Tenement house, Suwałki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The tenement house at 54 Kościuszki street, in addition to the artistic quality of its eclectic form and decorations, presents a significant historical value due to its links with the life of Abraham Stern. The house forms part of the frontage of the Kościuszki street - a well preserved urban complex from the era of the Kingdom of Poland, its distinguishing feature being the well-preserved Classicist architecture of the individual buildings which it comprises - tenement houses, public buildings and ecclesiastical structures, most of them erected during the first half of the 19th century.

History

Back in 1838, what is now known as Waryńskiego street was a mere narrow path, a private road leading towards the fields beyond. Somewhere around the year 1841, however, the nature of this road has begun to change, which coincided with the decision of Mr Beniamin Mintz, the owner of one of the adjoining plots of land, to erect a tenement house there. One of the residents of the Mintz tenement house were Mordechaj and Hadasa-Leja Stern. In 1911, Stern opened the cinema known as “Momus”, which was later acquired by Wincenty Szymaniuk. It was in this very house that Abraham Stern was born and raised; Stern, who was born in 1907, immigrated to Jerusalem in 1925; before his death in 1942, he has made a name for himself as a poet, linguist and activist advocating the formation of the Jewish State. Today, the tenement house - which has undergone an extensive restoration - serves as a bank.

Description

The building is located along the junction of the Kościuszki and Waryńskiego streets, in the immediate vicinity of the town hall which stands vis-à-vis the house.

It is an eclectic structure with Classical influences.

The building was designed on a floor plan consisting of a pair of rectangles; the body of the house is formed by a pair of two-storey, cuboid sections positioned at a right angle towards one another and covered with gable roofs. The section positioned alongside the Kościuszki street is adjoined by a back building. The building is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster. The roofs of the tenement house are of the gable type. The north façade positioned along Waryńskiego street follows a ten-axial layout. Its truncated corner incorporates the entrance door and the balcony door above. The western façade, positioned alongside Kościuszki street, follows a five-axial layout. The façades are adorned with triangular pediments positioned on the axis of symmetry of each façade; a similar pediment also graces the truncated corner of the tenement house. The pediments themselves are relatively shallow and framed with a profiled cornice adorned with volute-shaped corbels. The upper storeys of the tenement house are accentuated with horizontal rustication, a cornice running beneath the windows and a frieze adorned with a meander motif, with a profiled, corbelled crowning cornice rising directly above. The windows of the upper storey are framed with surrounds adorned with keystones. The interior follows a two-bay layout and has seen many transformations throughout the building’s lifetime.

The historic monument can be visited from the outside.

compiled by Grażyna Rogala, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Białystok, 23-12-2014.

Bibliography

  • Bacewicz J., Ulicami i uliczkami Suwałk, Suwałki 2008, p. 134.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 2.poł. XIX w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościuszki 54, Suwałki
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district Suwałki, commune Suwałki
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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