Vul. Virmenska, 04 – former Obukhivska townhouse
The “Obukhivska” stone house is a monument that has preserved the character of the Renaissance housing of Lviv’s historic center while showing at the same time some later developments of the stylistic features of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It was built in the early seventeenth century and remained almost intact till the mid-nineteenth century. According to the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR number 442 dated 6 September 1979, the house was entered in the National list of architecture and urban planning monuments under protection number 1251.
Since 2008, a reconstruction of the house has been under way to adapt it to function as a hotel with a café situated in the cellars and on the ground floor; the project was drawn up by the architects Zynoviy Lahush and Yaroslav Martyniuk of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute.
Early 17th c. – a two-story house is constructed.
1848 – the house is seriously damaged by fire.
1850 – a renovation and reconstruction is carried out: the third floor is added, and the façade is given an architectural appearance with some Classicist style elements.
1876 – the wood shingle roof is replaced with a tin one; small roof windows are made in the main façade based on the axes of the apartment windows; a skylight over the staircase is made.
1902 – partial repairs in the yard are made; in particular, the façade facing the yard and the closets are whitewashed.
1909 – the ground floor is adapted to function as a shop; the vault in the main building is dismantled (architect Henryk Orlean).
1947 – the ground floor premises are adapted to function as living quarters; thirteen apartments are arranged in the house.
Since 2008 a reconstruction of the house has been under way to adapt it to function as a hotel (architects Zynoviy Lahush and Yaroslav Martyniuk). All wooden bridgings are replaced with ferroconcrete ones; two additional stories and an attic story are built on the wings; the roof of the house is changed to a mansard one; a corniceis made over the third floor windows.
The stone house number 4 is situated on the parcel of the lower part of Virmenska (“Armenian”) street. This part of the street was for the first time mentioned in 1444. It was called Pekarska (“Baker”) at that time. From 1792 it was called Akademichna (“Academic”) or Universytetska (“University”) as University was situated nearby. It was burned up in 1848. In 1871, the lower and upper parts of the street were merged under the common name of Virmenska.
The stone house was built in the early seventeenth century on the parcel that originated from the fourteenth century town planning based on the Magdeburg Rights principles. Originally the house had two floors. The present-day house was erected in place of a previous one. At that time the original direction of the street network of the historic center was still preserved; now it is slightly different. In the schoss books (schossbücher) of 1621-1767 the house is called “Obukhivska”. It underwent virtually no changes till the mid-nineteenth century. The house was considerably damaged by fire when the University was bombarded on 2 November 1848. In 1850, Władysław and Martina Żarski (coming from the Nyzhkorovski family), the then owners of the house, carried out a renovation and reconstruction: the third floor was added, also some Classicist elements were added to the façade. In 1874, the same owners leased a part of the house premises to the Technical Academy.
In 1876, after the Lviv Magistrate passed a resolution that inflammable roofs should be replaced with fireproof ones. So, the house wood shingle roof was replaced with a tin one, and small roof windows were made in the upper part of the main façade. The skylight over the staircase was made then too. In 1902, after the death of the Żarski, Maria Mogilnicka, who was the administrator of their inheritance, passed the right to manage the house to Franciszka Bujnowska. The latter did some partial repairs in the yard. In particular, the façade facing the yard and the closets were whitewashed. Later, the house was passed into the ownership of the Jew family of Natan and Genia Bojko. The new owners adapted the ground floor premises to function as a shop with a bath for live fish. The reconstruction project was drawn up by the architect Henryk Orlean in 1909. The vault was dismantled in the main building, the fact provoking a sharp negative reaction from the Grono Konserwatorskie. In the interwar period, some premises in the house were rented by Baruch Horn who arranged a hat shop there. In the Soviet times, the whole house was residential, thirteen apartments arranged in it. In 1979, the house was entered in the National list of architecture and urban planning monuments. After Ukraine became independent, it was entered in the list of the government Program for preserving housing facilities in the central part of Lviv in 1997-2007. The block of houses between Shevska, Teatralna, Virmenska and Krakivska streets was determined as a top-priority object for reconstruction. A complex project of the block restoration was elaborated in the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute (architect Uliana Pikhurko). In 1998, architectural and archaeological measurements were made (architect Natalia Tkachenko) and a draft design of restoration was drawn up (architect Viktor Rohozov, engineers Volodymyr Sivers and Oleksandr Bespalov). In 2008, the house was passed into the ownership of Franz Pizek. Since 2008, a reconstruction of the house has been under way to adapt it to function as a hotel with a café situated in the cellars and on the ground floor; the project was drawn up by the architects Zynoviy Lahush and Yaroslav Martyniuk of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute. According to the project, all wooden bridgings were replaced with ferroconcrete ones; two additional stories and an attic story were added on the wings; the roof of the house was changed to a high mansard one.
The house is situated on a narrow parcel of the northwest quarter of the historic center limited by Krakivska, Shevska, Teatralna and Virmenska streets. It fits organically into the row housing of Virmenska street, notable for its faced with hewn white stone blocks façade wall with an escarpment.
The house is built in place of an older one. It has stone foundations, its walls are laid of rubble stone and brick. Also, white stone elements are used. The house has cellars and a gable roof. In plan, the house occupies an elongated rectangular parcel. It consists of the main building and two lateral wings which adjoin the eastern and western boundary walls forming a little rectangular courtyard.
The main façade is asymmetrical, it has three windows and an entrance situated on the middle axis (originally, on the extreme axis to the right); it is crowned with a shaped cornice. The windows with rectangular lintels are decorated by portals having shaped linear pediments and shelves. The window (now the door) on the ground floor is segmental, the entrance is rectangular. The portal of the gate has a tricentral ending; it is made of hewn white stone blocks. The first and second floors of the main façade are faced with hewn white stone; they have an escarpment and are accentuated with a cornice continuing the pediments of the second floor windows. The middle axis over the entrance is accentuated by a Classicist style balcony with metal railing, on white stone consoles. The entrance door is iron-bound.
The house has preserved a planning structure which is typical for medieval Lviv: it is a two-part, three-tract one with a wide stoop or passage on the extreme axis covered with a barrel vault with pendentives. The main building is covered with flat bridging based on wooden beams (now ferroconcrete ones). All bridgings between the floors are wooden ceilings (now ferroconcrete ones). The cellars consist of two cells covered with stone barrel vaults with pendentives and have loading openings. The stairs in the house have three flights; they are wooden, rest on the wooden stringer and have a railing made of balusters and nineteenth century carved poles. The staircase is lighted by a skylight. The house has a gable roof with a wooden rafter and beam system; it is covered with tin.
The building preserves the character of a Renaissance stone townhouse demonstrating at the same time some later developments of the stylistic features of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Natan & Genia Bojko – the house owners who adapted the ground floor to function as a shop with a bath for live fish.
Baruch Horn – a tenant of the house who arranged a hat shop there in the interwar years.
Władysław & Martina Żarski – the house owners who reconstructed it in 1850.
Zynoviy Lahush – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, a co-author of the project of the house reconstruction.
Yaroslav Martyniuk – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, a co-author of the project of the house reconstruction.
Maria Mogilnicka – the administrator of the Zharski’s inheritance after their death in 1902.
Franciszka Bujnowska – an administrator of the house who carried out partial repairs.
Henryk Orlean – an architect who drew up a project of the house reconstruction in 1909.
Franz Pizek – the house owner since 2008.
Uliana Pikhurko – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, an author of the complex project of the block reconstruction.
Viktor Rohozov – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, a co-author of the 1998 draft project of the house reconstruction.
Volodymyr Sivers – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, a co-author of the 1998 draft project of the house reconstruction.
Natalia Tkachenko – an architect of the Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsiya Institute, an author of the architectural and archaeological measurements of the house made in 1998.
2. Scientific-Technical Archive of "Ukrzakhidproektrestavratsia" Institute (ukr. "Укрзахідпроектреставрація"). Items #Л-64, Л-350.
3. Central State Historical Archive of Ukraine in Lviv (CDIAL). Item 186/8/829 (Lviv's cadastral plan of 1849)
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