Pl. Rynok 32/Vul. Shevska, 1 – UniverMag Department Store

ID: 2204
Former Zipper's Department store derives its name from its original owner, jeweler and watchmaker Abraham Zipper. Built in 1911-1912˛, it is an architectural monument of local significance (no. 257-M). !Fest Holding of Emotions rebuilt the house significantly, establishing the "Pravda Beer Theatre" here in 2014.


The UniverMag department store was erected on the site of an old stone structure dating from 1801, which itself had replaced a number of structures dating from the 16th-18th centuries. On the Market Square side, these lots were occupied by homes in the old town center – the Gędziński Manor, Melkhior-Wolfovych Manor, and on the corner, the Stanzliwska or Ştandliwska, (later Wilczekiwska, not to be confused with #3 Rynok Square which goes by the same name). And on the Shevska Street side once stood the Ziarnek and Adamkiewicz’ homes. During the first years of Austrian rule, Wilczekiwska Manor – named for a former owner, Dominicus Wilczek – served asa Commandant’s office and residence.

In 1801, a new four storey home was laid out that would see repeated changes in ownership before 1895 when it was purchased by jeweler and watchmaker Abraham Zipper. Near century’s close, Zipper commissioned the architect Zygmunt Kędzierski to reconfigure the building façade with a shop-window portal. In time, a larger version of the design would grace the façade of the new monumental structure.

The designers of Zipper’s Department store (whose drawings were almost certainly submitted in 1911), were Edmund Żychowicz and Michał Lużecki. An addendum to the design was approved on August 5, 1912. The construction was nearly finished by the time based on photographs of the completed building dated 1912. During the construction, late-Renaissance columns from the Wilczekiwska Manor were uncovered and subsequently donated to the Historical Museum. Currently one of the columns resides at the Lviv Historical Museum, and the second at the Museum of Ethnography and Applied Art, under the Institute of Ethnology of Ukrainian National Academy of Science.

Prior to 1939, the building was occupied by a watch store and jeweler’s. In the inter-war period, the building was given a new name: “Trust”. Following the war, the building was nationalized and continued to operate as a department store. Since 2011 the building has been under reconstruction.

In 2012 the department store building was owned by the Lviv municipality (the nominal owner are the citizens of Lviv, represented by the Lviv City Council). The building was rented by the At the Market Department Store. A portion of the ground floor on the Shevska Street side is owned by Fotonova, ltd. The building was registered as a regional architectural landmark (Lviv Oblast Council Session on February 26, 1980, Resolution #130. Registration # 257-M).  Since 2014 part of the building is rented by the !Fest Holding of Emotions who rebuilt the house considerably especially its interiors to open the Pravda Beer Theatre here.

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The former Zipper Department store sits on Market Square’s northwest corner. The building is part of a structural ensemble on the west end of the square which predates the formation of the Market. The building also plays an important role in defining the architectural grouping on the southern, Shevska Street side.

The Zipper Department store is a monumental four storey building of masonry and reinforced concrete, and boasting a “beer-cellar” and attic. Together with the adjacent Shevska Street building, it comprises a united assemblage with the common address of 1 Shevska Street (alternate address - 32 Market Square). A right-angled corner structure forms the core of the building, with shops and a spacious central vestibule and additional rooms in the basement and upper floors. The levels are connected by public and service staircases. The main vestibule interior houses galleries along its perimeter and a two-storey high central court.

The facades are finished in a modernized Renaissance style with a characteristically “Polish” attic, as in Cracow’s Sukiennice (Cloth Hall). The eastern façade is ornamented with a broad portal and a set of rectangular, six-columned shop windows with a wide cornice above them. Near the right-side corner there is another shop window in the shape of a rusticated arch. The upper three floors on the northern Shevska Street façade are accented with bay windows.   


The Adamkiewicz Family- merchant family, Shevska Street Manor owners
Dominicus Wilczekroyal secretary, court officer
The Gędziński Family – merchant family, Manor owners
Edmund Żychowiczarchitect, businessman
The Ziarnek Family - merchant family, Manor owners
Zygmunt Kędzierski - architect, businessman
Michał Lużecki architect, head of the Magistrate construction department
Abraham Zipperjeweler, watchmaker, Manor owner


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By Ihor Syomochkin, 2012
Edited by Ihor Zhuk

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