Map
History of Łódź
Links
Gifts and Books
on Łódź
Gallery
Urząd Miasta Łodzi Łódź Turystyczna
 
 
Return to category Tourist Attractions
« Previous object· Next object »
 
 

"Industrial architecture" Tourist Trail

Address:


Łódź

Description:

At the end of the 19th century the symbol of Łódź – the city of four cultures,
inhabited by Poles, Jews, Germans and Russians – were its smoking brick chimneys
and mighty industrial towers. Today, the chimneys are slowly disappearing from
the  Łódź  landscape,  while  the  post-industrial  area  attracts  mostly  artists  in  love
with the original views and architects whose imagination knows no limits, who are
introducing bold changes to the former factory centre. An industrial architecture
trail is not only a journey to the past, into the times of the “Promised Land”, but also
an opportunity to observe a dynamically changing city. We recommend you take
a walk and see how the beauty of Łódź is drawn out of the post-industrial, heavy
walls and cast iron constructions.
INDUSTRIALIST FAMILIES
The Scheibler Family. The builder of the family fortune, Karol Scheibler, settled
in Łódź in 1854 and soon became its richest citizen. At the end of the 19th century
the family owned about 1/7 of the whole area of Łódź. Many of their buildings
survive until now: palaces, factories, and above all, the unique Księży Młyn estate.
The Grohmann Family. The Łódź career of the family began with the arrival
of Traugott Grohmann in 1842. Soon the Grohmanns attained a prominent position
in the city, the proof of which was the wedding of Karol Scheibler Junior with Anna
Grohmann, Traugott’s granddaughter. After WWI, both families decided to join
their industrial plants to counteract the post-war stagnation.
The Poznański Family. Izrael Poznański arrived in Łódź with his parents in 1834.
He built his position, having worked hard since early youth in trade, and then from
1872 with the establishment of an industrial empire. Soon the Poznańskis became
millionaires, the best evidence of which are the impressive residences and huge
factory complex, which to today is still serving Łódź and its inhabitants.
The Geyer Family. Ludwik Geyer arrived in the city in 1828. He is known as
‘the father of industrial Łódź’, since he was the first to open a fully mechanised
factory. It was also he who introduced the first steam machines here. Successive
generations of Geyers continued industrial activity in the southern part of Łódź until
WW II.           
The Kindermann Family. Franciszek Kindermann, a weaver’s son, began his
industrialist career in 1859. His business was later taken over by his seven sons.
They ran it with mixed success, yet several residences and factories built by the family
still remain to be seen in Łódź.

Ludwik Geyer’s White Factory
282/284th Piotrkowska Street


The first multi-section factory in Łódź with a weaving mill and cotton spinning mill constructed between 1835 and 1838. A special building was erected next to it, containing the first steam machine in Łódź, which had a 60 hp capacity. This classicist building has plastered walls, hence its name – the White Factory. Since 1960 the Central Museum of the Textile Industry has been located here, exhibiting mostly old textile machines and works of art related to textiles. An additional attraction is the Open-air Museum of Łódź Wooden Architecture, presenting buildings that could be found in the city at the beginning of 19th cen-tury. Since 1975 the Museum has organised the Tapestry Triennale, presenting the latest world trends in this art.
(open: Tue, Wed, Fri 9 am – 5 pm, Thu 11 am - 7 pm, Sat, Sun 11 am – 4 pm, tel. +48 42 683 26 84)

fotokod

Fryderyk Wilhelm Schweikert’s Factory
215th Wólczańska Street


The building housing a weaving mill and wool spinning mill was erected in the 1890s, its design being attributed to Fryderyk Miks. The shape of the land parcel – long and narrow – forced combining different production stages (spinning, weaving, finishing) in one, huge building. Nowadays the whole former indus-trial complex houses facilities belonging to the Technical University of Łódź. The old factory, today housing three Technical University faculties, is called “the tram” by students, for its shape.

fotokod


Scheibler Factory Warehouses
3/5th Tymienieckiego Street

The area of Karol Scheibler’s former industrial complex was constructed over the 1880s and 1890s. The warehouses situated near the bleachery and the finishing shop were used to store textile products. Between the buildings one can still see the remains of a railway siding belonging to the Scheiblers. Nowa-days, the buildings house the Łódź Art Center and Fabryka Sztuki (Factory of Art), while their industrial atmosphere fosters various artistic and cultural projects.

fotokod


The Scheiblers’ Power Station
3/7th Tymienieckiego Street


The power station was built in 1910 according to a design by engineer Alfred Frisch. It powered all the facilities within the industrial empire of the Scheiblers, and is a rare example of an Art Nouveau industrial building. Inside, the fea-tures of most interest are the tiles with floral motives, geometric stained-glass windows and a coffer iron-cast ceiling. Part of the original equipment has been preserved, including an AEG turbine dated 1938. The power plant was closed in 2003 due to its lack of compliance with environmental standards. A climbing wall was located here for a few years, but nowadays the building is used occasionally for various cultural events.

fotokod


Tytus Kopisch’s Bleachery
5th Tymienieckiego Street


The building was constructed between 1828 and 1829. Known as Kopisch’s bleachery, it in fact formed a part of a bleaching plant and served as residen-tial premises for Tytus Kopisch himself. It is one of the oldest buildings in industrial Łódź, classical in form, with a centrally placed triangular pediment. Today the building houses the Łódź City Office and in its interior, parts of the original wooden structure have been preserved.

fotokod


Markus Silberstein’s Factory
242/250th Piotrkowska Street


The weaving mill was built between 1893 and 1894 according to a design by Adolf Zeligson. The three-storey building adhered to an older, one-storey weaving mill situated at the back of the parcel. The massive block is surrounded by two towers giving it the appearance of a fortified building. In the top parts of both towers, the decorative initials of the founder of the factory – Markus Silberstein – can be found. There is also a former administration building at-tached to it, as seen from the street. It was there that in 1907, one of the workers shot the president of the company board, Mieczysław Silberstein. This was just one of the tragic events in the workers’ protests in 1905-1907.

fotokod


Zygmunt Richter’s Factory
 17thStefanowskiego Street


This former spinning mill and finishing shop was erected by Zygmunt Richter in stag-es between 1879 and 1912. In 1927 the factory was bought by a company owned by the brothers Naum and Borys Eitingon, who changed the production profile from wool to cotton fabric. In the spinning mill building at the junction of Radwańska and Stefanowskiego seen from the west and the south, there are details which refer to medieval defensive architecture. The ground floor of the former spinning mill is now occupied by gastronomic outlets, mostly serving students from the nearby Technical University. Note the older, preserved con-struction elements.

fotokod


Karol W. Scheibler’s New Weaving Mill
187th Kilińskiego Street


The so-called New Weaving Mill was built between 1898 and1899 according to a design by Paweł Rübensahm, and was the last massive factory building belonging to the Scheiblers’ industrial empire. Most interesting here is the build-ing’s elevation as seen from Kilińskiego Street, in a Renaissance style. The most prominent event that took place here was the 1987 visit by pope John Paul II, who came to personally meet Łódź’s weavers.

fotokod


The Scheiblers’ Factory Hospital in Księży Młyn
14th Milionowa Street


The first factory hospital in Łódź, built between 1882 and 1884 by Anna Scheibler, Karol Scheibler’s widow. The horseshoe-shaped building has few architectural details, such as plastered corners and window frames contrasting with red bricks. To commemorate the founder, St. Ann was made the patron saint of the hospital. The building still functions as a hospital. At present it is named after doctor Karol Jonscher, a distinguished community worker, the Scheibler’s family doctor and the originator of the hospital’s construction.

fotokod


Karol W. Scheibler’s Spinning Mill in Księży Młyn
25th Tymienieckiego Street


The spinning mill, built between 1870 and 1873, was the first building in Karol W. Scheibler’s “Księży Młyn” industrial complex. Measuring 207 m in length, at the time of its construction it was the biggest industrial building in Łódź, and proof of Scheibler’s domination. The building’s architectural style refers to medieval defensive architecture, mostly due to the massive towers in the cor-ners. At present the building has been converted to residential functions after several years of renovation works.

fotokod


The Scheiblers’ Fire Station in Księży Młyn
30th Tymienieckiego Street


Firefighters were present in Karol Scheibler’s industrial plants from 1878, while the present building was built in the 1890s. The fire station is dominated by a high observation tower featuring gothic elements. At the back are the former firefighters’ homes and an ornamental pump. After thorough renovation, the building was converted into an office centre. The original appearance was preserved though, including the original doors of the former coach houses and an alarm gong on the tower.

fotokod


Scheibler Workers’ Homes in Księży Młyn
Księży Młyn


This estate of workers’ houses was built between 1873 and 1875, and extended between 1885 and 1889. It complimented the whole industrial complex of the factory, the industrialist’s residence and social and technical facilities. The oldest part consists of 3 rows of residential buildings, in between which there are outbuildings. The homes were only for the families of masters and qualified workers in the Scheiblers’ factory.

fotokod


The Scheiblers’ Factory School in Księży Młyn
13/15th Księży Młyn


Scheibler opened a school for his factory workers’ children in 1876, and it was the first institution of its kind in Łódź. The school building is a part of the Księży Młyn estate, closing the way leading from the spinning mill to the residential houses. It consists of several buildings added in consecutive years, combined into a harmonious whole and consistent with the architectural style of the complex.

fotokod


The Scheiblers’ Factory Shop in Księży Młyn
Księży Młyn Street


The factory shop building was built in 1882. Scheibler’s factory workers were given special voucher books for purchasing articles from this shop, which was known as the “konsum store”. Apart from groceries, most of which came from Scheibler’s home farm, it sold factory remnants and defective goods at lower prices. Profit from the sales was allotted to the savings and loans scheme that supported the factory workers. Today, part of the former shop houses the Księży Młyn publishing house.

fotokod


Grohmann’s Barrels
46th Targowa Street


The monumental gate was built in 1894-1896, probably according to Franciszek Chełmiński’s design. It led to the former weaving mill owned by Ludwik Grohmann, and resembles austere medieval defensive architecture. The gate is supported on two broad columns commonly referred to as “Grohmann’s Barrels”, which look like the reels of thread used in the factory. Rumours about the Grohmanns’ wealth said that a large treasure was hidden in the Barrels. In fact, they were intended to symbolise the factory’s strength and, at the same time, to impress the workers passing through the gates.

fotokod


Karol W. Scheibler’s “Headquarters” Factory Complex
2th Zwycięstwa Square


In 1854 a plot in the city park was leased to Karol W. Scheibler, from which the amazing career of this legendary industrialist began. His first factory was a cotton mill built in 1855-1856. Unplastered and almost completely devoid of decorations, the walls were an innovative solution. In subsequent years a weaving mill and the finishing shop were added to the complex. Because of the factory’s location near the Scheibler family’s main residence, the whole area came to be known as “the Headquarters”. At the moment, the complex does not serve any manufacturing functions, but does house a number of business entities.

fotokod


Winkler and Gaertner’s Factory
82/84 Sienkiewicza Street


The building of Winkler and Gaertner’s knitted products (hosiery) factory was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1919 the factory was taken over by the Eitingon brothers, Naum and Borys, who continued production. After the Second World War the factory became home to the “Zenit” knitting company. Later, the former factory was converted into a business centre. It is linked with the past by the name “Zenit”.

fotokod


Józef Balle’s Factory
72th Sienkiewicza Street


Balle’s factory building was erected around 1892 according to a design by Stefan Lemené, and in 1898 was complemented with a southern part designed by Lew Lubotynowicz. It housed a rubber tape factory, and since 1909, Michał Nutkiewicz’s technical fabrics factory. The building is made of characteristic red brick and is modestly decorated with a frieze and ornamentation above the windows. Today, the renovated building houses the Łódź branch of Gazeta Wyborcza and two radio stations – Złote Przeboje and TOK FM.

fotokod


Łódź Thread Factory Stock Society
2/6th Niciarniana Street


The thread factory was established in 1897 as Towarzystwo Akcyjne Widze-wskiej Manufaktury Niciarnianej (Widzew Thread Factory Stock Society). The owners were Juliusz Kunitzer, Juliusz and Ludwik Heinzel and a merchant from Saint Petersburg, Lejzor Lourie. The cotton mill situated on Niciarniana Street combines the features of medieval defensive architecture and Art Nouveau. A former workers’ housing estate is situated at the back of the factory complex.

fotokod


Juliusz Heinzl’s Workers’ House
23/25th Tuwima Street


This residential house was erected in 1879, probably according to a design by Otto Gehlig, for the workers of Juliusz Heizl’s factory. Because of the lack of free space next to the factory, the house was built at some distance. The architectural style of the building refers to Renaissance and medieval defensive architecture. The courtyard is also worth noting, as apart from rich greenery, the old two-storey sheds have been preserved there.

fotokod


EC1 Power Plant


The first power plant in Łódź was opened in 1907. The oldest engine room, from 1906-1907, has a reinforced concrete floor-ceiling assembly, and was the first building in Poland to feature such construction. Between 1929 and 1930 the power plant was extended due to construction of a complex called the New Control Station in its western part. At the moment, works connected with the New Centre of Łódź project are under way, which include conversion of the former power plant site into a cultural area. The place already houses the legendary Se-ma-for film studio, and the Fable Museum.

fotokod


Ferdynand Göldner’s Factory
52th Rewolucji 1905 Street


Starting life in 1883 as a small spinning mill for vicuña used in the production of stockings and knitting, subsequent years saw the building extended and a rubber tape factory added. The three-storey spinning-mill has an exceptional elevation on the Rewolucji 1905 r. Street side, resembling a residential building. At present, both buildings are connected by a large patio. The former factory houses the University of Humanities and Economics, as well as the PATIO Art Centre which promotes modern art.

fotokod


Izrael K. Poznański’s Empire
17th Ogrodowa Street


The construction of Poznański’s industrial complex began in 1872. The first building was a weaving mill with a saw-tooth roof, the first of its kind in Łódź. The most splendid building is the spinning mill situated along Ogrodowa Street, built between 1876 and 1878, probably according to Juliusz Jung’s design. Symbolic of the whole complex are the monumental gates on Ogrodowa Street, leading into the former factory site. Apart from industrial buildings, the complex contains the Poznański’s family residence, a factory office, work-ers’ homes as well as a school and a hospital. This former industrial complex has been regenerated and now houses the ‘Manufaktura’ commercial, entertainment and cultural centre. You can learn about the history of the place in the Museum of the Factory. It is also worth visiting the ‘ms² – Museum of Art’, with its impres-sive collection of modern art.
(opening hours: Commercial part: Mon – Sat 10 am – 10 pm, Sun 10 am – 9 pm
Museum of the Factory: Tue – Fri 9 am – 7 pm, Sat – Sun 11 am – 7 pm
‘ms² – Muzeum of Art’: Tue 10 am – 6 pm, Wed – Sun 12 pm – 8 pm)

fotokod


Workers’ Houses of Izrael K. Poznański
24th, 26th, 28th Ogrodowa Street


Workers’ homes for those employed in Izrael K. Poznański’s factory were constructed between 1879 and 1913, probably according to a design by Juliusz Jung and Dawid Rosenthal. Their form matches that of the whole indus-trial complex. Due to the lack of large space near the factory, they were the highest-built workers’ houses in Łódź. The oldest one was plastered, but the rest, for economic reasons, still have red-brick elevations. All are still used for residential purposes.

fotokod

Ernst Wever’s Factory
1/3th Kopernika Street


The factory consists of two combined buildings: an older one from 1880 along Kopernika Street and a newer one from 1903, on the corner of Wólczańska and Kopernika Street, probably designed by Fryderyk Miks. Initially, buttons were produced there, later – haberdashery products. The newer building is a rare combination of Neo-Gothic and modernism. After production stopped, the building housed the Forum Fabricum alternative culture centre for many years.

fotokod


Juliusz Kindermann’s Factory
23/25th Łąkowa Street


The massive, three-storey cotton mill building was constructed in 1897 and is surrounded by high towers topped with battlements, with the whole recalling medieval defensive architecture. The top of the central part of the building is engraved with some key information, including the year the factory was con-structed. Later, at the far end of the property, the low building of the weaving mill was added, with an interesting Art Nouveau front elevation. At the moment the former cotton mill houses the Focus hotel, and there are plans to create a conference centre in the former weaving mill.

fotokod


Adolf Daube’s Factory
128/130 Wólczańska Street


The weaving mill building, erected about 1910, was a part of Adolf Daube’s wool products factory. The architectural style of the building refers to histori-cism, while also containing modernistic elements which are visible in its outsized windows. The building has been thoroughly renovated and now serves as a business centre.

fotokod

Photographies: