The tenement houses at 51 and 70 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street form integral parts of the Lublin Downtown landscape. The central location and the vicinity of major offices and courts, as well as cultural and historical facilities, makes this part of the city vibrant with life.

To fathom its history, you need to go back in time to the beginnings of the previous century. Back then, Lublin's life was also concentrated around Krakowskie Przedmieście. This was where local authorities and major institutions, whose activities were crucial for the city's functioning, including banks, courts and economic associations, had their seats. This was also where Lubliners spent most of their time, dealing with official matters, taking strolls or doing the shopping, as Krakowskie Przedmieście was also a major commercial centre with the best shops in town.

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Tenament house Krakowskie Przedmieście 51 Street                                                                     Tenament house Krakowskie Przedmieście 70 Street

       

       The history of the tenement house at 51 Krakowskie Przedmieście (the corner of Krótka Street)

The building at 51 Krakowskie Przedmieście was constructed at the turn of the 20th century. In terms of architecture, it is one of the most precious structures in this part of the city. In the second half of the 19th century, the plot of land which is now occupied by the tenement house formed part of the vast property of Aleksander Stopczyk, the boundaries of which were determined by the following four of today's streets: Krakowskie Przedmieście, Ewangelicka, Jasna and Wieniawska. Back then, most of that space was occupied by gardens with only few residential and utility buildings. When Stopczyk died in 1873, most of his property was acquired by his daughter, Dorota Piotrowska. At the beginning of the 20th century, the area was divided, with the following plots of land being separated: 49, 51 and 53 Krakowskie Przedmieście, and 3 Krótka. In 1907, a tenement house was erected at 51 Krakowskie Przedmieście, originally as a four-storey residential building. In the 1930s the ground floor was converted to serve commercial purposes.

Shops which were soon set up there offered a range of best-quality clothing. Among these was “ADAˮ – a female clothes shop which became operative in 1968, and since then has been associated with timeless elegance. An impressive selection of garments and accessories of leading Polish companies and foreign brands, originating in Italy, Germany, Great Britain and France, is what has always made “ADAˮ stand out from other clothes shops operating in the city. Currently, the ground and first floors of the building accommodate the “ADA & ADAMˮ Fashion House whose interior decoration reflects the original pre-war style.

The cast-iron balcony balustrades and exterior wall décor with plant motives, dating back to the tenement house construction period, have survived almost intact. The building façade at the ground-floor level is rusticated, with uncovered bricks visible on the extreme axis surface. The windows are incorporated within decorative plaster bands. Under the first-floor windows there is a symmetrical plant ornament, while the first- and second-floor windows have cornices. Both the extreme and corner axes are crowned with rounded gables, while the backwashes have globe-shaped ends. All the exterior walls overlooking the courtyard have one rectangular avant-corps each, with truncated corners that feature staircases. At the level above the ground and second floors, the avant-corps are segmented and crowned with cornices. The windows are rectangular, except for the one in the southern-wing avant-corps. A long vestibule leading to the staircase features Tuscan-style wall pilasters which support plastered arcading, with landscape paintings made on the fourth panneau.

This eclectic tenement house with secession elements, which in 1974 was awarded the title of “Miss of Lublin Tenement Housesˮ by the Kurier Lubelski daily, can still aspire to be regarded as “the fairest of them all.” What makes it unique is the spectacular illumination and monumental display windows on the ground floor.

In 1995, the building was entered into the Register of Historic Monuments.

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      Archival materials Krakowskie Przedmieście 51

       The history of the tenement house at 70 Krakowskie Przedmieście (the corner of Chopina Street)

Around the 1850s, the original plot of land extended between the Krakowskie Przedmieście and Okopowa Street. As of the end of the 19th century, that area was not extensively built-up. In 1863, the plot featured a wooden house with a shingled roof, situated amongst vast gardens, and neighbouring the area referred to as “Cegielnisko.ˮ By that time, it had been owned by Ludwika Chlipalska, while in 1863 it already belonged to Antoni Chlipalski and Leon Terlecki. This was when a single-storied, tiled outbuilding was established at the back of the yard, while the back sections of the building were occupied by a bakery. In 1871, another single-storied building was erected, this time with a metal-sheet roof. At the end of the 19th century, the plot of land was divided longitudinally into two separate plots. On one of these, Kazimierz Piaszczyński constructed a two-storied shallow tenement house, while on the other Bolesław and Konstancja Rachalewski built a single-storied structure around 1890, with two brick outbuildings and wooden utility buildings.

In 1907, Kazimierz Piaszczyński, having purchased the Rachlewski family's share in the property, restored its initial arrangement, and then sold it to Moszek Mincman. In 1908–1910, an impressive five-storey corner tenement house was built at the site of the former buildings, displaying eclectic architectural details. In 1910, the plot of land was divided into small building sites, and some of its area was intended for the construction of the new Chopina Street, and Hipoteczna and Sądowa cross-streets. In the same year, title to the real estate was acquired by Aleksander and Stanisława Raba, who then sold it to Edward and Eugenia Leonowicz in 1912. In 1918, the estate was inherited by Edward’s and Eugenia's children, Jan, Maria, Tadeusz and Zofia. In 1930, the tenement house was the property of Apolonia Kosiecka who in 1935 conducted thorough refurbishment of the building, supervised by engineer Jerzy Chylewski. In the refurbishment process, the eclectic details were removed, and the tenement house acquired modernist features with elements of functionalism, including the replacement of balconies. After the Second World War, the real estate was taken over by the state, and the ground floor was converted into a male clothes shop. After 1950, the entrance overlooking Krakowskie Przedmieście was eliminated. In 1992, the building was entered into the Register of Historic Monuments. A year later, it underwent major renovation. The plaster and courtyard surface were replaced, painting work was conducted both inside and outside the building, and the ground floor was adapted to serve business purposes. In 2006, the building entrance from the side of Krakowskie Przedmieście was reconstructed, and thorough revitalisation work was performed.

Lublin residents are well familiar with that point on the city's map mainly due to an exclusive male clothes shop, “Adamˮ, which used to function there for several years. It has recently been moved to the other side of the street and merged with the “Adaˮ store. Together, they now operate as the “Ada & Adamˮ Fashion House, occupying an area of over 350 sq. m on two floors.

The tenement house has two façades, i.e. a representative corner overlooking Chopina Street and a central axis from the side of Krakowskie Przedmieście. Both the façades feature two- and three-axis pseudo-avant-corps, segmented with framed décor and high pillars, crowned with smooth attic gables. The exterior walls are vertically segmented with profiled boarders, and crowned with chiaroscuro cornices. The ground floor was arranged in a modern manner to feature shop windows with an entrance from the corner and an avant-corps gate overlooking Chopina Street, with the filling dating back to the inter-war period. The building façade on the first-floor level was decorated with rusticated stone, whereas the remaining exterior wall sections are smooth. Balconies were established on four storeys, on both the exterior walls. The walls overlooking the courtyard are smooth and crowned only with profiled cornices. The windows have no architectural bands. The original elements of the interior decoration that have been preserved include stairs with turned banisters and sculptured steps, a decorative ceramic lining of the landings, and profiled wooded door frames.

 Based on: http://teatrnn.pl/leksykon/artykuly/krakowskie-przedmiescie-70-w-lublinie/, author: Anna Rola

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Archival photographs Krakowskie Przedmieście 70

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