Vul. Sichovykh Striltsiv, 19 – university building (former residential)
This former luxury residential building was erected in 1889-1890. The project was designed at the architectural bureau of Ivan Levynskyi (Jan Lewiński). The house is a typical Neo-Renaissance architectural monument whose main façade can be noted for its compositional balance and strict symmetry. A spacious front staircase is worthy of mention as well. Now the townhouse is used as a building of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University.
In the mid-19th century there was a large plot under conscription number 114 2/4 not far from the Jesuit Garden (now the Ivan Franko park). It occupied the north-eastern quarter of the territory between the present Sichovykh Striltsiv, Kostiushka and Yuriya Drohobycha streets. In 1863 a parcel, designated by its own conscription number 720 2/4, was separated from it (DALO 02/01/1091: 8, 10).
A two-storied L-shaped building consisting of residential and utility premises was constructed in the same place earlier, in 1853 (DALO 2/1/5176: 56). Shortly, a stable, where cows were kept, was added to it, prompting the Lviv Magistrate officials to conduct a sanitary inspection in April of 1865 (DALO 2/1/1091: 22, 26). It may be concluded that before the construction project of the Galician Sejm (now the main building of the university) was implemented, the surrounding area still preserved some features of a suburban territory. In 1877 the area of the parcel number 720 2/4 was reduced as the plot of the future townhouse number 17 on Sichovykh Striltsiv street (with its own conscription number 834 2/4) was separated from its south-western edge (DALO 2/1/1089: 52).
The remaining territory was purchased by Princess Karolina Ponińska (née Sokołowska), who decided to use the plot number 720 2/4, located in the most prestigious area of Lviv, for the construction of a large residential townhouse, meant for wealthy tenants. An appropriate project was commissioned at the architectural bureau of the construction company owned by Jan Lewiński who was a leading Lviv constructor of the late 19th and early 20th century. The construction plans signed by Levynskyi were approved by the Magistrate on 10 October 1889. The construction was completed in late 1890 (DALO 2/1/1091: 1-5, 30).
A decade later, in 1901 the building became the property of Kalikst Poniński, the heir of Princess Ponińska (DALO 2/1/1091: 32). Then on the basis of the contract of sale dated 8 October 1903 it was transferred to the ownership of Samuel Horowitz, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DALO 2/1/1091: 37). In the interwar period the old townhouse of Ponińska belonged to count Michał Marian Baworowski (DALO 2/1/1091: 18, 20).
After the Second World War the luxury Neo-Renaissance residential house was transformed into a university building. Now the townhouse on Sichovykh Striltsiv street 19 is occupied by the Faculty of International Relations of the Lviv National Ivan Franko University.
The plot of the townhouse number 19 on Sichovykh Striltsiv street is located opposite the southern avant-corps of the main university building, the former building of the Galician Sejm near the Ivana Franka park. The three-storied house has an eleven-window façade whose position is fixed by the regulation line of the street.
The main façade, which has a three-window wide slightly protruded wall section in the center, has a balanced and static nature. Its composition is dominated by horizontal divisions. Strict symmetry prevails here, in contrast to an irregular outline of the plot. The latter has the shape of an irregular polygon incorporated into the continuous housing tract between Sichovykh Striltsiv, Kostiushka and Drohobycha streets.
On the central protruded wall section, there is a wide balcony leaning on moulded consoles, with a balustrade and a rounded projection in the center. Semicircular window openings are flanked by double Corinthian pilasters. On the façade’s side sections, the second floor windows are decorated with smaller pilasters and triangular pediments at their tops; the corresponding third floor windows have shaped trimmings and are completed with cornices supported by consoles.
The façade is divided into three horizontal tiers by cornices. The ground floor cornice is supplemented with a Dorian frieze. The cornice above the third floor has modillions. The upper balustrade, with an attic and a small triangular pediment in the middle and with two vases on the edges, supports the composition’s horizontal rhythm. The façade wall’s lower tier is decorated with rustication. Under the balcony, one can see three arched openings: the bigger central entrance with smaller portals on both sides.
In the center of the townhouse’s front building, there is a wide entryway with a through passage leading to the courtyard; the passage is flanked by two-flight stairs. In the rear part, there is a spacious and very stylish staircase. Two rows of rooms in the front section are separated by corridors arranged parallel to the façade. The closed courtyard is encircled by wings on perimeter.
The house number 19 on Sichovykh Striltsiv street represents the type of luxury residential architecture in the Neo-Renaissance style. Formerly, the townhouse had two large apartments on each floor, which were designed for wealthy tenants. In the wings, there were stables, cart sheds, kitchens, pantries, and servants’ rooms. The interior premises, which had once residential and utility functions, have been adapted for the needs of university and partially rearranged.
As regards the décor, one has to pay special attention to the façade’s moulded decorations, particularly Atlantes figures under the balcony and the staircase decoration (ornamental moulding of the walls and ceiling, forged railing of the stairs). Architecturally and artistically, the house belongs to the Neo-Renaissance style of the "Italian" type.
One of the most renowned architects of Habsburg Lviv, entrepreneur, one of the largest employers of his time in the city. His firm was involved in the construction and renovation of countless structures throughout Lviv and the region. Professor at the Higher Technical School, an active public figure associated with the Ukrainian People's Movement.
Ivan Levynskyi (Jan Lewiński) — anarchitect
and owner of a construction firm that designed the townhouse
Kalikst Poniński —inherited the building in 1901 as the heir of the princess Ponińska
Karolina Ponińska nee Sokołowska – a princess, owner of the real estate 720 2/4 who commissioned the construction of the prominent townhouse for wealthy tenants
Michał Marian Baworowski – a count, owner of former Ponińska townhouse during Interwar period
Samuel Horowitz – President of the Chamber of Trade and Commerce who bought the townhouse in October of 1903 from Kalikst Poniński
- State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) 2/1/1089
- DALO 2/1/1091
- DALO 2/1/5176