Fire brigade buildings, currently the Medical Rescue and Sanitary Transport Centre of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, Kielce
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Fire brigade buildings, currently the Medical Rescue and Sanitary Transport Centre of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship

Kielce

photo

One of the few well-preserved examples of the nineteenth-century fire brigade buildings. It constitutes a material testimony of the history of the Volunteer Fire Brigade of Kielce established as one of the first in the country. Due to the fact that the architecture was designed to be used as barracks, it is almost without style and characterised by minor eclectic influences.

History

In 1846, the town purchased a plot of land separated from the former Daleszczyzna manor farm and erected there a building for firefighting tools including hand-held wheel fire hoses and barrels. Five gates facing the courtyards corresponded to five niches with windows at the top facing the street, which were converted into gate openings visible in historical photographs probably in the second half of the 19th century.

In 1873, the Volunteer Fire Brigade of Kielce (Polish: Ochotnicza Straż Ogniowa, OSO) was established as the third volunteer fire brigade in the country. The brigade was headed by Karol Reichelt, and the inhabitants swelled up its ranks. In 1886, the organisation dissolved by the authorities was replaced with the Municipal Professional Fire Service (Polish: Miejska Zawodowa Straż Ogniowa) operating until 1897. At the end of that year, the Volunteer Fire Brigade (OSO) Association was reactivated. The seat for the brigade called the barracks, funded by the government of the Governorate, was built next to the existing warehouse for firefighting tools in 1877.

The design was made by Alfons Welke, builder of the Kielce district, as early as in 1875.

The building was used for “distribution of firefighting tools, rooms for night fire service, chimney-sweep service, and a permanent lookout point”. Formerly, the central part of the roof was occupied by a tall four-sided observation tower with a balcony around the top storey and an alarm bell, which was dismantled after World War 2 (visible in photographs from the early 20th century).

In 1885, a masonry stable was erected in the back of the property. The site was also occupied by a well and exercise tower. In 1924, the town purchased an adjacent plot of land, which allowed the town to expand the property towards the back of the quarter. In the same year, a plaque installed in the front façade was unveiled commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Volunteer Fire Brigade (OSO) in Kielce. In the later period, the building was extended to the north. The fire brigade used the structure until 1972; currently the structure is used as the Medical Rescue and Sanitary Transport Centre of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Świętokrzyskie Centrum Ratownictwa Medycznego i Transportu Sanitarnego) (emergency medical services).

Description

The fire brigade buildings are located in the city centre, on the northern frontage of Św. Leonarda Street running from the south-eastern corner of the Market Square. The older of the buildings, which was formerly used as a warehouse for firefighting tools (currently a garage building), is side-gabled along a street and its building line. It is a one-storey structure on a rectangular floor plan, built of stone, and covered with a gable roof. Its front façade consists of five wide arcaded panels with semi-circular windows in the intrados, supporting entablature between Tuscan pilasters. The building was extended by adding a suite of rooms facing the courtyard, covered with an elongated roof plane. The former one-room interior is now divided into three parts. The second historic building, the former fire brigade barracks, resembles a three-storeyed tenement house on the outside.

It is situated along the west boundary of the plot and its gable wall faces the street. The façades are characterised by a modest décor limited to lesenes and string courses separating the rhythmically arranged windows. The main entrance is located on the eastern façade facing the courtyard. The narrow front façade facing the street is crowned by a segmentally closed-off gable framed by volutes on the sides. The ground floor features a marble plaque from 1924 depicting the image of an eagle and fire equipment, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Volunteer Fire Brigade (OSO).

Limited access to the monument. The monument can be viewed from the outside.

compiled by Anna Adamczyk, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 14-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Adamczyk J. L., Rynek w Kielcach. Przekształcenia przestrzenne i zabudowa mieszczańska Kielc lokacyjnych w XVII-XIX wieku, Kielce 1993, pp. 138-139.
  • Jerzmanowski J., W starych Kielcach, Łódź 1984, pp. 44-47.
  • Oettingen U., Towarzystwo Ochotniczej Straży Ogniowej w Kielcach w latach 1873-1885, [in:] Kielce przez stulecia, J. Główka (ed.), Kielce 2014, pp. 276-282.
  • Piwek Jerzy, Kielce w latach 1816-1866. Ludność i gospodarka, Ostrowiec Św. 2005, p. 240 et seq.
  • Studium historyczno-urbanistyczne miasta Kielc, J. L. Adamczyka (ed.), vol. 9b, part 1, Kielce 1990, fig. 88, 62117, typescript, Archives of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Kielce.
  • Szczepański J., Architekci i budowniczowie. Materiały, Warsaw-Cracow 1990, p. 160.
  • Urbański K., Miklaszewska H., Sentymentalne Kielce. Fotografie ze zbiorów Muzeum Narodowego w Kielcach, Kielce 2004, p.79.
  • Wrońska-Gorzkowska R., Gorzkowski E., Album Kielecki. Starówka, part I, Kielce 1996, pp. 79-81.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1846 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: św. Leonarda 10, Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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