Former officers’ casino, Legionowo
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Former officers’ casino

Legionowo

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The building of the former officers’ casino in Legionowo dates back to the late 19th century and is a precious example of barracks architecture. The building has been regarded as valuable due to its preserved original appearance and architectural detail. It is one of the oldest wooden buildings of the barracks complex in Legionowo, the so-called Hurka camp, and the only one that has been preserved.

History

The building of the former officers’ casino was erected together concurrently with army barracks in Legionowo in January 1892. The author of the design of the casino was Wiktor Junosza Piotrowski who was also responsible for the construction of the barracks. The casino building was one of the first buildings erected in the Legionowo garrison area. It was different from the rest of the buildings as it was carefully and artistically finished. The casino was decorated with numerous wooden details. In 1915, after the outbreak of World War I, German soldiers were quartered in the barracks in Legionowo and their command was lodged in the casino building. After Poland had regained independence, the casino served as quarters for the commanders of Legionowo military units. In the interwar period, the building was used as a private accommodation for Aleksander Wilcz, then as an officers’ casino for the 2nd Balloon Battalion, and since 1932, it officially served as Officers’ Garrison Casino. At that time, it was not only a catering facility; it fulfilled also general cultural and social functions. It housed a library, a meeting room, and a lecture hall. In the 1930s, the casino was already a building of substantial architectural value. After World War II and until the 1980s, the casino housed shops of the Military Trade Enterprise and then a repository of maps. In the 1990s, the building was abandoned and left to the vandals and destructive weather conditions. During the next decade, the building was subject to further technical degradation and intentional devastation. There were attempts to protect it by boarding up window and door openings, wrapping brick chimneys with foil, and covering the whole structure with a provisional roof. The situation of the casino building changed in 2011, when, owing to the efforts of the Historical Museum in Legionowo and EU subsidies, works commenced in order to move and reconstruct the building. Translocation was essential due to limited access to the building (road viaduct, railway) and safety issues. In a new place (school premises) in the Piaski housing estate, the situation of the building changed for the better. The casino is ultimately to take over the role of the former Garrison Club, where societies and special interest groups used to meet. The branch of the museum has two exhibition halls, which present the history of the Legionowo garrison. Except for offices, the building houses also a classroom with a backroom, used by the community of the Piaski housing estate.

Description

The building of the former officers’ casino was once part of a large wooden and brick tsarist barracks complex. Currently, it is the only preserved wooden building from the so-called Hurki Camp - a tsarist barracks complex in Legionowo. It was built on a rectangular floor plan as a single-storey and free-standing structure. The foundations are placed on concrete strip footing covered with red brick. The walls are made of wood. The floor was made of boards laid on joists, the inner walls are covered with plaster on wooden strips. The external walls are made of logs and covered with weatherboards. Architectural detail of the façades refers to the Russian wooden folk architecture: spatially installed and artistically cut window heads, more modest detail under the windows, bands surrounding the window openings, and corner wainscoting. The hip roof is covered with sheet metal and has chimneys made of red clinker brick, decorated with a cornice and a frieze, and semi-circular windows, the so-called oeil-de-boeuf.

The site is open to visitors. Currently the „Piaski” Branch of the Historical Museum in Legionowo.

compiled by Katarzyna Kosior, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warszawa, 14-10-2015.

Bibliography

  • Atlas Zabytków Architektury w Polsce, H. Faryna-Paszkiewicz, M. Omilanowska, R. Pasieczny, Wydawnictwo naukowe PWN. Warszawa 2003 r.;
  • J. Żabicki, Leksykon zabytków architektury Mazowsza i Podlasia, Arkady, Warszawa 2010 r.;
  • Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego i innych krajów Słowiańskich, Tom IV, Warszawa 1880 r.;
  • Karta ewidencyjna zabytku architektury i budownictwa tzw. Karta Biała, I. Sadowa, 2002 r.;
  • Katalog Zabytków Sztuki w Polsce, Tom X Województwo Warszawskie, zeszyt 5 powiat grójecki, Instytut Sztuki PAN, Warszawa 1968 r;

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1892 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Legionowo
  • Location: Voivodeship mazowieckie, district legionowski, commune Legionowo
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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