Vul. Sichovykh Striltsiv, 21 – residential building
This residential house was built in a prestigious area of Lviv, near the Galician Sejm (Diet), in 1874-1875. The project is signed by constructor Emanuel Gall. The architecture of the building combines the Neo-Renaissance main façade’s strict symmetry and the building’s horizontal outline in the form of an irregular polygon. The façade is decorated with ornamental reliefs. Now the house serves as a residential apartment building; the ground floor premises are used by several offices and by a cafeteria. There is also a copy center in the rear wing.
The parcel, where a townhouse number 21 on Majerowska (later Trzeciego Maja, now Sichovykh Striltsiv) street was built, was separated from a larger plot which was owned by the family of count Borkowski till the first half of the 1870s. This plot, then designated by conscription number 790 2/4, once occupied the entire south-western corner of the quarter situated opposite the northern boundary of the Jesuit Garden (now the Ivana Franka park). Apart from the building on Majerowska 21, two more houses were constructed on the former parcel number 790 2/4 almost at the same time: number 16 and 18 on Slovatskoho street (DALO 2/1/1092: 40, 41). These were new buildings located in a luxury area whose rapid development was stimulated by the construction of the Galician Sejm complex.
In around 1874 the Borkowskis sold a part of their plot. The separated plot with an area of 150 square sajenes, which got its own conscription number 791 2/4, was purchased by the family of Gall. According to archival documents, it was co-owned by Emanuel, Józef, and Jakub Gall (DALO 2/1/1092: 1).
The project of a new townhouse construction was approved by the Lviv Magistrate’s resolution dated 16 June 1874. In September of 1875 the construction was completed. The corresponding architectural plans bear the signatures of constructor Emanuel Gall, one of the co-owners (DALO 2/1/1092: 14, 43).
However, previously, on 30 June 1875, some additional, modified plans (also designed by E. Gall) had to be approved. The amendments to the project were due to a change in the construction site configuration, since after the construction was started, the Galls managed to purchase some more land for development from their neighbours. This allowed to expand the main façade overlooking Majerowska street (11 window axes instead of 9) and to attach some areas located in the depth of the quarter. As a result, the pentagon of the parcel number 791 2/4 was transformed into an irregularly outlined polygonal figure; the additional project involved the construction of wings with stables and a cart shed on its inner perimeter (DALO 2/1/1092: 1, 50 ).
Having built the townhouse, the Galls must have sold it rather soon afterwards. In the late 19th century the house belonged to new owners. According to documents, in the early 1900s it was owned by Ferdinand Obtułowicz, a well known Lviv doctor. Later Stanisława, Janina and Ludwika Obtułowicz were mentioned as the co-owners. The house belonged to the family of Obtułowicz till the 1930s (DALO 2/1/1092: 9, 17, 32).
In 1893 a laundry was added to the townhouse’s right wing (DALO 01.02.1092: 42).Now the house number 21 on Sichovykh Striltsiv street serves as a residential apartment building. The ground floor premises are used by several offices and by a cafeteria; there is also a copy center in the rear wing.
The house number 21 completes a dense housing row on the odd side of Sichovykh Striltsiv street, near its intersection with Universytetska street and the final segment of Slovatskoho street; in the rear, it borders on the plot of the house number 8 on Yuriya Drohobycha street. An irregular, "broken" outline of the parcel, where the townhouse stands (it can be explained by the fact that several "scraps" of land were attached to the construction site already during the construction), contrasts with its strictly symmetrical main façade. The main façade consisting of 11 window axes is oriented along the street regulatory line.
The composition structure is dominated by ornamented moulded friezes above the second and third floors, laid along the entire façade wall. The horizontal accent is enhanced by stripes of rustication and cornices. The developed top cornice is decorated with modillions. The windows have trimmings with projections in the upper corners, supplemented by relief garlands. There are triangular pediments with consoles above the second floor windows and segmental pediments above the third floor windows. The composition central axis is fixed by a wide entrance gate opening with an arched top and by a balcony with moulded consoles arranged above the gate. The main façade composition is rich with ornamental reliefs. Rosette, garland, and guilloche motifs are repeated in the façade’s moulded details. The composition structure and the décor nature are in line with the initial stage of the Lviv Neo-Renaissance style.
The elongated prism of the building’s front unit, oriented along Sichovykh Striltsiv street, has a passageway in its center, which leads to the courtyard. In the left wall of the passage, there is the entrance to the main staircase, which is rectangular in plan; old wooden structures of the stairs have been preserved there. The front unit’s interior premises are connected according to the enfilade principle and are arranged in two rows.
The polygonal courtyard’s perimeter is encircled by wings which are provided with two auxiliary staircases. Like the main building, the wings have three floors, except a single-storied fragment of the former laundry. On the rear façade, there are balcony galleries.
The Borkowskis — a noble family of counts, who owned the building parcel of the future townhouse —
until early 1870s
Emmanuel Gall — co-owner of the parcel from 1874 until late 1890s; also a constructor who designed the townhouse no. 21
Ludwika Obtułowicz — co-owner of the townhouse until the 1930s
Stanisława Obtułowicz — co-owner of the townhouse until the 1930s
Ferdynand Obtułowicz — a famous Lviv medical doctor, owner of the townhouse in early 1900s
Janina Obtułowicz — co-owner of the townhouse until the 1930s
Józef Gall — co-owner of the parcel from 1874 until late 1890s
Jakób Gall — co-owner of the parcel from 1874 until late 1890s
State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) 2/1/1092.