was closed down, it got replaced with garden squares and pavements. In 1901, the famous market called Bazar Różyckiego was established there, and seven years later electric trams went down the street.

Over the years Targowa transformed from a colourful market place into an elegant avenue. During the interwar period its grandeur was even comparable with Marszałkowska Street. In the aftermath of World War II, Targowa was relatively untouched. The street housed among others the city authorities and the Polish Radio headquarters. 21 Targowa St. is a great example of how a completely dilapidated house can be restored to its former splendour. 5-storey house was built around 1900. The building is currently undergoing a process of full-scale renovation, from the foundations up to the roof. It will combine the pre-war comfort of apartments’ layout with all the contemporary mod cons. The entire facade is being meticulously restored, as well as the interiors and all the elements showing artistry of the pre-war craftsmanship: ornaments, covings, door and window woodwork and banisters.

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22 Jagiellońska St.

Jagiellońska Street is a home of many historical buildings. One of them is the house of Chaim Herkowicz and Perla Grinberg built in the years 1911-1912 in the style of early modernism. The facade shows very few traces of former splendour and wealth. The house was partially destroyed during World War II and later, around 1950, rebuilt without the original ornaments and balconies. 

Fortunately, the interior design retains many historical elements, noticeable especially in the staircase and gateway décor, e.g. door woodwork with decorative carving. On the landings there are also original two-tone tiled floors. 

Around 1930, numerous doctors lived in the house - surgeons, gynecologists and dentists. The census of the time also mentions several officials residing here. A company owned by J. Zylberberg buying up old barrels also operated at 22 Jagiellońska St. in 1932-1953. At that time the building belonged to Zygmunt Zawadzki. 

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27 Jagiellońska St.

Jagiellońska used to bear many names. In the middle of the 19th century it was called Szeroka. Since 1865 the section towards the north of the current Kłopotowskiego St. was called Petersburska, whereas the southern part was called Moskiewska. It was only in 1919 that the street got its current name. In the communist era the northern part was renamed Stalingradzka. Today again, we have one Jagiellońska street.  

The house at number 27 was built in an eclectic style in 1913-1914 for the brothers Jan and Gustaw Ahrens. Today, in the main gate one can admire the original cast iron doorstops and carefully restored terracotta floor. The gray terrazzo, decorative metal railing and covings in the form of strings of pearls are the original elements of the staircase.

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