Building of the Mutual Credit Society (Towarzystwo Wzajemnego Kredytu), currently a bank, Kielce
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Building of the Mutual Credit Society (Towarzystwo Wzajemnego Kredytu), currently a bank

Kielce

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A well-preserved example of a representative urban utility building characterised by clearly discernible features of the Art Nouveau style (historicist style of Art Nouveau architecture); originally composed façades and carefully crafted details.

History

In 1903, the Mutual Credit Society in Kielce purchased a rectangular plot of land on the then outskirts of the town, next to a section of Ruska Street and Czysta Street (formerly “droga na Załaźnie”) branched from Ruska Street, leading to a railway station. The design of the building to be used as the seat of the Society was selected in the 28th Competition of the Architects’ Club in Warsaw, discussed in the “Przegląd Techniczny” (“Technical Review”) magazine in the early 1911. The selected design was developed by Zbigniew Odrzywolski from Cracow (nephew and apprentice of Sławomir Odrzywolski); the design provided for the construction of the building in the Art Nouveau style, with historicist components, inspired by the Palace of the Kraków Bishops in Kielce. Construction work began in 1911 and was led by architect Stanisław Szpakowski and Ludwik Klima from Kielce with their construction company. The building was erected according to the design, with no visible modifications, modern as at that time systems, including a sewage system and central heating system which was installed then for the first time in Kielce.

The ground floor housed a room for the management board, cash desk, book-keeping room, whereas the upper storey housed a meeting room. The construction work was completed in 1912, and the Society used the building as its seat only in the spring of the following year.

Before World War 2, the building was the seat of the Bank of Polish Commercial Companies (Polish: Bank Polskich Spółek Zarobkowych) at the then address: 54 Sienkiewicza Street.

The building has been preserved almost unchanged. The roof tiles were replaced with sheet metal cladding. To enlarge the customer room, some of the walls on the ground floor were demolished and replaced with pillars. In recent years, the basement was adapted for use as a café.

Description

The bank is located on a corner, at the intersection of Sienkiewicza Street and Paderewskiego Street. Its two wings fill two fronts of the rectangular plot, thus the gable walls of the building adjoin the neighbouring buildings on the frontage. It is a two-storey structure built of brick, resting on high basements, and covered with a tall multi-hipped roof. The façades are designed in the Art Nouveau style evident in exaggerated Gothic and Baroque details.

They feature plastered sections with red sandstone combined with gilded and painted stucco decorations. The older façade facing Sienkiewicza Street was crowned with a semicircular stepped pediment with balls at the top and at the bends. The arcaded entrance is located on the outermost axes, framed by bulging squat columns supporting sculpted pediments. The western main portal is characterised by an accumulation of massive rounded volutes.

The east entrance is surmounted by a protruding shallow rectangular structure beneath a flattened cupola.

The windows were topped with a decorative relief in stucco with a cartouche bearing the caduceus, which is the symbol of Hermes (commerce and peace), between two symmetrically placed griffins. The narrower and asymmetrical façade is partly set further back from the rest and articulated with two shallow oriels and side southern portal.

The outermost north axis features a leaf shield bearing the date 1912. Rustication of the plinth, partly window surrounds, massive bar tracery of the windows, and portals were made of red sandstone.

The motif of leaves and chestnut fruits is repeated in the ornamentation, also in the forged iron window and entrance grilles. The preserved original interior decorations include marble fan stairs leading to the upper storey with a stucco balustrade.

The part for customers is open to the public during the opening hours of the bank.

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

Bibliography

  • "Gazeta Kielecka”, 1903, nr 58; 1911, nr 29; 1912,nr 73 i 90.
  • „Przegląd Techniczny”, 2011, nr 7 i 10.
  • Adamczyk J.L., Wróbel. T., Kielce portrety zabytków, Kielce s. 2008.
  • Urbański K., Miklaszewska H., Sentymentalne Kielce. Fotografie ze zbiorów Muzeum Narodowego w Kielcach, Kielce 2004, s.15.
  • Wrońska-Gorzkowska R., Gorzkowski E., Album Kielecki. Starówka. Cz. 2. Ulica Sienkiewicza, Kielce 1996, s. 133 i n.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1911 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sienkiewicza 47, Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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