Marketplace, corner building at the junction of Wolności Square and 2 Ewangelicka Street; currently the Museum of Toys and Play, Kielce
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Marketplace, corner building at the junction of Wolności Square and 2 Ewangelicka Street; currently the Museum of Toys and Play

Kielce

photo

Valuable example of public utility architecture of the 19th century with a preserved layout of buildings and architectural décor of the façade and gates.

History

Market halls were one of the first structures erected in the new district of 19th-century Kielce. It was planned according to a design by Franciszek Ksawery Kowalski, the then builder of the Kielce guberniya, approved in 1870. The streets with a central market square, referred to then as the Bazaar Square, were divided in a checkerboard arrangement. The design of the building was probably also made by F. Ks. Kowalski, and the building was built by Chaskiel Landau, Jewish entrepreneur from Chęciny, between 1871 and 1873. The structure was used for rental purposes as stalls, butcheries and homestays. It was renovated in 1896 and its first floor was converted into a “guest house for common people”. In 1905 it underwent a minor extension. Until World War II the building declined in technical and sanitary terms. After the war, it was also used for various purposes, including editorial offices of Kielce newspapers, offices and apartments; the northern wing was occupied by a printing house, and the basement by a café. Probably them the south façade of the ground floor of the south wing arcades were converted into window openings. In the 1980s, the place served as the seat of the “Solidarity” labour union and small shops. In 2013, the municipal authorities decided to move into the building of the Museum of Toy Making. The adaptation and modernisation design (by architect Włodzimierz Pedrycz) was developed in 2003, and in 2006 the structure was opened after construction and repair works. Roof trusses and foundations underwent renovation, most of the ceilings and plasters were replaced, and new interior finishes and courtyard surface were installed. Both the building and the courtyard continue to be used as an exhibition and cultural event venue by a local government municipal cultural institution under the name of “Museum of Toys and Play”.

Description

The former bazaar building is located at Wolności Square (former Obrońców Stalingradu Square), on its northern frontage, in the eastern corner. The plot is almost entirely enclosed by a quadrangle-shaped complex of buildings with an inner courtyard and gates, and a free auxiliary road to the north. It is bordered to the north by a site occupied by an Evangelical church, and to the west by a two-storey tenement house among frontage buildings. The structure comprises four wings enclosed around a rectangular courtyard. The southern wing (and also the front one from Wolności Square) has two storeys, the side wings have one storey; the cellars are only under the north wing section. Monumental two-storey-high gates in the middle of the front and rear façade enable movement to and from the courtyard; a turret originally with a coat of arms, now with a cloak (and a figure of Baba Yaga emerging at noon) is mounted over the southern passage. Wings of the complex are covered mainly with gable roofs; only the western part is covered by a shed roof. The façades of the building are neoclassical in style and feature architectural décor typical of that time, including pilasters with capitals, lesenes, string course and crowning cornice, tympanum, and semi-circular arched window openings. The ground floor overlooking the square features slender arcaded openings — former entrances to shops, now partially walled and converted into windows — placed symmetrically in groups of five on either side of the gate. The recent modernisation involved the installation of new glazed traffic components of modern architecture. The building is made of quarry stone and limestone and sand mortar, with additions of brick. The cellars feature brick groin vaults, ceilings are wooden and partly replaced with steel reinforce concrete ceilings. The roof truss is made of wood, and the roof is clad with flat galvanized sheet metal. Modern interior finishes are adapted to the needs of the museum.

The structure is open to the public from the outside; indoor exhibitions and the courtyard are open during the opening hours of the museum.

compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 23-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheets: - Former bazaar buildings - southern wing and - Bazaar building complex - northern wing and side wings, prepared by E. Traczyński 2006 [Archives of Regional Monument Inspector for Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship in Kielce and Archives of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw]
  • Adamczyk A., Adaptacje i remonty kieleckich zabytków architektonicznych, “Renowacje i Zabytki” 2012, no. 44 (4/2012), pp. 50 - 61
  • Adamczyk A., Powstanie i zabudowa „Nowego Miasta”, dzielnicy gubernialnych Kielc (cz. 1 do 1895r.), in: “Studia Muzealno - Historyczne” 2010, vol. II, Museum of the History of Kielce, 2010
  • Adamczyk A., Powstanie i zabudowa „Nowego Miasta”, dzielnicy gubernialnych Kielc (cz. 1 lata 1895-1918), in: “Studia Muzealno - Historyczne” 2011, vol. III, Museum of the History of Kielce, 2011
  • Adamczyk J.L., Przewodnik po zabytkach architektury i budownictwa Kielc, Kielce 1997, p.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1871-1873 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Plac Wolności; Ewangelicka 2, Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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