Vul. Kalicha Hora, 5 – an abandoned building

ID: 2443

This three-storied house on what is now vul. Kalicha Hora was built in several stages in the mid-19th century. It was owned by Sylwester Berski, a Lviv builder, who designed it on his own. Immediately after the construction of the house it was rented by the Imperial-Royal Provintial School Board for a men's teachers' seminary. In 1913-1939 the house belonged to the Ossoliński Institute in Lviv; a binding shop and the Institute's expedition department were located there. In 1913, it was planned to build nearby a printing house for publishing textbooks under a project designed by architect Zbigniew Brochwicz Lewiński. In Soviet times, the military registration and enlistment office of the Halytskyi (then Leninskiy) district of the city was located there. Since the 2010s the house has not been used and currently is in a neglected condition.


The block within present-day Kalicha Hora, Martovycha, and Popovycha streets consists mainly of row residential houses. According to a 1766 map, in the second half of the 18th century on the plot, where the house number 5 stands now, a wooden house was located amidst a garden. In the late 18th – early 19th century the plot was assigned conscription number 293 ¼ which was not changed till 1939.

As evidenced by available historical maps, the first brick building was constructed on this plot between 1829 and 1844. A residential townhouse (an elongated rectangle in plan) was placed parallel to the street somewhat deeper into the area. Nearby, perpendicular to the street, a building containing a stable and a cart shed was located, its rear façade bordering upon the sidewalk of ul. Kalecza (now vul. Kalicha Hora). In 1845 the plot was owned by Sylwester Berski. It was he who commissioned constructor Wincenty Rawski Sr. to design a project of a two-storied brick building which was to be built on the edge of the plot along the street. However, according to maps and later situational plans of the site, the project was never realized.

In 1862 the owners Sylwester and Adam Berski rebuilt the old brick building of the stable and cart shed into a residential building. The project was designed by Sylwester Berski, who was a builder. After the reconstruction the building retained its overall dimensions and outline; the second floor was added. Given an identical set of rooms on the floors, namely three rooms, an entryway and a kitchen, the house was probably designed for two families. The project was submitted to the Magistrate for approval in June of 1862 (DALO 2/1/4840:4). In 1867 an extention was added to this house, consisting of a room for the caretaker (DALO 2/1/4840:61).
In 1870 the premises of the building, situated in the depth of the site, were rented by the Imperial-Royal Provintial School Board for the newly established men's teachers' seminary (Wiczkowski, 1907, 113). The house was repeatedly extended and rebuilt afterwards. In particular, in 1871 two avant-corpses were added: one from the side of the street, while the other from the side of the garden. At this time, the house looked like a half of the present-day one and had the same décor. However, the entrance was not on the basement floor but on the ground floor and could be accessed via stairs and a terrace. The stairs had railings made of crossed wooden bars. In 1880 the building was expanded by almost half as a symmetrical second half was added; that is when the house acquired almost its modern look.

In 1891, when after the death of Adam Berski his property was distributed according to his will, the real estate was divided into four parts among Sylwester Berski, his wife Ludwika Berska, née Lucka, Stanisława  Gozdziewska, née Berska, and Maria Hornungowa, née Berska. As Ludwika suffered a mental illness, her share of the property was disposed of by her husband, but, according to the will, she had a lifelong right to live in this building (DALO 2/1/4840:7).

In 1891 Sylwester Berski was commissioned by the Imperial-Royal Provintial School Board to carry out a project of constructing four extensions to the seminary building. Three of them, one-storied wooden porches, were to be constructed at the corners between the main building and the avant-corpses. The fourth brick two-storied extension was to be used as a toilet (fr. pisoir) and was to project from the rear façade. The Magistrate prohibited the construction of the porch facing the garden, but the rest of the plan was adopted. The construction was completed in September of 1892 (DALO 2/1/4840:8-9,12). In 1893 some problems appeared because of an unorganized flow of water from the roof and from the building area flooding the sidewalk on the street as water poured through two holes in the stone retaining wall from the side of the garden (present-day Popovycha street). The Magistrate for several years forced the owners to arrange a gutter and a pipe so that water could flow to the sewer (DALO 2/1/4840:15-16).

Józef Wiczkowski, a doctor who wrote a book about Lviv (1907), referring, in the section on educational institutions, to the seminary building, described it as a rudera (a half dilapidated building), and emphasized its shortcomings. According to him, the building was unsuitable for educational purposes in terms of sanitation and functionality; due to the lack of space the conference hall was used for music and singing lessons while physical education classes were held in the building of the society "Sokół" located on ul. Zimorowicza, 8 (now vul. Dudayeva. In addition, several class-rooms, the seminary office and an audience for drawing were located in rented rooms in the house on ul. Długosza, 17 (now vul. Kyryla i Mefodiya). The author also drew attention to the shortage of rooms and corridors where the seminarians could have some rest during breaks (Wiczkowski, 1907, 114-116).
In 1911 Maria Hornungowa, née Berska, sold her share of the legacy to Józefa Piątkowska (DALO 2/1/4840:22).
In 1913 the building was bought by the National Ossoliński Institute which adapted it to its needs. Thus a binding shop and the Institute's expedition department were located there, as well as imperial-royal publishers of school textbooks. In 1913, it was planned to build a two-storied printing house in the courtyard under a project designed by architect Zbigniew Brochwicz Lewiński; however, the plans were not implemented, which is obviously due to the outbreak of the First World War. Subsequently the residential building of the Berski was dismantled.
In Soviet times and till the 2010s, the military registration and enlistment office of the city's Halytskyi district was located there. Now the house is not used and is in a neglected condition.


The present-day building number 5 on Kalicha Hora street is a result of many reconstructions and extensions. The building's exterior design is very restrained, its façades are notable only for blind arcades below the cornices and rectangular dropstones above the windows. These elements indicate the impact of Neo-Romanesque and Neo-Gothic architecture, which is probably due to Rundbogenstil (Round-arch style), common for Austrian Empire which was characteristic of some military buildings in Lviv (in particular, the barracks of Franz Josef, the Building of military invalids).

The area adjoining ​​the house extended from vul. Kalicha Hora to vul. Popovycha and was located in a rather sloping territory at the foot of the Kalicha hill (where the hotel Citadel Inn is situated at present). Now the plot is on both sides surrounded by concrete retaining walls. In the north-east it borders on the townhouses on vul. Martovycha, 3-9 and vul. Popovycha, 6-6a, located at a much lower level; that is why a concrete retaining wall with buttresses is arranged between them. In the south-west the building is adjacent to the neighboring house number 5a. In front of the building, there is a garage (to the right of the entrance); on the rear, from the side of vul. Popovycha, there are many garages as well.

The building is located in the middle of the block built up in the late 19th century mostly with row Historicist-style residential townhouses and is the oldest one in the block.

At present, the building is H-shaped in plan and adjacent to the neighboring townhouse number 5a. It was built in several stages: first, between 1829 and 1844, a rectangular, elongated in plan building was constructed, which was located parallel to the street, somewhat deeper into the area. In 1871, during a reconstruction, avant-corpses were added on the north and on the south. At that time, the house was decorated and acquired a look which it retained until today: rustication and a bar between the floors, dripstones above the windows, blind arcades on the avant-corpses. The house could be entered via a porch at the ground floor level, where two-flight stairs (have not been preserved) led. The stairs had a simple wooden fencing made of vertical columns, connected by crossed bars and rails. In 1880 the other half of the building was built, which was almost a mirror image of the first one (except for the fact that it had no avant-corps from the side of the garden).

The main façade thus got fourteen axes with two symmetrical avant-corpses on both sides. The ground floor was separated by a cornice and rusticated. All openings are rectangular and have no trimming; the windows have cornices underneath, most of them have also Neo-Gothic square dripstones. The central part has an entablature with small attic windows in the frieze. The avant-corpses are at the level of floors 2-3 decorated with recessed panels and Neo-Romanesque arcatures. The double-pitch roof is covered with painted tin.

In 1892 two one-storied wooden porches were added from the side of the street, located at the corners near the avant-corpses. A similar two-storied extension, containing toilets, was added also on the rear side of the building (has not been preserved).

In Soviet times, the house was rebuilt. The main entrance was from the former basement floor, the entrance porch and the external stairs leading to it were dismantled. From the side of the former garden a one-storied extension was added at the south-western corner, a rearrangement was carried out.

The residential townhouse of the Berski (non-existent at present)

In 1862 the old wing containing a stable and a cart shed was rebuilt as a residential house; its size and outline of the plan remained the same, and one more floor was added. The house, elongated from the north-west to the south-east, was oriented toward ul. Kalecza (now vul. Kalicha Hora) with its side façade.

The main entrance, arranged in the longer, north-east façade, led to a small entryway; from there one could go straight to the kitchen and to three living rooms arranged in an enfilade to the right. The one-storied part of the building to the left of the main entrance was still used as a stable. Also, the second floor was added which had an entryway, a kitchen and three rooms too. On the second floor, the last room had a triforium window with three semicircular parts (a door in the center) and a balcony with carved wooden railing. The building was probably designed for two families. It was decorated in a modest picturesque style; the caretaker's room, added later, had a segmental window with a dripstone above on the street façade (similar to the seminary building). The house was demolished in the interwar period.

A residential building project (not implemented)

In 1845 architect Wincenty Rawski Sr. designed a project of a residential building which was to be constructed right against the street, adjoining the neighboring house on the south-west. It was expected that this would be a two-storied townhouse with cellars under the front half, with five enfilade rooms (windows facing the street) on each floor and with utility rooms, toilets, and a gallery from the side of the garden. The main façade, having a restrained Neoclassicist décor, was to be asymmetric and divided with lesenes. The three-pitched roof with an angle of about 45° was to be covered with shingles and to have three lucarnes.


Sylwester Berski — a constructor, owner and designer of the building
Adam Berski (†1891) — an engineer and member of the Lviv Polytechic Society in 1878–1883; allegedly, father of Sylwester Berski, building's owner
Ludwika Berska née Lucka — Sylwester Berski's wife, co-owner of the building
Stanisława Gozdziewska née Berska — Adam Berski's heiress, she resided in Obertosów (Powiat Złoczowski)
Marya  Hornungowa née Bersk — Adam Berski's heiress, she resided at ul. Św. Mikołaja, 12 (now vul. Hrushevskoho) in Lviv
Anna Kaniak — owner of a neighboring real estate in the 1870s (ul. Kalecza, 4 or concription number 363 ¼)
Mieczysław Krauss — a representative of the National Ossoliński Institute who resided at ul. Ossolińskich, 11 (now vul. Stefanyka)
Zbigniew Brochwicz Lewiński — architect who designed a printing house which was never built 
Stanisław Olexiński — a representative of the National Ossoliński Institute, in 1919 he was its administrative secretary
Wawrzyniec Olszewski — owner of a neigboring real estate (ul. Kalecza, 7 or conscription number 296 ¼) in at least 1845–1871
Józefa Piątkowska — co-owner of the building who in 1911 resided at ul. Zyblikiewicza, 5 (now vul. Franka, 35)
Kazimierz Przetocki— engineer, who did the project of connecting the building to the sewerage system in 1935
Wincenty Rawski Sr. (V. Rawski) — architect. 
Kazimierz Witkowski, Dr — a representative of the National Ossoliński Institute in 1907–1919 


1. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO), 2/2/4840.
2. Józef Wiczkowski, Lwów. Jego rozwój i stan kulturalny oraz przewodnik po mieście, (Lwów, z księgarni Altenberga, 1907, 113–116).
3. Edmund Grzębski, Pamiętnik jubileuszowy, 1877-1902: Towarzystwo Politechniczne we Lwowie (Lwów, Nakładem Towarzystwa Politechnicznego, 1902, 98).
4. Adam Fischer, Zakład narodowy imienia Ossolińskich. Zarys dziejów, (Lwów: Zakład narodowy imienia Ossolińskich, 1927).
5. "Kronika", Kurjer Lwowski, Nr. 65, 1916, p. 3