Townhouse (tenement house) with back buildings, currently serving as the Maria Konopnicka Branch of the District Museum, Suwałki
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Townhouse (tenement house) with back buildings, currently serving as the Maria Konopnicka Branch of the District Museum

Suwałki

photo

The building at 31 Kościuszki street is one of the first masonry buildings erected here in the 1830s and reflects the nature of the expansion of the city of Suwałki during that period while at the same time presenting a significant artistic value. The significance of this building also stems from the fact that it is the birthplace of the famous writer Maria Konopnicka. The tenement house forms part of the Kościuszko street frontage, forming a well-preserved urban complex from the times of the Kingdom of Poland.

History

During the early 19th century, two parcels of land positioned alongside Kościuszki street and reaching all the way toward the Czarna Hańcza river remained in the hands of W. Kulwiński and the marriage of W. and M. Kolankiewicz, all of whom were members of the local bourgeoisie. On the northern plot of land, W. Kulwiński erected a wooden granary, stable and carriage house, while the neighbouring parcel remained empty. It was then acquired by Jan Zapiórkowski, a notary working for the Civil Tribunal of the Augustowskie Province in Suwałki. The tenement house was erected in two stages, in years 1826-27 and 1835-36. In the years 1841-1849, the attorney-at-law Józef Wasiłowski and his wife Scholastyka lived in Mr Zapiórkowski’s house; in 1842, their daughter, Maria Konopnicka, was born here; many years later she would become a well-known writer, commemorated on the plaque affixed to the wall of the house which was unveiled in 1935. Later on, the tenement house remained under the control of the Imperial Russian government administration. After that, the ownership of the tenement house passed on - by way of inheritance followed by a sale transaction - to Michał Jaroszewicz. In 1920, Maria Jaroszewicz sold the house to the Linkiewicz family, who in turn sold it to Aleksander Lutyński and his wife Bronisława that same year. The tenement house remained in their hands until 1978. During the interwar period, the premises were used, among others, as a tailor’s workshop, a mercery maintained by Mr and Mrs Lutyński and a sales outlet of the POLAMTOW Polish-American Trade and Industry Association. In 1950, the Praesidium of the Municipal National Council in Suwałki adopted a resolution on the expropriation of the house at 31 Kościuszki street; from now on, the house was to serve as the Museum of the Suwałki Region. The museum was opened in 1973. In 1995, the building underwent comprehensive restoration. Today, it serves as the Maria Konopnicka Branch of the District Museum in Suwałki.

Description

The building forms part of the western frontage of the Kościuszki street; it is situated on a parcel of land stretching all the way towards the Czarna Hańcza river, which forms the western boundary thereof. A free-standing outbuilding with a garden is located behind the tenement house.

The tenement house was designed on a rectangular floor plan and features a pair of back buildings. It is a single-storey, cuboid structure with a wide wall dormer. The building is made of brick, its walls covered with plaster. The former gateway into the yard beyond, currently serving as the main entrance, is positioned on the middle axis of the house; it is preceded by a loggia supported by a pair of Tuscan columns. The front façade follows a fifteen-axial, symmetrical layout. Its defining feature is the large, five-axial wall dormer topped with a stepped roof parapet. The windows are rectangular in shape, with the lintels of the wall dormer windows adorned with sculpted lion heads; the projecting sills below these windows are supported by volute-shaped corbels. The interior follows a two-bay layout. The building features a wooden staircase.

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

  • Czapska A., Architektura XIX w. w Suwałkach, [in:] Studia i materiały do dziejów Suwalszczyzny, Białystok 1965, p. 318.
  • Matusiewicz A., Dom Marii Konopnickiej, “Jatwieź”, no. 24, 2003, pp. 14-25.
  • Suwałki miasto nad Czarną Hańczą, J. Kopciał (ed.), Suwałki 2005, p. 841, fig. p. 840.

General information

  • Type: tenement house
  • Chronology: 1826-1827
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Kościuszki 31, Suwałki
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district Suwałki, commune Suwałki
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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