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"The Piotrkowska" Tourist Trail

Address:

Piotrkowska
Łódź

Description:

For more than 190 years Piotrkowska Street has been the symbol of Łódź’s welfare and might, as well as the pride of its citizens. The street forms a historical axle of the city, along which one of the biggest European textile centres was created in the 19th century. Piotrkowska Street forms a part of the Medieval route connecting the cities of Toruń and Kraków. According to sources, in the 18th century it ran through the forest inhabited by deer, lynxes, wild cats and wolves. Piotrkowska linked the Old Town with newly formed industrial cloth village called New Town and the villageof Łódka, originally home to linen and cotton manufacturers. Later market squares were outlined in the vicinity of the street, which became the main trade centres of the city: former New Old Town Market (Wolności Square), former Mill Market (Jan Paweł II Square), former Uper Market (Reymont Square). The authorities of the Kingdom of Poland issued anoffer directed to textile manufacturers, which attracted a number of craftsmen from all over Europe. Initially they settled along Piotrkowska Street in small wooden houses designed for both living and work, built in accordance to strict government standards. Along with industrial development of the city, the factory buildings and wooden houses appeared, later gradually replaced by magnificent palaces and tenement houses. Piotrkowska soon became the finest street of the city and at the same time the heart of the industrial giant. The city indeed had magnetic appeal for manufacturers and tradesmen, who made business and multiplied their capital. Piotrkowska was not merely a trade centre, but also artistic salon and cultural Mecca of Łódź. It housed theatres, hotels, cinemas, restaurants, bakeries and cafes along with thriving shops selling luxurious goods and clothes. Piotrkowska was the place where all the novelties appeared first: oil street lamps in 1835, the first factory chimney of the White Factory in 1839, which was the result of the appliance of the first steam machine on the Polish territories; first horse carriages in 1840, telephone in 1883, electricity in 1888, first electric tram in the Congress Poland in 1898. Initially, the street ran from the bridge over Łódka river, today Nowomiejska street, and its end was marked by the Upper Market, where in 1827 appeared a post with the name of the city and the number of homes. Today the street runs from WolnościSquare and ends at Niepodległości Square, formerly known as Leonhardt Market, established in 1904. Currently Piotrkowska Street is 4.2 km long. The northern section being a promenade, the southern part still keeps its character of a transport route. Piotrkowska is the only artery in the country to preserve original 19th century urban architecture combining examples of historism, eclectism and fantastic Art Nouveau The unique character of the street can merely be compared to urban city unit of Vienna. Piotrkowska is a shoppers’ paradise, but it alsoattracts people who seek rest in numerous beer gardens, pubs, cafes, restaurants, clubs and discos. Tourists may enjoy a ride in rikshaw,segway, old trambus (tram on the bus chassis), which stops at every street crossing the promenade. Gustaw Herling-Grudziński, a renownedPolish writer, once referred to Piotrkowska Street as: ”a kind of oxygen apparatus for the whole city”. “The Piotrkowska Trail” shows magnificentpalaces and tenement houses of extraordinary beauty, the oldest hotel in Łódź and the former site of a distinguished 19th century “Paradyż” Inn. There are also places pictured in films, connected with culture and science, and also monuments commemorating prominent citizens of Łódź. These subjectively selected places are the main axle of the route. “Pietryna” has a lot more to offer. Find out for yourselves. Welcome to Piotrkowska street.
(Author: Piotr Machlański)

 

Arthur Rubinstein`s chilhood house

78 Piotrkowska, Łódź

This is the house where Arthur Rubinstein spent his childhood. It is an eclectic tenement house with the elements of neo renaissance architecture with a risalit in the centre and rusticated angles. Build in 1880 the design is attributed to Hilary Majewski. The first owners were Teodor Jeziorski, and subsequently the financier from Warsaw, Hipolit Wawelberg. At the turn of 19th century it was occupied by Hugon Wulfsohn’s Corduroy and Cloth Mill. Arthur Rubinstein, a world famous pianist, the honorary citizen of Łódź, the “Great Ambassador” of the city and the country, lived in this house for a few years from 1887. The parents of the splendid musician moved to the house when he was a baby. The musician was born on 28th January 1887 in one of the houses located in Południowa Street (today Rewolucji 1905 Street). Nowadays the memory of Rubinstein in his family town is still alive. Arthur Rubinstein’s Gallery of Music in the Museum of the City of Łódź is the only permanent exhibition of memorabilia of this remarkable man in the world. The Philharmonic of Łódź,  one of the passages in the city and International Musical Fund, the organizer of International Music Festival, are named after the musician. In front of the house, there is a monument in form of a bench and the piano, called “Rubinstein’s Piano”, which counts into Marcel Szytenchelm’s “Gallery of Great Citizens of Łódź”.

 

August Haertig's Palace

236 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The palace was built in an eclectic style between 1895 and 1896, according to Franciszek Che¸miƒski’s design. It is a magnificent example of the late 19th century downtown architecture combining residential and commercial functions. There was a factory cantor on the first floor, whereas the second floor accommodated elegant salons. The precious elements of the interior and equipment – such as: old majolica stoves, stuccowork and paintings - can still be admired today. There used to be a dye house and a fabric finishing shop on the property. Recent renovation

works have restored the former luster of the facade and interiors of the palace

 

 

Evangelical – Augsburg Church of Saint Matthew

283 Piotrkowska, 90-457 Łódź

www: http://mateusz.org.pl/

Nowadays it is the only Lutheran church in the city. It was built in unstable times of 1905 revolution and during the First World War. It took almost 20 years to complete (1908-1928). The architecture of the building resembles Romanesque models found in Rhineland. The church is based on the plan of the Greek cross with extended front section topped with a huge 80-metre tower, which in an upper part takes octagonal form. The central portal is particularly eminent due to its richly decorated reliefs. The interior in the central section is covered with a dome made of reinforced concrete, supported by four pillars. The highest point of the dome is set at the height of 26 metres, whereas the diameter at the bottom ridge is 17metres. A massive chandelier with 241 light bulbs hangs from the centre of the dome. There is also an impressive presbytery. The altar section is made of white marble and it depicts the figure of Christ praying in the Olive Garden. It was designed and sculpted by Paweł Senff. The walls of the apse are covered with a colourful mural made with al fresco method (painting on a wet plaster). It present the Stations of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Deposition and people going to meet the Saviour. Among the characters there is William Tell with his family and Dante. The motif brings the message pointing the direction a human being should follow.

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Former “Paradyż Inn”

175A-177 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Former “Paradyż” was one of the most popular sites for entertainment and relaxation at the end of the 19th century. It was situated in the front section of the vast quarter of land stretching up to Wólczańska Street. After demolishing in 1972 the residential building was erected, which can be found in the site today. The complex of buildings around the inn built between 1827-1829 was the property of Jan Adamowski. The inn was a one storey brick structure with a tiled roof. There were total of 11 rooms. In the courtyard it had stables, wine cellar and a bowling alley. Inside the estate was a so-called “Paradise of Łódź” – a magnificent English garden formed of the remains of the municipal forest, full of fruit trees and with a wooden gazebo. In 1934 “Paradyż” changed the owner to Henrietta Hentshlowa, who after marrying Michał Kunkla, handed the business to her husband. The new manager modernised the inn and refurbished the garden, where he set up an exquisite restaurant well-known for its delicious meals. The citizens of Łódź were eager to organise family gatherings at the premises. The successor of Kunkel, his stepson August Hentschel, built a wooden theatre in the garden. For August 1867 they planned the premiere of “Otello” starring a world-famous black actor, Ira Aldridge. Unfortunately, on the 7th August 1867 he died unexpectedly of lung infection in his hotel room. “Paradyż” also let its stage to magicians, musical events and very popular social games with artist performing on stage.

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Former “Victoria” Hotel and “Victoria” Theatre

67 Piotrkowska, Łódź

In 1876 in the plot bought a year earlier from Juliusz Kunitzer, Wilhelm Kern built a hotel, which received the name “Victoria”. For many years it was said to be the most elegant in the city. The advert in a daily newspaper stated: “The numbers (rooms in the hotel) are beautifully and tastefully furnished offering all comforts for guests”. The hotel restaurant was also highly recommended: “The food is tasty. The cellar is well and neatly equipped with all kinds of drinks as well as the best Hungarian and foreign wines”. A year after opening the hotel, Kern built a theatre under the same name at the back of the site. It was a one storey building with 17 boxes inside covered with tar paper on the roof. The initiative came from Józef Texel, a well-known actor and singer, who became a co-owner a year later. Soon the first floor and the extension in the front were completed. The façade was decorated with the pillasters. After refurbishment the theatre had 33 boxes altogether. They also set up “a buffer heated by an iron stove with a pipe” and gas lights. The famous Puchniewski and Grabowski troupes performed regularly on stage. In 1894 there was even a performance of famous magician prof. Popiel. It is worth mentioning that Aleksander Zelwerowicz was the director at the beginning of 20th century. After the fire in 1909 it was turned into a skating track “Victoria Scating Palace”, and then two years later changed to “Casino” cinema with an audience seating 1000 people and folding cinema chairs. The tradition has been preserved until today by “Polonia” cinema.

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Former Emil Schmechel’s Department Store

98 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Former Department Store of Emil Schmechel was the first genuine garment warehouse in the city. It had characteristic large shop windows and original modernist architecture. There is the date 1892 above soft arches of windows in the tower in the corner. The date commemorates the year when Emil Schmechel opened his first shop located in a brick house from the 1830’s, which did not last until today. The building as it can be seen today was built between 1906-1911. Schmechel Department Store sold affordable goods. The offer included elegant coats, suits for men and women and also luxury lingerie. In 1961 the building became The Shoe Store - a State Owned Department Store, which gave the common name to the building which since then has been called “The Shoe House” (Dom Buta).  Initially in the first half of the 19th century there was one of the first pubs in Łódź owned by Jan Bogumił Wustman. In 1845 the authorities offered the site to August Potempa, a doctor and the head of St. Alexander city hospital. Around 1849 Ignacy Kieszczyński’s chemist’s (one of four in the city at the time) was moved to the premises. The chemist set up a laboratory in the courtyard, in which he prepared drugs for city hospital. Juliusz Knoll and Marceli Kuźmicki were successors of Kieszczyński. The latter moved the chemist’s to new location at 95 Piotrkowska Street.

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Former Geyer`s Palace

74 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The former Geyer`s Palace was a flagship building of Ludwik Geyer`s Joint-Stock Society. Erected in 1884 in the busiest place in the city, it built the prestige of the family business. The building corresponds to Italian renaissance characterised by the abundance of stone work, especially richly present in the corner spanned with a tower supported with caryatids and topped with a dome. It was designed by an architect originating from Stuttgart, Juliusz Jung. The ground floor was shared between the warehouse of Geyer’s goods and Antoni Stępkowki “Delicatessen” offering a rich variety of luxurious goods and the restaurant “with delicious food and great choice of wines”. The side wing was used by the Commercial Bank of Łódź. On the first floor was an exhibition hall where young artists who couldn’t afford to organise a vernissage presented their works. It is interesting, though, that the old office has been used several times as film set in various productions. Among them was “Kariera Nikodema Dyzmy” starring Roman Wilhelmi in the title role. The richly ornamented entrance was used as the entrance to The Corn Exchange Bank, managed by Dyzma.

 

Former  Hotel Polski

3 Piotrkowska, Łódź

What today seems an ordinary house used to be one of the most elegant buildings in the city. In 1835 the one storey weaver’s cottage was replaced by an inn, ostentatiously called Hotel Polski, owned by Antoni Engel. Originally it was a simple two storey inn designed by Jan Karol Mertsching - the architect of Łęczycki region. The inn could fit 60 guests in 30 rooms. The more elegant rooms overlooked Piotrkowska Street. Notices on the door in French were supposed to give the hotel somehow European character. On the ground floor was a den and a diner, serving hot meals to guests. There were two annexes in the courtyard with additional rooms for guests. The inn generally had a good opinion. The rooms were cosy and warm, heated with tiled stoves. A gallery ran around the upper floor overlooking the courtyard. In 1872 the hotel was bought by Teodor Engel. There was an elegant restaurant with regular clientele. Among the guests were the most prominent citizens of New Town, such as lawyers and civil servants. The restaurant was well-known for lavish parties and social gatherings in the time of carnival. At the turn of the 19th century some of the rooms downstairs were occupied by Józef Wolski’s shop selling “wines, spirits and colonial goods”.

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Former House of the Assembly of Master Weavers

100 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The current architectural form of the building is the result of refurbishment in 1911. Originally it was a one storey brick house with a hipped-gabled roof covered with tiles. It served as a meeting place for master weavers, members of the most prominent professional guilds in the city. The building was designed by Ludwik Bethier and erected in 1839. The main entrance is located in the centre facing Piotrkowska Street. It had red door spanned by two pilasters on both sides and topped with a triangular fronton. Originally there were also 6 windows with red frames overlooking the street. Later, one of the windows was altered and turned into the entrance to the pub. The house was the pride of all the weavers in Łódź. Inside was a large meeting hall and few smaller rooms for the purposes of the archives, the administration of the building and also an infirmary for the ill weavers. In the courtyard were storage buildings and the garden with a bowling alleyat the back of the building with the entrance from Dzika Street (today Sienkiewicza Street). The pub served for so-called citizen balls and also for family gatherings of guild members. There was also a unique Fryderyk Siegman’s Mechanical Theatre, which presented puppets playing guitar to the sound of a barrel organ. In the extension built in 1911 sat a modern “Luna” cinema, “heated with steam and lit with electric lights”. Between 1912-1913 the building housed the headquarters of the German newspaper “Lodzer Rundschau”.

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Former Institute of Radium Treatment

175 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Former Institute of Radium Treatment, which was the first institution of that kind in Poland. It was established in 1927 on the commission of Polish Association for Eradication of Cancer with the active support of the Department of Public Health in the Magistrate of Łódź. The Institute’s main offices were located in the annexe at the back of the estate. Doctor Józef Marzyński was the first manager of the institution. The main activities of the Institute included cancer screening in order to detect tumours, and in case of positive result, directing patients for further treatment. The St Joseph’s hospital located at 75 Drewnowska Street served as clinical background of the Institute. There was also the first ward for patients suffering from cancer. From 1936 this role was assigned to “Betleem” hospital at 15 Podleśna Street. The treatment involved the use of 250 mg of radium, which had been purchased abroad exclusively for the Institute. It is necessary to mention, that in the interwar period Łódź was the second biggest oncology centre in the country right after Warsaw. The organisational structure of the Institute was pioneering, which confirms the institution’s high position. In 1917 the first outpatients for people suffering from tumours was opened in the St Alexander Metropolitan Hospital. In 1926 the first Section for Eradication of Cancer was established within Public Health Department at the Magistrate of Łódź. This body coordinated the activities of all the above-mentioned institutions. The section initiated the opening of the second outpatients for people suffering from cancer located at 83 Gdańska Street.

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Former John’s mill complex

217-221 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Joseph John was the biggest textile machines and metal parts manufacturer in the city. The first production sector - ironfoundry - was opened in 1866. At the time John also used a one storey wooden house, which in the 1880’s was replaced by the eclectic building, which remains in the site until today. In the forthcoming years the factory specialised in manufacturing of toothed gear and worm gear transmission, steam boilers, pumps and heaters. It also made iron casts on individual orders. In 1905 it transformed into joint-stock company. The advertisement printed in local newspaper at the turn of 19th century claimed that “I. John Transmissions Factory and Iron Foundry in Łódź produced total of transmission units for engines ranging between 100 to 2500 horsepower, for a total power of 65,000 horsepower”, which ranked the company on the first position in the Kingdom of Poland. The company had its branches in Tomsk, Moscow, Kiev, Odessa, Rostov-on-Don and Baku. On 30th October 1941 the company changed its profile to armaments production for German army. After nationalising in 1946, Józef Strzelczyk’s Mechanical Plant was established, later replaced by Ponar-Jotes Conglomerate and Ponar Grinding Machines Factory. In 1911 John factory casted “Zygmunt” bell for the Cathedral of Łódź.

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Former Landau Banking House

29 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Erected on the site formerly occupied by the house, which had been demolished in 1898, it filled a large plot of land on the corner of Piotrkowska and Cegielniana Street (Więckowskiego Street today). Designed by a popular Łódź architect Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger, it had four floors and two wings and was spanned with semi-circular corner topped with a dome. The building works were carried by a local company, Olszer & Szczeciński, and took nearly a year to complete from June 1902. The architect showed a good taste incorporating fashionable Art Nouveau elements into a neo baroque shape. There are plant-geometrical ornaments, female and male faces, lion heads and also a particularly interesting Art Nouveau detail on the dome. The building housed the branch of Warsaw Bank “Wilhelm Landau”. The banking hall and operation rooms were situated on the first floor. The upper floors were designed for luxurious penthouses, the ground floor for shops with large windows. There was a jewellery and watches depot of Aaron Kantor, which offered a wide selection of Geneva watches, gold and silver jewellery, diamonds, rings, snuffboxes and cigarette cases. There was also Ludwik Henig’s warehouse of metal accessories with plating goods, cutlery, mirrors in ornamented frames, candelabra and vases. In the 1950’s opened the second Department Store “Delikatesy”. The former house located in this site was a birthplace of Tadeusz Miciński, writer and poet of the period of Young Poland.

 

Former Roszkowski’s confectionery

76 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Former confectionery of Roszkowski, one of the most popular cafes in the city at the turn of 19th century. Established in 1883 by a confectioner of French origin called Reymond, who then at the beginning of 1890’s let the café to Aleksander Roszkowski, related to Geyer family. The new owner extended the building, which became a truly European café. On the ground floor was a large salon with a buffet, and at the first floor there were 5 rooms decorated with red golden wallpapers with Art Nouveau motifs. The walls were decorated with the caricatures of Łódź`s prominent citizens. There were also a billard and chess rooms as well as reading room of current press, both local and foreign. It was a meeting point for the “cream of society” of Łódź, gathering in their “trade corners”. There were separate tables for major mill-owners, doctors, lawyers, engineers, journalists and actors. Among the guests were Artur Gliszczyński and future Noble Prize winner Władysław Stanisław Reymont, and also actors: Józef Texel and Aleksander Zelwerowicz. At “Roszek’s” one could try various delicacies: “cakes, layer cakes, desert cakes, “Palermo” pralines, tinned fruit, ice-cream” and many other dainties. It was also possible to have a coffee, tea or even liquor. The building was also occupied by the shop of Weikert and Drechsler, offering iron beds, velocipedes, prams, ice-skates and sleigh.

 

Grand Hotel

72 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Grand Hotel has been in the same place since 1888, it is one of the most elegant hotels in the city. In the late 1860’s there were two wooden weaver’s houses. Edward Hentschel, who at the time owned the site, in 1872 built a large brick house and the mill manufacturing woolen fabrics. In mid 1870’s the site was bought by Ludwik Meyer, married to the daughter of Hentschl, Matilda, and Juliusz Kunitzer, Meyer’s brother-in-law. The partnership survived only a few years, because Kunitzer eventually withdrew. Then Meyer decided to move factory to new premises at “Mania”, while the former buildings were adapted for the needs of the hotel. In 1888 there were 50 rooms with modern equipment, gas lamps and washing facilities (portable washbasin). It cost between 1 and 3 roubles per night. The hotel was thoroughly rebuilt between 1912-1913, the standard of the interiors was raised. In 1913 “Grand” had 150 rooms and a few penthouses equipped with electric light, phone, washbasins with hot and cold water. 27 rooms had en suite bathrooms. The building had lifts and ventilation system. Apart from that, there were shops, hairdresser’s, reading room and cinematographer. “Malinowa” and “Złota” rooms made guests speechless with delight. The Vienna restaurant and café were the most exquisite in the city. In a charming garden musicians played regular concerts of a light repertoire.

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Gustaw Kindermann’s Palace

151 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Gustaw Kindermann’s Palace is another example of the mill-owner’s residence in the centre of the city. Build between 1910-1911 it is attributed to Karl Seidl, a Viennese architect, due to its resemblance to the palace of his design in number 137/139 Piotrkowska Street. The residence has the neo renaissance form based on Florentine models, with the addition of neo romanesque elements. In the centre of the façade the architect placeda bay window topped with a tiny terrace, which enlivened the monumental building. The ground floor received a rare solution of sandstone facing. The residence belonged to Gustaw Adolf Kindermann, Juliusz Robert Kindermann’s brother. Kindermann family owned a large cotton mill located at 63 Św. Andrzeja Street (today Andrzej Strug Street). It specialised in manufacturing elegant women’s shawls. After 1905 Gustaw Adolf, the oldest of 13 children, became the member of the managerial board of the company. In the first half of the 19th century there was a one storey house of the dyer Bogumił Berendt. The building also housed Jan Frank’s school, at the time one of  two private elementary schools in Łódź. In 1843 it had 80 pupils all from affluent families. The school fees were 155 roubles a year, whichwas quite a large amount of money.

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John Paul II Cathedral Square

265 Piotrkowska, 90-457 Łódź

www: http://www.katedra.lodz.pl/

Saint Stanislav Kostka’s Cathedral

Former Mill Market, also known as The Hospital Market. It was the main square of “Łódka” industrial settlement of linen and cotton weavers, set in the southern part of the city between 1824-1827. At the time it was the biggest centre of linen and cotton industry in the Kingdom of Poland. Originally the land where the square is situated belonged to the chairman of fhe Commission of Mazovia Voivodship (the equivalent of today’s provincial governor), Rajmund Rembieliński, who wanted to build a house with a garden. Eventually, only the stables, the coach house, servants lodgings and the foundation of the house were completed. Soon the property was bought by Tytus Kopisch, who sold the plot to the city authorities. Since then the market had purely commercial character. The eastern side was closed by a smaller Bleaching Market. In the first half of 19th century Wednesday was a market day, which changed to Tuesday in the second half of the century. In early 40’s wooden shambles were built in order to improve the quality of trade in the market. Between 1842-1845 the first hospital in Łódź was erected along western frontage of the market. St. Alexander’s hospital had beds for 50 patients. The choice of location was not accidental, because the place was “dry and with good air” Today it houses the Theological College. There are also a symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and two statues of John Paul II and Rev. Ignacy Skorupka.

 

Juliusz Heinzl's Palace

104 Piotrkowska, 90-423 Łódź

www: http://www.uml.lodz.pl/

The palace was designed by Otto Gehlig and erected in 1880. It had served three, distinctive purposes: representative, residential and commercial. It was built in an eclectic style, most of its elements reflecting the Italian Renaissance. The central fragment of the frieze crowning the room has been decorated with three allegorical sculptures of women symbolizing Industry, Commerce and Freedom respectively. There used to be a factory – producing wool fabrics – at the back of the palace. Today, the reconstructed interiors of the palace house the Łodź Municipal Office and the ¸ódê Voivodship Office.

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Juliusz Kindermann's Palace

137 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Juliusz Kindermann's palace is renowned for a beautiful mosaic decorating its facade and well preserved interiors. It was built in 1907 according to the project of an Austrian architect Karl Seidl for a wealthy owner of the cotton factory. A plain facade is sparingly decorated, it only has a bay window, a balcony and rusticated ground floor.

Therefore a beautiful mosaic with scenes reverting to the transport of cotton from a Russian port draws attention. The light coming from a large window with art Nouveau colourful stained glass windows showing landscape pictures illuminates the staircase. In the rooms on the first floor dainty furniture, mantelpieces, inlaid wainscot and furniture preserved.

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Lodz Walk of Fame

Piotrkowska, Łódź

The Walk of Fame in Lodz, located at ul. Piotrkowska between ul. 6 Sierpnia and the Rubinstein Passage. The alley, modeled on the one in Hollywood, was thought up by Jan Machulski, an actor, in 1996. The first brass star – for Andrzej Seweryn, an actor – was embedded in 1998. The stars of directors and operators are on the even side (east), and the ones for actors – on the odd side. The Chapter of the Walk of Fame is functioning at Muzeum Kinematografii (Museum of Cinematography) in Lodz and PWSFTviT in Lodz.

 

Ludwik Geyer's White Factory

282/284 Piotrkowska, 93-034 Łódź

www: http://www.muzeumwlokiennictwa.pl

Central Museum of Textiles

The factory building located at the southern end of ul. Piotrkowska is an excellent example of industrial architecture of the first half of the 19th century in Poland. Ludwig Geyer (1805-1869), who came from Lobau in Saxony, belonged to the first entrepreneurs who used the favorable conditions created by the authorities of the Polish Kingdom and founded their factories in Lodz. The Geyer’s company developed in the 30’s of the last century. Then, in the years 1835-38, afour-storey factory building with raw forms, referring to the classicism being at force at the time, was established on the northern shore of a pond at Jasienie. The factory, built on the plan of letter “C”, was turned with its facade towards ul. Piotrkowska. Approximately 60-meter long front elevation, coated with white plaster (hence the popular name of the building), received a symmetrical arrangement, accented by three triangular peaks. A pavilion for the steam machine brought from Belgium– the “heart” of the enterprise, was built at the inner courtyard. Although today’s mechanism comes from later times, it is still an interesting technical monument. Right here, it is possible to see the characteristic vapor pressure regulators, which appeared later as a decorative motif on the palaces’ roofs of the manufacturers from Lodz.

The Geyer's factory achieved its full bloom in the mid-nineteenth century, when it took over the vast area of J. Ch. A. Rundzieher’s plants located on the other side of ul. Piotrkowska. The new fabric mills, equipped with neo-Gothic details, were built there in the 80’s of the last century.

After the war, the “White Factory” was adapted as the seat of Centralne Muzeum Włókiennictwa (Central Museum of Textiles). In the halls covered with wooden roofs one can see not only the exhibits showing the development of the Lodz’s industry, but also temporary exhibitions of unique and artistic tapestry. In 2008, Skansen Łódzkiej Architektury Drewnianej (Open-Air Museum of the Lodz Wooden Architecture) was created at the Museum.

Skansen Łódzkiej Architektury Drewnianej with a characteristic 19th century weavers cottages, a wooden church transferred from Nowosolna and a suburban summer villa, was established at the back of the Museum. These buildings provide a perfect background for the exhibitions of Lodz’s craft (Dom Tkacza, Dom Ceramika, Dom Papiernika – Weaver’s House, Ceramist’s House, Paperman’s House) organized inside. The museum and the open-air museum conduct educational activity, offering a wide range of workshops for children and adolescents.

 

Maksymilian Goldfeder's Palace

77 Piotrkowska, 90-423 Łódź

A palace of the Łódź banker Maksymilian Goldfeder was built in 1892 according to the project of Bronisław Żochowski and Hilary Majewski. Two functions were combined in it: a comfortable representative residence and a bank house. Sparingly decorated facade reminds of Italian Renaissance palaces and is in contrast to unusual richness of the interior on the first floor.

Beautiful stuc - cowork, splendid joinery work, mirrors, chandeliers, candlesticks and stoves make a great atmosphere of this wealthy house. Colourful stained glass windows are complementing elements. The largest one is in the staircase, the second in the hall's plafond, and the third in a huge sliding door leading to the parlour.

All these old parlours are now the most beautiful in Łódź restaurant rooms of the "Successor's Club". The ground floor rooms, which used to perform a bank function, are devoid of decorations today and designed to satisfy the needs of the student club "Pod siódemkami" ("Under Sevens"). In the basement of the palace there is a dainty pub, and in the yard an outdoor bar.

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Niepodległości Square formerLeonhardt Market

Niepodległości, Łódź

The idea of setting the market square near the southern city limit saw the light in 1902. It was the result of the plan of moving trade from the Upper Market (Reymont Square) to a new bigger location. The site suitable for the purpose was found in a square belonging to Leonhart, Woelker & Girbardt, the company established by Ernest Leonhardt, which specialized in wool manufacturing.The market was officially opened on 1st April 1904. It was under the supervision of Jan Starowicz, the administrative director of the company. After few month the market place was full of roofed stands. The goods were sold mainly by farmers from the villages of Stare Rokicie and Chojny. Also the tram terminus was moved from the Upper Market to the new location. On festive days there were circus performances.Nowadays the commercial character of the place has been preserved to the west of Piotrkowska Street due to the existence of “Górniak” market. On the other side of the street there are bus and tram termini and a green square with St. Faustyna Kowalska Church. There is also a statue (fountain) presenting a kneeling figure of the Apostle of Divine Mercy, the patron of Łódź.

 

Palace of Ewald Kern

179 Piotrkowska, 90-447 Łódź

The palaceof Ewald Kernis an example of an elegant downtown residence of a manufacturer from the late 19th century. It was built in the years 1896-1898 according to a project of a well-known Lodz’s architect Franciszek Chełmiński, for the owner of a factory of mechanical looms and iron foundries. The palace received a facade full of grace and harmony with a neo-Renaissance and empire form, rich in decorative details. On the ground floor, based on a pedestal with face layer made of green granite, semicircular windows are crowned by a festoons decoration, reminding a pinned-up fabric. The floors are separated by a meander, i.e. a continuous ornament, created from one line deflected many times at right angles. The windows of the first floor with selvedges are topped with triangular tympana with acroteria in the form of a shell. They are also decorated with festoons of ribbons and wreaths. Above, there is a frieze with plant ornamentation bas-reliefs and a cornice with an Ionic cymatium. The roof is closed with an attic in the form of a balustrade pinned with two towers, interlaced with decorations presenting the attributes of industry and trade. As a result of financial problems, Ewald Kern sold the palace at an auction in 1903. Since then, the building has changed owners several times. In 1930, it was bought by Powszechne Towarzystwo Handlowo – Przemysłowe Freda Greenwooda (Fred Greenwood General Association of Commerce and Industry). After 1960, it was the seat of Wojewódzka Biblioteka Pedagogiczna (Pedagogical Library of the Voivodeship), a branch of Polska Akademia Nauk (PolishAcademyof Sciences) in Lodzand Łódzkie Towarzystwo Naukowe (Lodz Scientific Society).

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Reymont Square

Reymonta, Łódź

The square formerly enclosed Piotrkowska street in the south. It was built in 1825 as a result of planning the village of linen and cotton weavers “Łódka”. The name originated from the geographical location on the hill between the river beds of Jasień and Dąbrówka. It was also often referred to as Geyer Square, as the name of the owner of the land along west and north side of the street. The square was also an important interchange. To the south there were ducts in the direction of Piotrków and Kalisz, to the east in the direction of “Ślązaki” settlement and Zarzew village. At the turn of nineteenth century there was a tram terminus for changing motor tram carriage (Piotrkowska Street and Zarzewska Street – Przybyszewskiego Street today). The square was designed for trade and preserved its character until the First World War, therefore no residential buildings surround it on any side. The only exception is the tenement house in the north-west corner of the square. Erected in 1843 for Geyer family it was the first palace in the city. Initially it was a one storey neo renaissance building. Later received current shape after rebuilding work in 1910. In the first half of the nineteenth century in the square there were two dive bars, owned by Józef Langer and Adam Fiszer. Today, in the centre of the square is the statue of Władysław Stanisław Reymont designed by Wacław Wołosiewicz.

 

Robert Schweikert’s Palace

262 Piotrkowska, 90-361 Łódź

www: http://www.ie.lodz.pl/

The palace was built from 1910 to 1912, according to Lew Lubotynowicz’s design. It is a great example of a manufacturer’s residence drawing on Baroque assumptions. This one-floor building, located between a courtyard and a garden, is the seat of the European Institute. The former representative rooms on the first floor – the study, the salon and the dining room – still full of original decorations and equipment pieces, are particularly worth mentioning. The stained-glass window serving as a window in the staircase is very interesting as well. A French style garden with a fountain, a bower and flowerbeds stretches behind the palace.

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Saint Stanislav Kostka’s Cathedral

265 Piotrkowska, 90-457 Łódź

tel.:  Zakrystia: (+48) 42 636 03 83, Kancelaria: (+48) 42 636 10 68

www: http://www.katedra.lodz.pl/

Wende & Zarske company from Łódź were responsible for the design, which received the “For God’s Glory”emblem in a competition. The cathedral was built between 1901-1912. It received a slanderneo gothic form, based on German and French late gothic models from the 14th century. The building is a three-nave basilica with a transept (a crosswise nave) and a polygonally enclosed presbytery with ambulatory - a passage behind the altar and the chapel. In 1927 the eastern façade was extended with a tower. During works they added portals, rose windows and large lancet windows with colourful stained glass and masterful stonework. The main altar presenting the scene of the Transfiguration of Jesus was founded by Juliusz Teodor Heinzl, the chairman of the Building Committee. The altars located in the transept presenting the patron of the temple, Holy Mother of the Rosary, was founded by the workers of Ludwik Geyer’s mill, butchers and cattle tradesmen from Łódź.

The cathedral perfectly reflects the “phenomenon of multicultural Łódź” in the 19th century, that is, erecting public buildings by Łódź entrepreneurs irrespective of origin, faith and tradition. The stained glass windows are the perfect example. In the northern transept they were founded by Jewish Qahal, whereas the ones in the southern were sponsored by the Evangelical.

 

Scheibler's Family Palace

266/268 Piotrkowska, 91-361 Łódź

The building was erected in 1845 as a one floor, classicistic house. Its representative character and Neo-Renaissance interior decorations were created as a result of numerous reconstructions carried out in the 1880s and 1890s for the Scheibler family. A corner tower covered with a tent helmet was a characteristic feature of the palace. The first floor used to house representative salons, a dining room and a mirror room while the second one served as the residents’ living quarters. To a large extent, the palace interior retained the rich stuccowork decorations full of polychromic and majolica stoves. These days, the building is used by the Łódź Technical University.

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The Balle House

87 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The house of Alojzy Balle was built in 1892 for the owner of architect-building company, Alojzy Balle. It is an example of typical tenement house from the end of the 19th century. It has a neo ranaissance form with risalits and rusticated corners. The ground floor and the first floor were originally commercial, whereas the upper floors were residential. In 1948 state authorities turned it into the biggest textile department store in the country, “a number 15 model shop of the Textile Main Warehouse”, also called “The Textile House”. Today it houses the Tourist Information and the Promotion, Tourism and International Relations Department of the Town Hall. There is also the “Galeria 87” also the subsidiary of the Town Hall, which presents the works of artist from Łódź, and those from partner cities. In front of the building there is a unique statue presenting a cult cartoon figure, a teddy bear called “Uszatek”. It is the first statue of a series commemorating the characters from the films produced by Se-Ma-For Film Studio. It opens the tourist trail for children called “A Fairytale Łódź”, which is supposed to link places connected to cinematography, entertainment and education in Łódź. The bear is one metre tall and is made of bronze. It is the outcome of cooperation of local artists: Magdalena Walczak and Marcin Mielczarek, who were very faithful to the image invented by writer Czesław Janczarski and illustrator Zbigniew Rychlicki.

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The Beer’s House

243 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The Beer’s House, erected in 1835, it is the oldest one storey building in the city. Originally it was a modest house with 7 windows on each floor overlooking Piotrkowska Street. In order to enliven the façade, there was a balcony added. The house had 3 rooms on the ground floor, 4 rooms on the first floor and 2 in the attic. It is interesting, that the weaver Bogumił Beer built the house illegally, as he was granted permission to erect a one storey building. The house was later extended andeventually received a neo renaissance form. In 1889 the three-bay annexe in the form of a risalit was added on the southern side. It was designed by Edward Creutzburg. Between 1850-1860 two rooms were used by Evangelic- Catholic elementary school employing two teachers: a Pole and a German. In 1850 there were 400 pupils. The building also housed the oldest German Singers Association in Łódź, called „Männergesangverein”, for which a magnificent concert hall was built. After the Second World War it was used by Łódź Operetta. In November 1945 the place hosted the first performance of the group of artist from Vilnius called “Lutnia” directed by Władysław Szczawiński. They presented a musical comedy “Double Bookkeping”. In 1963 “Lutnia” moved to new premises, which took the name of “Teatr Muzyczny” (Musical Theatre). Later the concert hall was used by the Philharmonic.

 

The Gutenberg House

86 Piotrkowska, Łódź

Gutenberg House, owes its name to the sculpture of the inventor of printing Johannes Gutenberg located in the niche of a bay window. The building is a model example of metropolitan architecture at the end of the 19th century. It has a richly ornamented façade referring to the art of the Gothic, renaissance and mannerism. The decorative elements include floral and leaf patterns. In the medallions below windows on the upper floor there are the resemblances of masters of printing. The building was erected in the place formerly occupied by Filip Lisner’s house for Jan Petersilge, a lithographer, a printer and the editor of the first newspaper in Łódź, “Lodzer Anzeiger – Łódzkie Ogłoszenia” (Łódź advertisements). The first issue of this bilingual Polish-German paper appeared on the 2nd December 1863. It came out twice a week and contained official announcements and private ads printed on four pages. Initially the print house, the lithography workshop and the newspaper headquarters were set at number 28 Konstantynowska Street (today Legionów Street). In 1865 the newspaper increased its volume and changed into “Lodzer Zeitung” appearing three times a week, and from 1879 — six times a week. There were new sections added, such as local news, industry news, politics and reprints from Warsaw papers. In 1897 the print house and the headquarters of “Lodzer Zeitung” were moved to new location in the site on 86 Piorkowska Street. On the ground floor there was also the “Louvre” restaurant, frequently visited by Julian Tuwim.

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The House of Baharier

107 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The House of Baharier was built in 1881,and then extended between 1895-1897with richly ornamented upper storey. It is one of the most elegant buildings in the centre of the city. There is a number of Empire decorations, such as eagles with outstretched wings, mascarons, strings of bay leaves, wreaths with ribbons, torches and festoons, that is, garlands of foliage bound together and suspended with ribbons in two points. The tenement house was in hands of two successive owners: Salomon Baharier, and then Henryk Sachs. One of the rooms of the house which previously occupied the site was rented by Adolf Abram Likiernik, a master of dyeing, one of the first Jews who received the right to live in the centre form the governor of Warsaw, Franciszek Potocki. It was an exception as in the Kingdom of Poland after 1822 for the period of 40 years Jews were banned from settling within city limits and could only live in designated areas. At the beginning of 20th century “Ludwik Spies & Son” moved to the new premises in the building. The company sold “Nice olive, French perfume, gasoline for stains removal and burning, ultramarine for linen and Restitutions – a fluid for horses”. In 1902 the house hosted the exhibition “Łódź had never seen before” organized by the Artistic Salon. Among the paintings exhibited were works by Matejko, Gerson, Fałat and Chełmoński.

 

The House of Bechtold

152 Piotrkowska, Łódź

"The House of Bechtold” was designed by Wolf Szereszewski and built for Ryszard Bechtold before the First World War. In order to complete another representative metropolitan house, the investor received 145-thousand rouble bank loan from The City of Łódź Credit Society. The five storey façade in eclectic style is spanned by two single bay windows. The northern wall is covered with a graffiti-mural, which at the height of 20 metres, the length of 20 metres and the surface of 960 square metres is the largest in Europe. The graffiti was completed in 2001 by the members of “Design Futura” group. They used 2000 spray cans of paint. The monumental mural depicts the most characteristic symbols of the city. A high wave of pavement bricks carries a boat bearing the emblems of the city, in the background it has the city landmarks such as Wolności Square, formerly the New Market Square, the Town Hall, the church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko and also the old tram. The mural spans the tradition and modernity. In front of the house there is “Jaracz’s armchair” - another statue-bench in Marcel Szytenchelm and Jerzy Sobociński’s “Gallery of Great Citizens of Łódź”. The statue is a tribute to Stefan Jaracz, a remarkable theatre and film actor of the interwar period, who is sitting comfortably in the row of four theatre chairs.

 

The House of Birnbaum

258-260 Piotrkowska, Łódź

"The house of Birnbaum” was built in 1893 to the design by Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger for the entrepreneur Henryk Rafał Birnbaum, the owner of worsted wool spinning mill, which was located at the back of the estate. In the interwar period it housed the German Consulate. In 1981 this was the office of Regional Structure of NSZZ “Solidarność”movement. After martial law was declared on 13 December 1981, the building was demolished by ZOMO (Militia). The members of the Union were arrested. In 1996 the building became the possession of the European Institute, which carried renovation works between 2002-2006. The house was rebuilt almost from scratch. The only section that remained of the original building was the rusticated ground floor. The renovation allowed for reconstruction of original architectural elements. Since 2007 the building has been a Conference Centre named after Alcide de Gasperi, Italian prime minister recognized for his contribution to building united Europe. In 1949 Gasperi was one of the initiators of founding the Council of Europe followed by European Coal and Steel Community in 1951. The conference centre is the result of Polish-Italian cooperation. Its priority is popularization of knowledge about the role and experience of Italy in the process of establishing European structures. There is also a small exhibition room commemorating“Solidarność” movement

 

The House of Geyer

286 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The House of Geyer, erected in1833 for Ludwig Geyer`s, one of the pioneers of textile industry in Łódź. It is commonly referred to as “a manor” due to its architectural resemblance to lavish noblemen’s residences. The current architectural design is the result of restructuring works back in 1951. The former one storey building with a hip roof and a risalit on an axle with a façade and a balcony topped with a triangle presented itself in a much more modest manner. The Geyer family moved to Łódź in 1828. Ludwik Geyer, obliged by the contract with the city authorities to start 100 weaving looms, leased a large plot of land (Piotrkowska 284-286). At the beginning he built a three-room wooden house with a small calico printing house. After 5 years he erected a one storey factory building and the manor. In the same year he also bought in an auction the plot of land on the left bank of the pond formerly owned by Antoni Potemp (Piotrkowska 282). 1835-1838 were the time when the “White Factory” was erected. Geyer’s company was one of the fastest developing in the city. In 1840 the mill-owner bought land the west of Piotrkowska - numbers from 287-301 formerly owned by Jan Lange and numbers 303-315 formerly in possession of Jan Rundzieher. Successive factory buildings were build in next few years. The Geyers also built their residence in the vicinity of the factory.

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The House of Kohn

43 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The house is thought to be the first Art Noveau building in the city. Built in 1901-1902 for an entrepreneur and financier Oskar Kohn, a long lasting production and sales director, and from 1912 the main stake-holder and managing director of Widzew Manufacture. Originally the site was occupied by the house from the 1870’s, in which Kohn had a wool warehouse of Juliusz Heinzl Joint- Stock Association. In 1900 he became the sole user of the property, which formally belonged to Eisners family, and started refurbishing works in accordance to design of a renowned architect, Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger. A year later the façade was completed. Experts claimed the structure one of the best Art Nouveau works in the country. It is richly ornamented with plant forms masterfully put on rusticated background of elevation. There are stylized flowers, dynamically winding stems, piles of leaves, and even lavender trees, which surround windows and gate. The most impressive is the top of the central risalit with three-winged window surrounded by lush vegetation, which runs up to the globe on the dome. The building housed one of the city’s financial institutions: Shared Credit Society. In the courtyard there was Eliakim Glikasman and Jakub Jankielewicz’s private house of prayers built in 1899. It could seat 30 people. The building wasdestroyed during the Second World War.

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The House of Konstadt

53 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The tenement house was built in 1885 in the site formerly occupied by a small one storey house owned by Fryderyk Emde, who sold it a year earlier to Herman Konstadt. It is one of the most elegant tenement houses in the city. Designed in ecclectic style by Juliusz Jung, it is on the line of charming French renaissance. The rysalit is the prominent element of the façade. It is supported by two Atlants, the upper storeys are decorated with caryatids and at the top there is a high quadrilateral dome. A part of the house was occupied by the offices of owner’s company making main profit from being an agency of textile company “Krusche & Ender” from Pabianice. At the ground floor was also a branch of Muscovite K&S Popowy Tea Trade Association and St. Petersburg Association “Skorochód”, which dealt in shoe retail business with 15 thousand pairs on offer. Konstandt was not only a financier but also a phi-lanthropist. He founded “The House for Poor People”, at number 54 Pomorska Street, and he was also a member of the committee managing building works in “progressive” synagogue and the Orthodox Church of Aleksander Newski. After his death in 1895, the perpetual fund was set up and the Herman & Mina Konstadt Fund, which built a hospital in Radogoszcz for the ill suffering from typhus, and the Jewish Male General School in number 42 Próchnika Street.

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The House of Scheibler

11 Piotrkowska, Łódź

It was the first grand scale tenement house built in Łódź. Erected between 1879-1881 for the owner of residential-industrial complex called “Księży Młyn”. It received a neo renaissance form on the lines of the finest Italian buildings. The monumental and prestigious character of the building was underlined by projection of the corner of the house, which received a neo baroque dome with a round bay window towering over the New Town. On the ground floor there were located the main warehouse of the goods manufactured by the owner and exclusive shops. Karol Göppert’s salon selling hats occupied the corner of the house. It sold felt, plush and top and bowler hats manufactured right here at the premises. In the 1880’s there was also a branch of Warsaw manufacturer of plating materials Norblin & Co. and also the warehouse of Ludwik Speiss and Son, selling Nicean oil, synthetic vinegar and French perfume. On the upper floors were penthouses. In 1890 one of them was occupied by a well-known doctor Jan Wisłocki. In the mid-nineteenth century the site of the tenement house was occupied by Henryk Volwerk’s weaving mill, one of a few factories in New Town. 29 manual workshops operated in the mill, producing flannel, merino and corduroy. The mill closed down after its owner died in 1874.

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The House of Schichts

128 Piotrkowska, Łódź

The House of Schichts is a building that distinctively differs from neighbouring houses. It is much taller, which somehow added prestige to its owner. The building was designed by a popular architect Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger and erected in 1904 for Mr and Mrs Gustaw and Alwina Schicht. The three storey house was “dressed” in a fashionable Art Nouveau costume. The building is a model example of early Vienna Secession in architecture of Łódź. The architect included elements such as slight asymmetry on the ground floor, contrasting plasters, soft arches in windows, slender but dynamic wavy lines, geometrical motifs, floral motifs (sunflowers, magnolias, bay leaves), animal motifs (lion heads), the masks of a goddess and satyrs at the top of three-winged dormer windows. The ground floor had purely commercialcharacter, whereas the upper floors were residential. Gustaw Landau-Gutenger had his studio in the same building. The Schichts family lived in the house until the end of The Second World War, when they went to Germany. In 1841, in the neighbouring Nawrot Street a private person founded the first publicwell with a sweep and a wooden bucket.

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The House of Sendrowicz

12 Piotrkowska, Łódź

This tenement house is one of the most interesting examples of urban architecture in Łódź. Constructed in 1898 for Izrael Sendrowicz at the cost of 42.700 roubles, a mortgage from Credit Societyof Łódź. Originally the site was occupied by two wooden one storey houses built in the initial stages of industrialisation of the city. The tenement house designed by Dawid Lande, received fantastic eclectic form, combined the elements of gothic, renaissance, mannerism and baroque. In order to enliven the high elevation the architect introduced four pseudorisalits with eclectic tops and in the corner placed a bay-window under the cupola running from the first floor to the top with a tiny lantern. The tops of central risalits are finished with sundials. The addition to the beauty of the house are the elements of stonework around windows and also numerous geometrical, zoomorphic and plant ornaments. The whole building is topped with a high mansard roof, closed with openwork iron balustrade corresponding to French models. The building was the house of Łódź Credit-Saving Societies. Sendrowicz was also the own Photographies: