kamienica na Woli
Fot. whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

Wolskie ostańce. A century-old building in Wola awaits renovation

A century-old tenement house in Wola is listed in the provincial register of monuments. Despite this, its condition is tragic and its dilapidated façade and blind windows present a depressing picture. Unfortunately, there are claims against it. Will it be renovated?

The tenement house at 43 Żelazna Street was built in 1913. Around the same time, there were similar buildings in the neighbourhood. The building suffered considerable damage during the Second World War

A century-old tenement house in Wola. Photo: whiteMAD/MateuszMarkowski

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”, or German rocket launchers, whose primary purpose was to conduct rapid, massed and surprising enemy fire. The Polish name cow adhered to them because of the distinctive sound that was heard when a salvo of shells was fired). In 1943, she found herself right in front of the Warsaw Ghetto wall. It was then that the Jews who owned the property were evicted from there

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

Tenement house at Żelazna 43 in its glory years in 1938 and today. Source: National Archive in Warsaw

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 – whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

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

After the war, the area was known as 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. A major renovation is not planned in the building owned by the City for the time being, as the former owners have filed claims

Source: warszawa.naszemiasto.pl, szaryburek.pl

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

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