The former building of the Land Credit Society, currently serving as a Regional Court, Lublin
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The former building of the Land Credit Society, currently serving as a Regional Court

Lublin

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One of the most valuable late-19th century public buildings in Lublin, designed by the architect Julian Ankiewicz.

History

The Land Credit Society building was erected in years 1873 - 1876, based on the design produced by the renowned Warsaw architect, Julian Ankiewicz. The task of supervising the execution of the works fell upon Ludwik Szamota, the governorate engineer, who might have also introduced certain changes to the design. In the end, the building became a typical example of a public edifice from the second half of the 19th century, its architecture strongly reminiscent of that of a palace; the exterior decorations, following Late Classicist design principles, have been preserved in very good condition.

From 1925 onwards, it became the property of the Land Bank in Warsaw, followed by United Land Bank PLC and then, from 1934 onwards, by the State Treasury. At that point, the building was adapted to serve as the Court of Appeal. The entire structure was modernised. In 1944, the building briefly served as the seat of the representative of the London-based Government of the Republic of Poland in exile. In 1949, the restoration of the building commenced in order to adapt the building as the Province Court. In years 1967-1969, an entirely contemporary western wing was added, while the façades and interiors of the historic part of the complex underwent further restoration. Later on, in years 1973-1974, numerous renovation works were carried out, including the addition of a heating installation, replacement of electrical wiring, restoration of interior plasterwork and replacement of missing parts thereof, replacement of window panes, partial replacement of ceilings as well as restoration of the façade.

Today, the building serves as the Regional Court. The most recent series of conservation and renovation works started back in 1997 and involved the conservation of the decorative plasterwork in the conference hall and the office of the president of the court as well as the refurbishment of the main staircase. In 2004, a comprehensive restoration of the façade began. In 2005, the building received the Conservation Laurel Award.

Description

The building is located in the Lublin city centre, facing the Krakowskie Przedmieście street which serves as the primary axis of the entire urban complex. A connecting section links the building with the modern wing to the north-west. The edifice was designed in the Late Classicist style.

The building was designed on a rectangular floor plan, its northern façade featuring a pair of side avant-corps as well as a third, central one, the latter featuring a semi-circular outline.

The interior of the building features a two-bay layout with a hall and staircase positioned along the axis of the structure and a middle hallway positioned between the individual suites of rooms. The outermost sections of the building in its western part follow a bipartite layout, while the eastern part of the building features an irregular arrangement of rooms which forms the result of subsequent alteration works. The building is a two-storey structure with a basement, covered with a gable roof above the main body as well as hip roofs above the side sections. The building is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster; all roofs are clad with sheet metal. The wooden roof truss uses a combination of rafters, queen posts and straining beams. The interiors feature a variety of original flooring, including cement tiles, marble flooring, ceramic tiles and oak parquet. The half-turn marble stairs feature an ornate, iron balustrade.

The front façade follows a symmetrical, two-storey, thirteen-axial layout, its axis of symmetry accentuated by subtle, three-axial avant-corps with the main entrance to the building, projecting only slightly ahead of the rest of the façade. The avant-corps is preceded by a colonnaded portico with two pairs of Tuscan columns, supporting a terrace with a parapet supported by balusters. The avant-corps is crowned with a parapet wall decorated by a relief of an eagle in the centre, flanked by horizontal panels. Above the parapet wall rises an ensemble of sculptures portraying the Roman goddess Cerera brandishing a bundle of wheat ears, symbolising the fertility of the land and of all nature, a bearded man holding a cogwheel - a symbol of industry - as well as Fortuna, the Roman goddess of fertility. The ground floor level, adorned with decorative rustication, is separated from the first floor level by a string course; the first floor level is accentuated by a series of pilasters with both Ionic and Tuscan capitals. The space between the storeys is filled with a string courses. The entire façade is topped with an entablature which features a dentilled cornice.

The windows feature decorative window surrounds; the ground floor windows are topped with cornices adorned with foliate motifs, whereas the first-floor windows are crowned with triangular pediments supported by corbels. The doors leading out to the terrace are topped with semicircular arches and adorned with profiled surrounds.

Inside, the building features surviving architectural detailing designed in the Classicist style, including the representational staircase, the sculpted supraportes and decorative plasterwork.

The historic monument is can be viewed from the outside all year round; the interiors may only be explored to a limited extent.

compiled by Anna Sikora-Terlecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Lublin, 28-11-2014.

Bibliography

  • Record sheet, the Land Credit Society building, currently serving as the Province Court, compiled by Dariusz Kopciowski, Lublin 1990, Archive of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Warsaw, Archive of the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin.
  • Kawałko P., Nestorowicz Z., Lublin. Przewodnik, Lublin 2012, pp. 212-213
  • Nowak B., Lublin. Przewodnik, Lublin 2000, pp. 200-201.
  • Teodorowicz-Czerepińska J., ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 43. Rozpoznanie historyczne i wytyczne konserwatorskie, typescript available at the Regional Monuments Protection Office in Lublin, Lublin 1993, file no. 4699.
  • Żywicki J., Urzędnicy: architekci, budowniczowie, inżynierowie cywilni … Ludzie architektury i budownictwa w województwie lubelskim oraz guberni lubelskiej w Królestwie Polskim w latach 1815-1915, Lublin 2010, pp. 240-241.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1873-1876
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Krakowskie Przedmieście 43, Lublin
  • Location: Voivodeship lubelskie, district Lublin, commune Lublin
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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