Town hall complex, Suwałki
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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Seat of municipal authorities - a town hall, erected in the 1940s in Suwałki, along with compact development in a Classicist style, consisting of tenement houses, public utility buildings and sacred buildings, erected mainly in the first half of the 19th century, represents a well-preserved urban complex from the times of the Congress Kingdom of Poland. These are brick structures, mostly two-storey, characterised by a relatively modest architectural look. The authors of the most important buildings were outstanding architects, including: Christian Peter Aigner, Antonio Corazzi, Henryk Marconi, Wacław Ritschel . Transregional artistic and historical values.

History

In the late 18th century, “south of the church, a town hall stood in the middle of the market square. It hosted a session room and a monastery inn. It was a wooden building covered by wood shingles .” In 1819, the old town hall was ordered to be demolished. According to a new concept, the town hall was supposed to be located along the axis of the newly-built church, “so that its face corresponded with the church front.“ In the years 1834-1835, a prison building was erected. It is a one-storey structure, on an elongated rectangular floor plan, with a four-pillar portico that supports a tympanum decorated with a sculpture of an eagle. A two-bay interior with the room for guards, three cells for prisoners, three rooms for officers and a kitchen on the yard side. The structure was plastered and painted in a colour of sand, typical for official buildings. A plot in the south-eastern corner of the market square was dedicated to the construction of the prison and the town hall. In 1836, Antonio Corazzi corrected the existing design. In the years 1841-1844, under the supervision of the governorate construction inspector Karol Majerski, the town hall building was erected. It was a nine-axis, two-storey building with an entrance gate. A tower was built on the centerline linking the town hall and the prison. In the north, a one-storey prison abutted on the town hall. It was called a “right pavilion”. Analogically, a five-axis, one-storey pavilion was found on the southern side. Both one-storey pavilions opened towards the Kościuszko Street with massive archways. In 1855, the town hall was expanded. Both elevated wings (pavilions) were covered with a roof with a ridge of equal height as the roof ridge of the town hall. Rooms in the part above the prison were devoted to a flat and a chancellery of the Warship Commissioner, while rooms above the southern pavilion were incorporated to the President’s flat. Most probably in the 1880s, a one-storey tenement house located between the prison and the gymnasium building was incorporated to the town hall complex (a southern frontage of the Market Square, currently Mickiewicza Street). An upward extension gained a façade homogenised with the remaining part. In 1933, another modernisation began; it was terminated by the acts of war. The archway on the side of Kościuszko Street was walled up, and the interior arrangement was altered. The German occupant redesigned the building to reflect a German style. Before the Red Army marched into the town, the Germans blew the central part of the town hall up. Rebuilt in the 1950s, followed by general renovation and modernisation in the 1990s.

Description

The town hall complex is situated in the centre of the town, in the western frontage of the Kościuszko Street and the southern frontage of the Market Square. Particular parts of the Classicist complex (on rectangular floor plans) are combined into a single building. The complex underwent multiple reconstructions; currently, it is a two-storey building, whose lower storey - currently developed - used to be an arcade. The building is crowned with a quadrangular tower, intersected by four arcaded clearances and surrounded by a low balustrade. The main entrance to the building, from the Market Square, is a four-pillar portico in the Doric order. A massive, rusticated ground floor acts as a plinth for the lighter architecture of the first floor. A balanced composition, an effect of order and harmony of particular elements of the façade, triggers the artistic impression of the building.

Accessible structure.

compiled by Iwona Górska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Bialystok, 21-10-2014.

Bibliography

  • A. Kułak, Budynki użyteczności publicznej, [w:] Perły architektury województwa podlaskiego, Białystok-Bydgoszcz 2010, s. 96-97, il. s. 101.
  • Kopciał J. (red.), Suwałki miasto nad Czarną Hańczą, Suwałki 2005, s. 104, 123. 134, 142, 836-837, il. s. 119, 337.

General information

  • Type: town hall
  • Chronology: 1836 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: T. Kościuszki 53, Suwałki
  • Location: Voivodeship podlaskie, district Suwałki, commune Suwałki
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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