Gustaw Tornwaldt’s House, currently the Court of Appeal, Gdańsk
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Gustaw Tornwaldt’s House, currently the Court of Appeal

Gdańsk

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The house in Nowe Ogrody 7 Street is an interesting example of the historicist architecture of the 2nd half of the 19th century in Gdańsk. The building is reminiscent of the local Northern Renaissance patterns and is an excellent representative example of the so-called Gdańsk style. In the sphere of intangible value, the history of the house reflects the turbulent and complex history of the city.

History

The house was built for outstanding Gdańsk laryngologist Gustaw Ludwik Tornwaldt in 1892-1893. It was designed most probably by Herman Prochnow, house constructor. The house was built on the site formerly occupied by a demolished structure and partially used the basements of that structure. The main residential rooms were concentrated on the ground floor (music drawing room, room of the master of the house, room of the mistress of the house, dining room); part of the first floor was adapted for use as two offices and a waiting room. After the death of Gustaw Tornwaldt, a banking company acquired ownership of the house; the company commissioned the conversion of the third storey into offices in 1912. During the First World War, the building was used as office and dwelling by the commendant of the Gdańsk fortress. Following the Treaty of Versailles and establishment of the Free City, under the agreement on the division of property Poland took over ownership of the building. The building housed various Polish institutions and associations, such as Polish Club, Chief Inspectorate of Customs, and Polish Nautical Club. During World War 2, the structure was used as military headquarters (Wehrmacht). After the war, the building was used as a dormitory, and since 1960 as a hospital outpatient clinic. In 2006, the house was owned by the city, but soon, as a result of the agreement with the State Treasury, the court of appeal became the owner of the building. After several years of full-scale renovation work, the building started to be used as the seat of the court (court administration, conference room).

Description

The building is situated in the western part of the downtown, in a densely built-up area of the southern frontage of Długie Ogrody Street. It occupies the northern part of the rectangular plot. It stylistic terms, it represents the so-called Gdańsk historicist style of the late 19th and early 20th century. Its irregular floor plan is similar to the parallelogram; the central part of the façade is recessed; the rear axis features a polygonal avant-corps, and the western axis — a single-storey annex; a passage to the yard and a staircase are located along the eastern axis; an additional staircase was installed along the western façade. The interior features a three-bay and three-route layout (with a narrower middle bay in the shape of a corridor). Basements (two storeys) extend under the whole building. The building is compact, has two storeys in the front part with a usable attic, and four storeys in the rear part. It is built of brick; the basements are mainly covered with segmental ceramic ceilings; the passage is topped by four-bay ceilings with arches (barrel and groin vaults arranged in an alternating pattern); the remaining ceilings are wooden and plastered. The roof is clad with roof tiles (front side) and roofing felt.

The front façade has seven axes, is asymmetrical, and its main three-axial part with the main entrance is set further back from the face of the building and topped with a tall gable. Rectangular window openings are framed by flat stone surrounds; door openings are topped with arches. The main entrance is surmounted by a basket arch, while the entrance gate by a round arch. The brick face of the façade is contrasted with bright stone components (sandstone). The main horizontal partitions of the façades are made up of grooved socle cornice and pronounced profiled cornice between the storeys running above the second storey, and flat cornices over the windows. The sections of the gables are decorated with volute motifs, obelisks and gable finials with spherical pinnacles. The entire structure is supplemented by decorative metal fittings, including stair balustrade, window and door grillwork, and gargoyles. The interior features the original staircases with railings and handrails; many rooms are fitted with lavishly profiled crown mouldings and ceiling rosettes, and door joinery.

Access to the historic building is limited. The structure can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Krystyna Babnis, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Gdańsk, 17-04-2015.

General information

  • Type: residential building
  • Chronology: koniec XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Nowe Ogrody 7, Gdańsk
  • Location: Voivodeship pomorskie, district Gdańsk, commune Gdańsk
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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