Villa “Patria” in Józefów. The historic building is waiting to be rescued

Villa “Patria” was built in 1928 in Józefów. The Mazovian Voivodeship Historic Preservation Officer has just entered the building in the register of immovable monuments of the Mazovian Voivodeship.

The building is located at 29 Sosnowa St. It was built on the territory of the so-called “Śmiłowicze Settlement”. In the interwar period, the villa operated as a guesthouse. First under the name “Patria” and then “Liliana”. Veterans and pensioners associated with the National Democratic Party rested here.

Just before the Second World War, the owner of the building was Janina Stawicka, and the boarding house itself was run by Marianna Sygietyńska. The building changed use in 1950, when communal flats were built in it. The previously large and spacious flats were divided into small flats. Kitchens were installed inside, and the amphilla of the living room, hall and playroom on the ground floor were closed off. The roof was renovated in 1970, at which time the attic light was removed. Another remodelling took place in 2000, when the terrace was built over.

The building has stood abandoned since 2004. Over the past twenty years, homeless people have often stayed inside. The interior has deteriorated and some of the furnishings have been stolen. Villa “Patria” is a brick building with two storeys. The interiors have preserved examples of door joinery: single- and double-leaf internal doors made in frame and panel construction with clearances and a four-square fanlight leading to the verandas, and preserved wooden moulded doorframes with fanlights inside.

Of the old fixtures and fittings that have survived include white tiled cookers, one with rounded corners and another topped with a decorative cornice. The original plank floors are preserved in all rooms except the bathroom, and ceramic tiles on the landings and in the vestibule. The ceilings above the basement are made of ceramic, sectional slabs supported on steel beams.

Unfortunately, the technical condition of the building leaves much to be desired. The façade shows numerous flaking, spalling as well as large losses in plaster and architectural details.

Villa “Patria” is a valuable example of a historical holiday house characteristic of Józefów. It has an individual artistic expression, which is determined by the varied, carefully designed body of the building, the relationship between the main body and the verandas, as well as rich architectural details made using various techniques. The former appearance of the building is evident in the composition of the representative façade with its harmonious facade decoration. The building is also distinguished by its rich relief decoration of a homogeneous style directly inspired by representations of dancing women called “Borghese dancers”, which are Roman reliefs from the 2nd century AD, or representations of muses and theatre masks,” describes Prof. Jakub Lewicki, Mazovian Voivodeship Conservator of Monuments.

The conservator points to the historical value of the building. In his opinion, it is a testimony to the development and urban transformations resulting from the growing building movement in the summer resorts near Warsaw. Today, for architects and engineers, the villa is a source of knowledge on the material, construction and stylistic solutions used.

source: Mazovian Voivodeship Historic Preservation Officer

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