A. Mielęcki Hospital complex, Chorzów
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A. Mielęcki Hospital complex

Chorzów

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The complex is a valuable example of one of a dozen or so hospital building complexes from the 2nd half of the 19th century and early 20th century characteristic of this region. The hospital is valuable not only because of its historical value, but also because of the clear layout of the complex and its basically unaltered, free-standing buildings having an artistic value, constructed in the 4th quarter of the 19th century and the 1st quarter of the 20th century in the Art Nouveau and historicist styles.

History

The history of the foundation of the present Dr A. Mielęcki Group of City Hospitals is connected with the Mining Guild, an organisation established in the 18th century in order to provide social and pension benefits for miners from the territory of Prussia. The first guild company (Knappschaftsinstitut), supervised by the State Mining Authority in Wrocław and covering the territories of Upper and Lower Silesia, was created in 1769 under a privilege granted to miners by Frederick II the Great. The purpose of the company was to ensure statutory protection for all miners and their families in the case of illness or death. In 1857, the Knappschaftinstitut headquartered in Wrocław was divided into two companies, of which the Upper Silesian one, responsible for the territory of rejencja opolska (a Prussian administrative unit), received a main office in Tarnowskie Góry. 1870 is the year of the establishment of the Guild Company in Królewska Huta, on whose initiative the still existing guild health centre, i.e. the present Dr A. Mielęcki Hospital, was founded. The first guild hospital in Chorzów was founded as early as in 1809 within the area of the contemporary workers’ estate nearby the present Moniuszki Street, in the neighbourhood of the “Królewska” Steelworks opened in 1802 and the “Król” Mine, operating from 1791. At that time, it was the only medical facility of this type. It provided health services for miners and steelworkers living in the area between the present Zabrze and Mysłowice. The rapid growth of the settlement and the neighbouring workers’ estates necessitated the extension of the hospital building (1823) and subsequently the construction of a larger building (1840). In the late 1860s and early 1870s, the construction of a completely new hospital complex, situated in the southern part of the contemporary settlement, was initiated. The construction of the new hospital facilities coincided with the transformation of the mining settlement into the Gmina of Königshütte (Polish: Królewska Huta, English: Royal Steelworks) in 1868 — the settlement was granted municipal rights. A design regulating the spatial development of the town was also drawn up at that time. The design provided for the construction of new buildings in the central part of the town, i.e. areas that used to be occupied by the Erdmanswille workers’ estate, and it is there where the new hospital complex was built.

The complex, preserved to this day, was created in several stages during the 2nd half of the 19th century and the first two decades of the 20th century, in accordance with the original spatial concept typical of guild hospitals, based on a number of building units located in a park. With time, the hospital park, established in 1884, started offering recreational sports facilities, including tennis courts and an alpine slide. The oldest buildings of the complex, concentrated in the north-eastern and central part of the site, was basically arranged into two rows of buildings extending along the north-south axis. The first unit (unit No. 5, currently containing hospital out-patient clinics) was built in 1866 in the north-eastern part of the site. A row of three so-called “barracks for the sick” (including the current unit No. III — the urology ward and unit No. VII — the dialysis centre) was constructed in the years 1873, 1875, and 1890. In 1886, a washhouse building (currently the Sport Silesia Clinic) was added to that row on the north side. In 1883, a hospital management building was constructed to the south of unit No. V. The further extension of the complex was carried out on the periphery of the site, no longer according to a regular pattern, which was related to the gradual addition of new parcels of land. In 1893, unit No. IV (currently the gynaecology and obstetrics ward), a small morgue, and a small disinfection building were constructed in the western part of the complex. The next buildings were located in the eastern part of the site, on the side of the present Strzelców Bytomskich Street. A management building (currently an emergency service building) was constructed in 1896 next to unit No. V. A year later, the complex was extended on the east side: a parcel of land with a former customs office building (with stables) that was adapted for a residential building for doctors (currently a pharmacy). In the years 1902-1908, the hospital complex was enlarged by a group of new Art Nouveau buildings, designed by the Berlin architect Arnold Hartmann. One of the buildings constructed at that time is the impressive unit No. I (currently the surgery, intensive care, and orthopedic ward) located in the southern part of the site. The small structure containing a bathhouse (currently an X-ray building) was constructed between the older buildings, i.e. units No. IV and VII. Three more buildings (associated facilities) were built in the northern part of the complex. Two of them, a kitchen and a door keeper’s lodge, were built onto the administration building by Strzelców Bytomskich Street. A boiler house with a decorative water-chimney tower was constructed by a yard located behind the washhouse and kitchen buildings. The complex was extended again in 1915: unit No. II (the current internal medicine, cardiology, and neurology ward) was constructed next to unit No. I and a number of facilities were built, predominantly in the northern and western parts of the complex. The building which currently contains administration offices and the hospital laboratory, located in the south-western part of the site, was built in 1973.

Description

Dr A. Mielęcki hospital complex is located in the centre of Chorzów, defined by Strzelców Bytomskich, Głogowska, Kazimierza Pułaskiego, and Wolności Streets. The complex comprises a dozen or so free-standing buildings from the 2nd half of the 19th century and the 1st quarter of the 20th century, surrounded by a park. The oldest group of buildings, including units No. III and VII, the former washhouse, the management building, unit No. V, and the administration building are located in the central part of the complex, along an avenue constituting the main axis extending from the main gate at Strzelców Bytomskich Street in the south direction. In the southern part, at the end of the main avenue, there are two particularly impressive buildings: units No. I and II, erected in the 1st quarter of the 20th century. The site also includes unit No. IV and an X-ray building, located in the western part of the complex. The eastern area of the complex, nearby the entrance from Strzelców Bytomskich Street, is occupied by the former hospital management building (currently an emergency service building) and a door keeper’s lodge on the opposite side, as well as a building which initially contained flats for hospital doctors (currently — a pharmacy), situated at a certain distance from the other buildings. In the northern corner of the site, there is a clearly defined yard surrounded by various facilities, including the hospital boiler house with a water-chimney tower, a kitchen annex built onto the administration building, garages, an ice house, a warehouse, a washhouse, and a laboratory building.

As the complex buildings were constructed in several stages, over a long period of time, they are not the same in character. The common feature of most of the buildings erected before 1916 is their unitary character, but also façades covered with red brick.

The only stylistically-consistent, although varied in terms of shape, group of buildings are the five Art Nouveau buildings constructed in the years 1902-1908 according to a design by Arnold Hartmann. The group includes: the dominant unit No. I, the X-ray building, the boiler house with a decorative water-chimney tower, the kitchen building, and the door keeper’s lodge; a similar structure is unit No. II from 1915, combining Art Nouveau and Early Modernism features. The older units, built before 1902, are mostly simple one- or two-storeyed structures with avant-corpses, having no distinctive style, topped with mono-pitched roofs, with walls covered with red brick (units No. III, IV, and V, which at some point underwent major alterations) or plaster (unit No. VII, the former washhouse, the administration building, and the emergency service building). The group includes only two buildings distinguished by Renaissance Revival features, i.e. the villa-type management building and the former residential building for doctors by Strzelców Bytomskich Street. The complex also includes modernist structures erected after 1916, such as the laboratory building, a small warehouse, a plain-styled mortuary, and post-war facilities and garages.

As the complex still functions as a hospital, it can only be visited from the outside.

compiled by Agnieszka Olczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 5-08-2014.

Bibliography

  • Kamińska J., Caus I., Rozwój szpitalnictwa na Śląsku na przykładzie Szpitala im. Dr A. Mielęckiego w Chorzowie, w: Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Skłodowska Lublin - Polonia, vol. LVIII, suppl. XIII, 107, sectio D, 2003.
  • Karty ewidencyjne zabytków architektury i budownictwa, opr. R. Rajnich-Walawender, 1998, Archiwum WUOZ w Katowicach: Zespół Szpitala Miejskiego im. Doktora Andrzeja Mielęckiego, Pawilon I, Pawilon II, Pawilon III, Pawilon VII, Budynek Dyrekcji, Pawilon IV, Poradnia Przyszpitalna, Pralnia, Prosektorium, Pawilon V (Stare Położnictwo) i Budynek Pogotowia, Budynek Kuchni, Kotłownia z wieżą i portiernią, Laboratorium, Budynek magazynu, Prosektorium oraz pozostałe budynki.
  • Nowak J., Spółka bracka, „Montes Tarnovicensis” 2007, nr 25.
  • Pobog-Rutkowski A., Historia miasta Królewskiej Huty, Królewska Huta 1927.
  • Stasiak A., Miasto Królewska Huta. Zarys rozwoju społeczno-gospodarczego i przestrzennego w latach 1869-1914, Warszawa 1962.
  • Szopa R., Szpitale brackie, „Wspólny Chorzów” 2001, nr 12.
  • Szopa R., Secesyjne zabudowania szpitalne, „Wspólny Chorzów” 2002, nr 1.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 2. poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Strzelców Bytomskich 11, Chorzów
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district Chorzów, commune Chorzów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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