Workers’ estate “Piaski”, Czeladź
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Workers’ estate “Piaski”

Czeladź

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The workers’ estate “Piaski” is a valuable example of a residential complex built in several stages. The special importance of the estate lies in its rich facility programme and the influences of Southern French architecture, unique in Upper Silesia, resulting from the purchase of the “Czeladź” Mine by a French company. The estate, following the 19th- and 20th-century urban planning models, is highly valuable from the historical, architectural, and urban planning points of view. It was a prominent response to the residential housing needs which grew at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

History

The exploration of hard coal deposits in the present Piaski district of Czeladź was mentioned in written records for the first time in 1860. Several years later, in 1867, the first drawing shaft, “Ernest”, 80 m deep, was constructed in the settlement. It was the starting point for the establishment of the Hard Coal Mine “Czeladź” by Michał Guttman, Jan Familier, and Ernst Kramer. In 1879, the lands were purchased by the French company Societe Anonyme des Mines de Czeladz, incorporated on 3 May 1879, which invested major funds in the plant. In 1890, the management board issued a decision on the establishment of a workers’ colony.

The first residential building was completed in the late 19th century. The buildings were designed based on French models and ideas of the English town planner Sir Ebenezer Howard. The oldest part of the colony, the so-called Stare Piaski (Old Piaski) comprises administration and service buildings. One of the first streets laid out in the estate is Sikorskiego Street, which owes its representative character to the fact that the flats of the administration staff (which gained their final shape after nearly 25 years of works) were constructed along it. In 1898, the villa of Wiktor Vianney, General Director of the mine in the years 1905-1931, was completed. At the beginning of the 20th century, a workers’ colony was established along Kościuszki and 3 Kwietnia Streets. The final form of the Piaski district (comprising a number of complexes built in several stages)

emerged in the 1920s, when the residential part was enlarged with the so-called Nowa Kolonia (New Colony), located at Płocka, Krzywa, Nowopogońska, and Warszawska Streets.

Description

The workers’ estate “Piaski” is located in the south-eastern part of the town, in the immediate vicinity of the “Czeladź” mine, currently “Saturn”. The estate is divided into four compact residential complexes accompanied by public utility buildings and flats of the senior administration staff, occupying an area of over 30 hectares.

The majority of the buildings are free-standing residential buildings intended for low-grade workers. They are compact structures built on a rectangular floor plan, made of brick and stone and covered with gable roofs. They are characterised by subtle decorations in the form of corners covered with brick, belt courses, crowning cornices, and brick window trim accentuating window and door openings, more rarely - avant-corpses and pronounced stone socles. The cornerstone of the layout are transport routes — most of the buildings, arranged in rows, are front-gabled. Green areas were also regarded as important elements of the design and thus the estate includes a park, small workers’ allotments, numerous rows of trees lining the streets, and plantings of tall greenery, which have both aesthetic and isolating functions. The estate consists of four complexes. The first one, located in the western part of the site, is the oldest part, referred to as Stare Piaski (Old Piaski). It is made up of residential buildings spaced regularly along 3 Kwietnia and Tadeusza Kościuszki Streets and administration staff flats at Mickiewicza Street, characterised by rich decorations in the form of numerous lesenes accentuating the divisions of exterior facades. In the western part, in addition to the residential buildings, there are numerous public utility buildings, i.e. a former administration staff club, the Romanesque Revival Parish Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, a management building, the director’s villa, the main engineer’s house, a school, and a nursery school. Another complex comprises the residential buildings along Francuska Street: 5 side-gabled houses isolated from the road by means of large front gardens. The higher standard buildings were intended for the mine supervising staff. The next complex was laid out in the south-eastern corner of the estate. What is particularly noteworthy in this part is the characteristic arrangement of the residential buildings at Betonowa Street along an ovally-curved road, thanks to which there is a large green yard in front of the buildings. The last complex comprises residential buildings completed in the 1920s, being part of the so-called Nowa Kolonia (New Colony).

They are located in the northern part of the estate, within an area framed by Zwycięstwa, Nowopogońska, Płocka, and Generała Józefa Bema Streets.

Private property. The colony complex can only be visited from the outside.

compiled by Agata Mucha, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Katowice, 09-11-2015.

Bibliography

  • Głazek D., Kolonie robotnicze i urzędnicze na obszarze województwa katowickiego do 1939 r. (dawny zabór rosyjski i austriacki) cz. II, Katowice 1995 (przechowywane w AZ WUOZ w Katowicach, sygn. 6608)
  • Historia Czeladzi tom 1, praca zbiorowa pod red. J. Drabiny, Czeladź 2012
  • Historyczne Osiedla Robotnicze, red. G. Bożek, Katowice 2005, s. 8
  • Karta Ewidencyjna Zabytków Architektury i Urbanistyki. Układ urbanistyczno-przestrzenny dawnego osiedla robotniczego ,,Pisaki’’, oprac. E. Podbiał, H. Wiąk-Marzec

General information

  • Type: spatial layout
  • Chronology: 1890 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowopogońska, Kościuszki, 3 Kwietnia, Krzywa, Warszawska, Zwycięstwa, Krakowska, Francuska, Sikorskiego, Betonowa, Mickiewicza , Czeladź
  • Location: Voivodeship śląskie, district będziński, commune Czeladź
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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