Żelazna 43

The City of Warsaw will renovate vacant buildings. Among others, the tenement house at Żelazna 43 will regain its splendour

The Management Board of the Wola district has adopted a resolution agreeing to approve a plan for the development of vacant and other buildings, in accordance with the Long-Term Programme for the Management of the Housing Stock of the City of Warsaw for 2021-2025. This means that several unoccupied properties and monuments will undergo capital repairs and full-fledged council flats will be created in them. One such building is the tenement standing at Żelazna 43.

When the work is completed, the district will have around 115 residential units and more than 10 commercial units available for rent to needy families and businesses. The task is the responsibility of Zakład Gospodarowania Nieruchomościami in the Wola district. ZGN received a gross sum of PLN 3 million for this purpose, for which it will prepare comprehensive project documentation for the undertaking. Throughout Warsaw, there are buildings that have been rendered vacant and are owned by the city.

The tenement house at Żelazna 63, which is currently undergoing renovation. Photo by Adrian Grycuk, CC BY-SA 3.0 PL, via Wikimedia Commons

“At the moment, the tenements are essentially uninhabitable, but after general renovations, some of them could become residential buildings again and start serving the needy residents of our neighbourhood. This plan will become a reality in some time, as we have just passed a resolution allowing the Property Management Company to start the design work necessary to modernise some of the vacant buildings,” says Krzysztof Strzałkowski, mayor of Wola.

ZGN has analysed the situation and selected 7 buildings that will be able to be brought back into use after general renovations. These are properties located at 102 Chmielna Street, 71 Grzybowska Street, 2B and 2C Plocka Street, as well as 8A Brylowska Street, 12 Gibalskiego Street and 43 Żelazna Street.

Tenement at 102 Chmielna St. Photo: whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski
Plocka 2b-2c. Photo author: Bogdan JS/photopolska.eu, License: CC-BY 4.0
Gibalskiego 12. Photo by Balbina/fotopolska.eu
Żelazna 43
Grzybowska 71. Photo by: mamik/photopolska.eu, License: CC BY-SA 4.0
Żelazna 43
Brylowska 8A. Photo by Matthew M. Opasinski/TBTS


The tenement house at 43 Żelazna Street was built in 1913. Around the same time, similar buildings grew in the neighbourhood. The building suffered considerable damage during the Second World War. Originally, the tenement house had one more floor, which was destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising by a so-called “cow (from German. Nebelwerfer – “fog thrower”, i.e. German rocket launchers whose primary purpose was to conduct rapid, massed and surprising enemy fire. They were given the Polish name “krowa” (cow) because of the characteristic sound heard when a salvo of shells was fired).

The tenement house at Żelazna 43 in its glory years in 1938 and today. Source: State Archive in Warsaw and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

Żelazna 43 in 1938 and today. Source: National Archive in Warsaw and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski



Żelazna 43 in 1963 and 2023. The archival photo (scan) comes from the publication “Kto to jeszcze pamięta” published by the Wola Museum, Warsaw 2005, and the contemporary one from whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

The building in 2018 and today. Photo credit: bonczek_hydroforgroup/photopolska.eu and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

In 1943, she found herself right in front of the Warsaw Ghetto wall. The Jews who owned the property were then evicted from there. After the war, the area was called the “Wild West”. The shabby walls were teeming with criminals. The tenement was earmarked for general renovation, then for demolition, and then the conservationist took an interest in it. No one has lived there since 2007. In 2019, the tenement and the front facade were pre-secured. Previously, there were so-called accommodation flats there. It will now regain the splendour lost decades ago.

The first of the seven buildings is the building at 64 Żelazna Street, where the second and largest phase of work is being completed next year. We wrote about its renovation HERE.

Source: wola.um.warszawa.pl

Read also: Architecture | Tenement | City | Warsaw | Architecture in Poland

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