Industrial complex of the former Białogońskie Works along with an industrial residential estate - Zabytek.pl
woj. świętokrzyskie, pow. m. Kielce, gm. Kielce-gmina miejska
The works in Białogon near Kielce were to serve the purpose of smelting copper, silver, and partially also lead from the local deposits. The construction was started in 1814, according to a design by J. F. Moritz; the metalworks were named "Aleksander". The infrastructure created had symmetrical, axial layout and is comprised a complex of factory buildings and a workers' housing estate. In 1817, a water system including a pond with a causeway, weirs, and internal hydro-power system, was commissioned. In 1820, the construction of the works was completed and at the same time the construction of the workers' housing estate was started. The estate was designed by German constructor Karol Khake. The metalworks were closed in 1827 due to technical problems, but soon thereafter Prince Drucki-Lubecki (the then minister of treasury of the Kingdom of Poland) decided to convert the works into a machines factory. The conversion and modernisation were carried out under the supervision of engineer W. Preacher. In 1831, new rolling mill departments (of copper, brass, and lead) and a new sheet metal tin coating department were commissioned, and in 1834 — a cast iron foundry; in 1832, the forge was extended. Also the hydro-power supply system was converted, with a new great wheel on an iron shaft. In 1836, the modernisation was ended and the site of the works was fenced. Between 1833 and 1845, the factory was administered by the Bank of Poland. The works in Białogon had then the greatest capacity of mechanical energy in the Old-Polish Industrial Area, and 240 people of staff. Industrial production devices for local industrial facilities were manufactured here, and also farming equipment and various tools. In the 2nd of the 19th century, the works fell into decline. In 1898, engineer L. Skibiński started to lease the works; he restores them, replacing old devices and introducing new technologies. Mass production of cast iron pipes and outlet pipes is commenced; new workers' houses also start to appear. After the World War I, the works remain in the hand of the Skibiński family and operate under the name of Mechanical Works and Cast Iron Foundry "Białogon", with the production profile unchanged. In 1939-1944, the factory is managed by German occupation authorities. In 1945, the whole plant is nationalised. In the 1960s., a thorough modernisation of the plant was commenced; its production profile and name were modified (Kielce Pump Factory "Białogon"), most of the machine park was replaced (the old machines were donated to the Museum of Technology in Sielpia), there were conversions and extensions, and new facilities were created. The water system was diluted (part of the pond and uncovered channels were filled). In 1997 the plant was purchased from the State Treasury by a joint-stock company with shareholding of the plant's workers. At present, it operates under the name "Kielecka Fabryka Pomp BIAŁOGON S.A." (Kielce Pump Factory "Białogon" Joint-Stock Company) and produces pumps and cast iron moulds.
The industrial complex is located in the south-western district of Kielce (former Białogon settlement is now included into the administrative borders of the city), by the route to Cracow. It was created based of the principle of comprehensive planning and completion of investments, applied in the 1st half of the 19th century. All spatial elements were subordinated to the principle of axial arrangement, with the system of access roads and the representative factory architectural complex at the entrance used as a framework; the water system was left aside, outside the boundaries of the complex. The main accent of the layout was constituted by a complex of factory buildings with a square in front of if, located on the side of the housing estate and shaped as a half of a decagon. The square gathered outlets of five radial streets opening to the gate of the factory yard. The main, widened street, built along the axis of the plant towards the east, connects the plant with the route Kielce-Cracow, and the street perpendicular to it separates the plant site from residential buildings also today. The factory complex was originally comprised of four separate pavilions encasing the factory square from three sides. The square was enclosed from the east by a gate flanked by two symmetrical gate-houses and auxiliary buildings. Of this historical buildings, whose symmetrical axial layout had been distorted as a result of continuous evolution of the production functions of the plant, only three main buildings (partially converted): the middle buildings of the former metalworks and forgery, and side buildings which were once rolling mills and a gate-house, were preserved until today. Built on rectangular plans and featuring variegated proportions, they were made of split stone, were one-storey, with gable roofs. They were originally plastered. The former metalworks were converted into a workshop hall, and later on into a warehouse (currently, it is not used), and the former rolling mills — into auxiliary buildings (currently used only partially). The water system is no longer discernible within the site, and neither the adjoining residential estate avoided substantial spatial and construction interference. The layout of streets has been preserved, but only some residential houses made it to our times, and even those were significantly transformed (mainly by extensions and modernisation of the façade). They were one-storey buildings, partially with basements, with half-hip roofs; built on a rectangular floor plan, featuring a two-bay layout, and originally intended for 2-4 families. Next to the residential houses, there were also supplementary facilities housing a school, offices, house of the management board — also currently converted and transformed into flats. In the north-eastern part of the square of the residential estate, there is a wooden church, founded in the early 20th century by L. Skibiński, the then lessee.
The site is fenced and available upon arrangement with the User; the area of the housing estate is generally accessible, the houses are owned by private owners
Compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 02.12.2014.
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- Zieliński J., Staropolskie Zagłębie Przemysłowe, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków 1965.
Protection: Register of monuments
Inspire id: PL.1.9.ZIPOZ.NID_N_26_UU.37448