The Kacperski tenement house in Warsaw, standing at Unii Lubelskiej Square at the junction of Marszałkowska and Polna Streets, is one of the tallest buildings of its kind in the capital. The building has as many as nine storeys and at the same time has the smallest courtyard-studio in the city
The tenement house was erected between 1909 and 1913 for Stanisław Kowalski, a provincial merchant who decided to invest his capital in real estate. The name of the architect, however, is not known. At the time of its completion, it was among the tallest residential houses in Warsaw. The building was colloquially known as the ‘iron’ because of its trapezoidal shape and evoked associations with New York’s Flatiron Building
The tenement house today. Photo: whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski
Originally, it housed spacious three- and four-room flats, as well as studios. It was a very modern building for the time, with central heating, electricity, central hoovers, pantries, gas kitchens, three crystal lifts and a marble-lined staircase. The building is named after the marriage of Stanislaw and Kazimiera Kacperski, long-time owners of the building, who sold it shortly before the Second World War. During the war, it housed the Study Bureau of the Second Branch Information and Intelligence Office of the Home Army. During the attacks, the roof of the tenement was destroyed and two floors and part of the façade were damaged
The damaged tenement house in 1939 and the building today. Source: NAC – National Digital Archive www.nac.gov.pl/ and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski
In 1955-56 the building was renovated, dividing the flats into smaller ones and removing some of the decoration. In the second half of the 1980s, the building underwent another renovation. In the 1990s, social housing began to be placed in the building, which over time led to neglect and the development of social pathology on the site. In 2017, the tenement underwent a major renovation, as a result of which, among other things, the finial on the side of Unia Lubelska Square was restored
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