Vul. Donetska, 1 – residential building
Zborowska (now Donetska) street in the Zhovkivske suburb of Lviv was laid in the 18th century or earlier. A tributary of the Poltva river flowed there; it began near the brewery of Kisielki (a hydropathic establishment was opened there later), located close to the modern Znesinnia park (now it is the territory of the "Halychpharm" company), flowed along Żółkiewska (now Khmelnytskoho) street, turned to Zborowska (now Donetska) street, farther to Św. Marcina (now Zhovkivska) street and flowed into the Poltva, where a few mills were situated.
On the 1766 map of Lviv, the street is surrounded by wooden buildings and gardens.
On the 1802 map, one can see two parcels on the site of the house number 1: number 297 ¾, which was not built up, and number 298 ¾ with two wooden houses on it. Nearby, in the place of the masonry building number 5, the plot number was 322 ¾. It is this plot that the history of the house number 1 is connected with.
For a long time the plot belonged to the Benedictine convent; from 1804 it was rented for the Kisielki Barracks (Koszary Kisielki, Kisielki Caserne). Cavalry was deployed there, namely the First Regiment of Lancers. According to the contract signed on 16 September 1864, the Community of the city of Lviv purchased this plot from Karol Kisielka together with his significant debt to the convent (DALO 2/1/3349:9).
As of 1914, there was a two-storied house there owned by the Community of the city of Lviv. At that time it was obviously an old house since a project of its reconstruction was designed in that same year. The project involved the replacement of the roof structure with the construction of walls for arranging a laundry; also, the staircase was to be surrounded with walls,the walls were to be plastered and two toilets and a bathroom were to be arranged on the ground floor. The Magistrate's permission was granted in April of 1914 (DALO 2/1/3349:60).
The present building was designed in 1924 as a social project of building housing for the workers of the City Cleaning Plant located nearby (vul. Zhovkivska, 18). The first project was approved in April of 1924 (DALO 2/1/3350:1). According to this project, it was to be a three-storied building. Another project containing, obviously, some amendments, was approved in July of 1925 (DALO 2/1/3350:3). The construction works were finished in January of 1926; however, not a three-storied but a four-storied house was built, relevant drawings approved by the Magistrate later. Permission for moving into the new building was granted a year later, in January of 1927. This could be connected, for example, with the building walls and foundations getting wet due to ground water and with related works to get rid of these problems.
From the mid-19th century till the mid-20th century most houses in Lviv were built as residential, i.e. speculative builders constructed them to profit from leasing individual apartments. This building was erected by the city at the expense of the community; the construction was commissioned by the First Department of the Magistrate. The architect of the project is unknown. The building's style is typical of the mid-1920s, particularly in the Second Polish Republic: a strict symmetry, a restrained use of Neo-Classicist elements. In Lviv, similar features can be seen, for example, in the building of the Military Quartering Fund (pol. Fundusz kwaterunku wojskowego) on vul. Horodotska, 42 (1926-1930, a project by Rudolf Indruch) and some others.
In 1944, during the German occupation, a project was designed for arranging a bomb shelter in the building's basement (DALO 2/1/3350:18-21).
Until now, the house has functioned as residential one.
The four-storied building stands alone; it is built of brick and plastered. For intermediate floors, metal I-beams are used; the basements are covered with Klein vaults (brick ones leaning on steel beams). The stairs are made of reinforced concrete and have a cast metal fencing. A steep roof (approx. 45°) has a wooden structure and is covered with painted tin. The authentic wooden woodwork has been preserved. The floors are 3.45 m high.
The building has the shape of an elongated quadrangle in plan. There are avant-corpses at each of its corners, and another one in the center of the rear north façade. It consists of three sections: the entrance to one of them is located in the center of the main façade, overlooking Donetska street, while the other two can be entered from the end façades. Each section has its own staircase; there are four single-room apartments on each floor.
According to the project, approved in 1925, each apartment has the same set of premises: a small vestibule, a kitchen, a closet, a toilet, and a living room. In the apartments of the building’s central part (the one without avant-corpses), are also balconies, which can be accessed via a small lobby inside the apartment. The apartments, located near the end walls, have common balconies, which can be accessed via the stair landing. The façades are symmetrical and have a restrained décor. The ground floor is separated by a cornice, as well as the fourth one. The composition axes are emphasized by lesenes, which are divided in two or three on the fourth floor. All openings are rectangular, mostly without trimmings. Earlier all windows had metal jardinières and wooden woodwork in the Neo-Classicist style, which has not survived everywhere. Balconies and stairs fencing have geometric patterns, whose composition basis is a diamond. Semicircular lucarnes are arranged in the roof. The authentic woodwork has been preserved in the entrance door and, partially, in the entrances to the apartments.
Aleksander Kanin — an official of a private organization, tenant of the building in 1935
Karol Kisielka, (1830–1893) — a famous Lviv enterpreneur, owner of a brewery and a hydropathic establishment, member of City Council, President of the Chamber of Commerce, a millionaire and a philantropist
Michał Pawluk — tenant of the building in 1933
1. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) 2/1/3349
2. DALO 2/1/3350
3. Księga adresowa król. stoł. miasta Lwowa (Lwów, 1913)
4. Księga adresowa Małopołski, Wykaz domów na obszarze miasta Lwowa (Lwów. Stanisławów. Tarnopól, 1935–1936).