Tenement house, Białystok
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A valuable example of a townhouse from the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century. Today, the building serves as an excellent example of the architectural and urban development of the city of Białystok during that period.

History

The tenement house along with connecting section and back building were most likely erected during the same period, i.e. in the second half of the 19th century. The buildings were the property of Szlomo and Dwejra Szturman and were originally designed to perform a residential function. After World War I came to an end, the building was acquired by Izaak Rozenthal; at that point, the edifice served as an office building of the Polish Trade Association, although it also housed a number of apartments, most of which were rented by high-ranking municipal officials. In the years of World War II, the tenement house served as a psychiatric hospital (from 1942 onwards). After 1945, the edifice was taken over by the State Treasury. It was adapted to serve as a hospital of internal medicine. In years 1952 - 1976, the building functioned as the State Medical School. A partial renovation of the building was conducted in the years 1971 and 1974, including a partial restoration of the roof as well as the application of a new plaster finish on the front façade. In the 1980s, the buildings remained under the administration of the Province Heating Company of Białystok, which, in 1982, commissioned the preparation of technical documentation preceding the major renovation works intended to adapt the complex to serve the needs of the company. The restoration of the façade and interiors was completed in 1989, with further rearrangement of the inner yard and construction of the northern fence taking place one year later. In 1991, the new gates were added and the works on sheet metal flashings were completed. In the course of the renovation works, the appearance of the western façade of the eastern back building as well as the interior layout in both back buildings were modified; the ceilings, roof truss and cladding, window and door joinery, balconies, balustrades and flashings were all replaced, as was part of the plasterwork and interior partition walls, with new openings being punched through the exterior walls in order to make it easier to move between the individual sections of the complex. In 2005, the back building was redesigned, its current address being 25 Warszawska street.

Description

The complex of buildings is located in the city centre and forms part of the north-eastern frontage of Warszawska street, with the roof ridge of the building running in parallel to the street (side-gabled arrangement). The building does not possess any features indicative of a specific architectural style.

The entire complex was designed on an inverted C-shaped plan; it consists of the main tenement house, the eastern connecting section and the back building. The rectangular yard is accessible through a gateway in the western part of the front façade facing Warszawska street as well as through an open driveway positioned alongside the western side of the building. The gateway itself features a surviving vaulted ceiling of the double barrel type. The tenement house was designed on a rectangular floor plan as a three-storey brick structure with a basement, covered with a gable roof clad with sheet metal. All of its façades are covered with plaster; fragments of the building’s brick walls facing the yard have been left exposed. The front façade follows a multi-axial layout with a pair of avant-corps; the lower section of the façade is adorned with rustication in the form of horizontal grooves - a theme which is also carried over to the outer corners of the avant-corps at all levels. Balconies projecting from the front façade can be seen on the second and seventh axis (middle storey) and on the third and sixth axis (upper storey); the balconies are designed on a rectangular plan, with a slightly projecting, semi-circular middle section. The windows and balcony doors are all rectangular in shape; the balconies feature decorative metal railings. Decorative recessed panels can be seen below the middle-storey windows on the fourth, fifth and sixth axis. Cornices running between the individual storeys can be seen on the back façades of all the buildings forming part of the complex; there is also an eaves cornice, partially supported by exposed brick modillions. The rectangular windows are topped with segmental arches, with the exception of the upper windows of the tenement house staircase and the window above the back building entrance, which are both topped with semi-circular arches. The main entrance is rectangular in shape and topped with a semi-circular arch; a modern, glazed wind porch precedes the entrance. The interiors of the building have all been redesigned to serve thoroughly modern purposes.

The building can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Grażyna Rogala, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 10-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Białystok. Studium historyczno - urbanistyczne do miejscowego planu ogólnego zagospodarowania przestrzennego, compiled by A. Oleksicki, 1978, typescript of the Polish Monument Conservation Workshops (PPKZ), archive of the Regional Office of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok.
  • Lechowski A., Białystok. Przewodnik historyczny, Białystok [no year of issue stated], pp. 197, 200, fig. pp. 197-199.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Warszawska 27, Białystok
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district Białystok, commune Białystok
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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