District Council building, currently a library, Rzeszów
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District Council building, currently a library

Rzeszów

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The District Council building is an example of a public utility building typical of the urban architecture of the late 19th century, designed in Historicist style popular at that time. Erected by well-known architect Tadeusz Stryjeński, the building starts a series of representative buildings in Sokoła Street, on the opposite side of the Bernardine monastery complex.

History

The District Council building in Rzeszów was built in 1898-1902 according to a design by famous architect Tadeusz Stryjeński. The preserved design drawing depicting a perspective view from the north-east shows a two-storey free-standing building with a symmetrical seven-axial front façade. Between 1909 and 1928, the building was extended to the east. The added part was merged with the original building by applying the same architectural façade decorations. At the same time, a tenement house was added to the east. During World War II, the building housed the German Labour Office. In the 1960s, it was renovated and adapted for use as the seat of the Provincial and Municipal Public Library in Rzeszów; the alterations involved removing part of the historic façade composition and changing the mansard roof cladding. The eastern part of the southern façade was extended by the addition of an annex. In 1975 and in the late 20th century, part of the attic of the building was altered in order to serve as the library's administrative back office. A modern attic was added to the south. In 2004, the façades and roofs of the building underwent renovation. The renovation involved, including, but not limited to, restoring the historic façade décor, installing new roof cladding and reconstructing a spire crowning the mansard.

Description

The former District Council building, currently the Provincial and Municipal Public Building in Rzeszów, is located west of the old town complex, on the southern frontage of Sokoła Street. It is the end point of the series of buildings opposite the Bernardine monastery. The eastern façade adjoins tenement house no. 11. Aleja Łukasza Cieplińskiego, main artery created in the 1960s, runs to the west.

The building is erected on a floor plan in the shape resembling an elongated rectangle, with avant-corps in the front façade and in the middle of the projecting part of the southern façade. It is a three-bay structure in the original part and two-bay structure in the added part, with a symmetrically located hallway and staircase in the southern bay. It consists of two overground storeys, basement and partly usable attic. It is covered with a multi-hipped roof. In the northern roof plane, above the avant-corps there is a tall mansard roof; the southern roof plane features two mono-pitched roofs over the annex added in 1975 within the roof space.

The building is made of brick and plastered. The roof is clad with coloured cement roof tiles and flat sheet metal. Steep slopes of the mansard are clad with diamond-shaped fibre cement tiles.

The façades were designed in Historicist style with pseudo-rustication above the plinth (up to about one-fourth of the height of the ground floor windows), with vertical articulation by means of lesene between windows. The façades are crowned with a cornice emphasised by a grooved frieze. The windows are tall, rectangular, and framed by surrounds and sills; on the ground floor they are embellished with grooved panels. The front façade is characterised by an asymmetrically positioned avant-corps. The avant-corps features pseudo-rustication, wide entrance gate, balcony with a decorative balustrade, and finial in the form of an arched pediment bearing the inscription "biblioteka" (English: "library"), and allegorical relief. On the sides, there are cartouches with a laurel wreath and garlands. The southern façade is characterised by a pronounced avant-corps framed by lesenes. In the middle, there is a large rectangular window illuminating the staircase. The western façade is divided by lesenes into three fields with the window axis in the outermost field to the south. The window on the ground floor is not decorated with panels under the window sill.

Inside, on the avant-corps axis, there are an imposing hall covered with a flattened barrel vault with lunettes and a staircase with a large window in the southern wall, side walls with pseudo-rustication in the lower part and three decorative panels in the upper part.

The monument is open to visitors. Viewing of the building is possible during the opening hours of the library.

compiled by Mieczysław Kuś, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Rzeszów, 18-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Encyklopedia Rzeszowa, 2nd Edition: Stryjeński Tadeusz, prepared by Tondos B., Rzeszów 2011, p. 786.
  • Inwentaryzacja architektoniczno-konserwatorska i projekt budowlany remontu elewacji oraz północnej i zachodniej połaci dachu zabytkowego budynku Wojewódzkiej i Miejskiej Biblioteki Publicznej w Rzeszowie, prepared by Sapeta A., Potera B., Rzeszów 2004, typescript available at the Archives of the National Heritage Board of Poland, Regional Office in Rzeszów.
  • Record sheet, Budynek, prepared by Wajdowicz Cz., Rzeszów 2001, Archives of the Regional Office for the Protection of Historical Monuments, Rzeszów Regional Office.
  • Laskowski A., Architektura galicyjska w okresie autonomii. Uwagi na marginesie książki o architekturze Rzeszowa, [in:] MODUS Prace z historii sztuki II, Cracow 2001, pp. 123-180.
  • Tondos B., Architektura Rzeszowa w okresie autonomii galicyjskiej, Rzeszów 1997.
  • Tondos B. Architektura miejska, [in:] Dzieje Rzeszowa, vol. II, part W czasach autonomii galicyjskiej, Rzeszów 1998, pp. 287-322.

General information

  • Type: public building
  • Chronology: 1898-1902
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Sokoła 13, Rzeszów
  • Location: Voivodeship podkarpackie, district Rzeszów, commune Rzeszów
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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