Vul. Vynnychenka, 28 – residential building

ID: 2676

One of the most notable works of Michał Fechter. It was erected in 1879-1880 as an urban villa of Piotr Wajda. The outstanding sculptor Leonard Marconi and, possibly, Julian Zachariewicz were involved in its decoration. Built in the French neorenaissance style, the villa has preserved masterful details, paintings and traces of a French garden in the courtyard. It is an architectural monument (no. 244-M).


17thc. 2nd half of the18th c. — Carmelite nuns' court with outbuildings was located on the hill near what is now vul. Vynnychenka.
1875 — a plot corresponding to the contemporary houses number 26 and 28 on vul. Vynnychenka was acquired by Piotr and Honorata Wajda.
1879-1880 — a new townhouse was constructed by architect Michał Fechter at vul. Vynnychenka 26.

The house is one of the most outstanding works by architect Michał Fechter. It was designed as an urban villa. It has received a rather unconventional design due to its adaptation to a complex terrain. This includes both façade and interior; as well as the courtyard where a regular French garden was planted. The original design drawings of the villa feature signatures of its premises and thus give a rather rare insight into peculiarities of a wealthy family life from the late 19th century in Lviv.

The façade and representative interiors are decorated with stucco by Leonard Marconi, an outstanding Lviv sculptor. Masterful wooden architectural details, artistic murals and paintings, high-quality blacksmith products and spectacular stoves made by the Glińsko factory — all these details demonstrate that the best specialists in Lviv of that time were involved in the decoration of this villa. It can be assumed that they came from Julian Zachariewicz's circle: the factory of the Wczelak brothers, the painters Fleck brothers and the blacksmith Jan Daszek.


The hill between the present-day Kryvonosa, Vynnychenka, Lysenka and Hutsulska streets, where the villa was positioned, had Carmelite nuns' court and outbuildings until the mid-18th century. After the convent's abolition in 1784, this estate was passed – first to the religious property fund and then into private ownership. The plot with the conscription number 2 4/4 (today vul. Vynnychenka 26-28) belonged to Jakob Walker, the Sacherls and the Habermans until 1875, when it was acquired by Piotr and Honorata Wajda (Boyko, Vul. Vynnychenka, 26).

Wajda decided to build two houses there. He began reconstructing the old house, which stood on the place of the modern house no. 26 in 1876. He commissioned a local architect Michał Fechter to design a three-story building and dismantled the old house. However, the project, approved in 1876, was not implemented.

Wajda started building both houses at the same time in 1876, entrusting the construction to a single architect. But it was much more difficult to build a house on the other part of the plot (no. 28) due to its steep slope. Building the villa there led to numerous meetings and commissions in order to find a satisfying solution in terms of landscape. On September 16, 1876, Wajda was invited to the magistrate to consider the construction case (DALO 2/2/3457:3). On December 15, 1878, he applied to the magistrate for permission to build a villa, and on February 14 and April 17, 1879, commissions were convened again to consider issues of a retaining wall and stairs (DALO 2/2/3457:20,22).

On February 20, 1879, Wajda received the permit to build a two-story villa. The following conditions were specified in the permit: 1) the wall bordering on the plot with the conscription number 3 4/4, should be continued in this area, supporting the villa and strengthening the hill; 2) since the house would be adjacent to the two-story seminary building, it was necessary to agree with the Latin seminary rectorate its roof height and other parameters. In addition, the magistrate noted that since the construction of retaining walls, fencing walls and stairs as well as landscaping were associated with significant costs, all necessary permits should be obtained in advance (DALO 2/2/3457:8-10).

On March 25, 1879, the magistrate reconsidered the case due to changes in the façade in accordance with the previously presented requirements. As all the requirements were taken into account, a building permit was issued. On April 17, 1879, the magistrate ordered the owner to face the retaining wall with smooth stones, to make high-quality oak railings on the stairs leading to the seminary along the street, to cut down trees in front of the house and to take them out at his own expense, and to always keep the area in front of the house under construction clean (DALO 2/2/3457:13-14). According to the magistrate's requirements, a terrace adjacent to the designed building was to be arranged on the plot (DALO 2/2/3457:17).

On June 26, 1880, the magistrate approved the design drawings and gave permission for construction; house was assigned with a new conscription number 645 4/4 (DALO 2/2/3457:24-27).


In the first version of the design drawings (DALO 2/2/3457:22), Michał Fechter proposed to construct  a two-story building with a symmetrical façade, with an entrance portal and a central avant-corps with an order composition topped by a neobaroque attic window. The façade drawing depicted extremely rich sculptural decoration, including niches with female statues. According to this version, the house had to be located on a leveled plot.

The plan drawings feature captions, specifying the rooms . As the subsequent versions of the villa's design do not have them, possibly because the layout remained basically the same, it is important to turn attention to them. A laundry room, a bathroom, a wardrobe, a hallway and an unspecified room were planned on the ground floor. Upstairs, there were rooms for living.  The lady's room (signed Pani) was located in the center and had a balcony, while a salon and a guest room were located on its sides. The owner's room (signed Pan, i.e. Lord) was on the other side of the hall, connected to the glazed verandah overlooking the courtyard. A dining room was located between this room and the childrens' room, which was the smallest of the living rooms. It was connected to the kitchen and had a window onto the garden. This way, the rooms for the husband, wife and their children were exactly in the opposite corners of the villa; with the central and most representative space reserved for the lady. The kitchen, hallways, pantries, and bathroom were located inside the building's volume and thus had no windows (DALO 2/2/3457:27).

As some of the conditions put by the magistrate remained disregarded, the project was sent back for revision. The new version, approved in October 1881 (DALO 2/2/3457:50-55), featured the complicated design that got implemented later. The villa was now positioned on a complicated steep relief, with a terrace on the hill; there were stairs along the street leading up to the Latin seminary and the church of the Discalced Carmeite nuns. Monumental female sculptures in niches on the façade got replaced by much smaller reliefs with nymphs. Probably, some of the funds intended originally for decoration, were to be used on engineering works for the landscape adaptation. The final drawings got approved in September 1882. They featured only minor changes to the previous design (DALO 2/2/3457:70-71).

The neighboring house no. 26 was completed by Fechter already in 1878-1880 due to much simpler landscape conditions. This way, the villa's design had to be adapted both technically and aesthetically to this building as it was already built. 


Piotr Wajda and his wife Honorata owned the house until 1900 (Księga adresowa, 1900). On January 24, 1900, they sold the house to Adolf Wiesiołowski for 24,600 crowns (Kalendarz Ilustrowany, 1900-1901). In 1916-1936 the house was owned by the Roman Catholic Religious Foundation (Księga adresowa, 1916; Księga adresowa, 1935-1936).

Although the house was built as a villa, its use was varied. In 1886-1889, Dr. Józef Bielski, a homeopath, had his reception room in Wajda's house (Gazeta Lwowska, 1886, no. 224). In 1900, the house was inhabited by two residents (possibly with families): Field Marshal Franciszek Czeyda and Hermina Łozińska (Księga adresowa, 1900).

In 1904-1906 it was at this address that Alfred Turecki offered an afternoon board (3-8 hours) for students who were unsupervised or had no desire to study. Also, preparation for entrance exams was offered there (Słowo Polskie, 1906, no. 495). In 1906 the following societies were registered at this address: 1) Public Education (pol. Oświaty ludowej); 2) Daughters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul (pol. Pań miłoś. im. Św. Wincentego a Paulo) (Kalandarz Ilustrowany, 1906). In addition, in 1906 the house was offered for rent as a "beautiful villa with a garden, in part or as a whole" (Kalendarz Ilustrowany, 1906). In 1907 it was advertised for rent as "a gentleman's room for 10 guldens and an office space for 20 guldens" (Słowo Polskie, 1907, no. 448). In 1910, the following residents were registered in the house: Jan Szargut, a coachman, and Anna Torońska, a widow (Skorowidz, 1910). In 1914, Leon Kossak, a doctor specializing in skin and venereal diseases, had a reception room in the house (Kalendarz Lwowskiego Towarzystwa, 1914).

Today, the house is used as an apartment building. Its contemporary owners have made inadequate changes, replacing the unique authentic woodwork by plastic one, changing the vestibule and courtyard decoration, covering the roof with rolled metal sheets, destroying the authentic elegant ceiling. The villa's French garden is neglected; just some preserved elements (columns, vases, stairs) and century-old boxwood shrubs are reminiscent of its former beauty. The condition of the villa and the garden requires professional intervention, including the removal of inappropriate elements, restoration of distorted and lost ones. In 2019-2020, the owner of an apartment in the house carried out some professional work on the restoration of the destroyed woodwork, the disclosure of authentic murals and paintings, as well as the restoration of all artistic and structural elements in his apartment.


The building was originally a one-family villa. Today it is an apartment building.

The house no. 28 is located in the row housing of the upper part of Vynnychenka street. On the right, it is adjacent to buildings no. 24 and no. 26, which belonged to the Taras Shevchenko Scientific Society, while on the left it is adjacent to the building of the Latin seminary (no. 30). This part of the street is stylistically diverse. There is a Biedermeier house at the corner (no. 24), followed by a neorenaissance and rather monotonous apartment house no. 26, then there is a laconic and utilitarian Latin seminary building (no. 24), and then the Discalced Carmelite nuns church in Roman Baroque style which is sort of a culmination of the street. The villa, being in the middle of this row, serves as a kind of compositional link between these buildings, so different in function, style and scale.

The building has an atypical volume and space design due to its partial location on a hill. The architect solved this difficult task brilliantly, creating a palace-type building, a real villa urbana with a French garden on the terraces.


The three-story and two-tract building is located on a complexly configured site. It is about 15 m wide and 20 m long; its height (up to the cornice) is about 15 m (DALO 2/2/3457:73). The building's core is the attic story, which forms the fourth floor. The volume of the building is designed symmetrically. Only the so-called transit block (the entrance portal, the vestibule and the staircase, located along the boundary wall with the house no. 26) is shifted to the right. Thus, the living space is concentrated in the left part of the building. From the staircase one enters a small square hallway, from where the bathroom and five enfilade rooms can be accessed. The layout is typical for Lviv – the whole apartment can be bypassed in a circle. From the central room at the main façade, a terrace (on the second floor) or a balcony (on the third floor) could be accessed, while from the central room at the rear façade one could get to the wooden glazed veranda located along the entire rear façade.

Behind the main staircase, there is a smaller back staircase orignally intended for servants, from which one could get to the second bathroom and kitchen, located in the lateral wing adjacent to the boundary wall with the house number 26.


The façade is made in exact accordance with the third version of the building project (DALO 2/2/3457:70). It is designed in the French neorenaissance style, thus continuing the theme of the neighboring house number 26, but looking much more accentuated, more lavish, even palace-like. The villa's façade has a symmetry axis, emphasized by an avant-corps and an attic with a sculpture. Formally, the symmetry is broken as the entrance gate is located at street level, which forms the ground floor of the building. The second floor is located on the hill, the same hill where the Discalced Carmelite nuns' church (now the church of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple) and the Seminary building stand. The hill, as already mentioned, can be reached by stone stairs.

The ground floor consists only of the entrance gate and vaulted passageway. This part of the façade here is heavily rusticated, and the coarse stone surface (opus rusticus) extends to the whole of the retaining wall. The façade's second floor has a lighter decoration with Greek rustication; the third floor is decorated with a linear division into blocks. The third floor of the avant-corps is accentuated by pilasters on pedestals with banded rustication. In general, the French style can be traced in the building decoration, in particular, in the attic floor and roof on the central axis. The second and third floors have double windows; on the third floor, they are united by broken pediments (side parts of the façade) and archivolts with shells (central avant-corps). On the third floor, the central avant-corps is accentuated by a balcony with a wrought-iron lattice. Characteristic flowers and spiral elements on the forged balcony fence indicate that their probable author was Jan Daszek (or someone from his workshop). The location of the decor on the façade grows upwards, which is obviously due to urban planning considerations aimed at emphasizing this small building's beauty. The façade is completed with a frieze having garlands, masks, dragons and floral ornaments on it, as well as a crowning cornice with dentils, egg-and-dart ornaments and modillons with acanthus leaves. The archivolts of the third floor openings are decorated with monumental shells; there are also vases installed in broken pediments. Along the main axis, the entresol was decorated with a sculptural composition, as evidenced by archival drawings (DALO 2/2/3457:70). The composition consisted of a medallion flanked by brackets and having a crown at the top. A garland hung from the medallion, the only one preserved from this composition. In addition, the entresol pilasters above the cornice were topped with vases, provided for plants, as seen in the archival drawing of the façade (DALO 2/2/3457:70). In terms of its plastics, this stucco work matches the creative style of Leonard Marconi and is made of Roman cement, ensuring its excellent preservation (Бірюльов, 2015). Architect Michał Fechter created a perfect design of the house in which Leonard Marconi's stucco work took a worthy place, providing the building with a palace appearance. In general, Fechter in all periods of his work is characterized by generous use of decorative embellishments on his buildings. It can be assumed that under the influence of Julian Zachariewicz with whom he could not but contact, in particular as a member of the Polytechnic Society (Towarzystwo Politechniczne, 1902, 85), he invited prominent artists and artisans, who were Zachariewicz's colleagues and partners, to decorate the villa's façades and interiors.

All versions of the design drawings of the façades depict a mansard roof covered with a diamond-shaped roofing iron, which imitated the expensive slate roofing fashionable in the late 19th century. Profiled roof cornices and attic windows's elegant trimmings were made of iron as well.

The building's windows and doors have an impressive woodwork featuring heavy order forms, diamond rustication and carvings. The entrance gate's upper part is a kind of light, protected by a wrought iron lattice with a kind of arrows. This light's windows open inwards. This gate's door wings are decorated with superimposed portals having broken gables in harmony with similar window trimmings of the third floor. The frieze on the door is decorated with elegant garlands with ribbons, fruits and flowers matching the stucco garlands on the façade. This indicates that both wooden and stucco elements were made according to the joint creative plan developed by both the architect and the sculptor of the building. Judging by the quality of work, it can be assumed that the woodwork was produced by the factory of the Wczelak brothers while the woodwork design could have been developed by Leonard Marconi himself.

The interior continues the plastic theme of the façade. Through a massive entrance gate one gets into the vestibule with a stone staircase leading to the basement level. The vestibule is decorated with a superimposed arcade on the walls and a stucco cornice with egg-and-dart ornaments. According to the section that can be seen in the archival drawing, the arch fields were to be decorated with stucco in the form of decorative vases with arabesques (DALO 2/2/3457:73). Leonard Marconi used a similar design when decorating the vestibule of the Railway Directorate building at vul. Sichovykh Striltsiv 3. It is probable, however, that this design was never implemented, although it can be assumed that it was destroyed during the repair of the staircase, which led to the destruction of authentic floors. The vestibule floors were apparently paved with mosaic monochrome tiles, whose remains are found in the garden. The entrance to the basement and the main staircase is made in the form of a wooden screen with decorative glazing. Such glazing in the shape of coloured small square glasses is characteristic of the interiors of the 19th century Lviv houses (Kazantseva, Przestrzeń i Forma, 2016, number 27, 227-244). According to the project drawing, this entrance was to be designed as a stone order portal; the change in the project apparently occurred in the construction process, possibly due to the desire to reduce the cost of the project implementation. Through the door in the decorative screen one gets to the main staircase, which is wooden and has turned balusters. The stair landings are wooden. The staircase space is illuminated by a skylight.

The attic has preserved authentic wooden structures, the attic floor is paved with square ceramic tiles.

The culmination of the interior decorative design, envisaged by the design drawings (DALO 2/2/3457:73), is the third floor hall. The room has an order decoration with pilasters in the corners and columns framing the exit to the balcony. The columns and pilasters are made in the Corinthian order, without pedestals, topped instead with a slightly protruded stucco cornice with egg-and-dart ornaments, dentils and modillions, matching the style of the main façade decoration. The center of the ceiling is accentuated by a large stucco rosette, where a chandelier was to be attached (an authentic hook has been preserved). Some differences from the design drawing can be observed, in particular, the frieze was to be decorated with a stucco work having floral garlands, as on the main façade; the hall socle was to be emphasized by wooden panels while the trimming of the entrance door leading to the hall was to be topped with a triangular cornice. The main decoration of the hall is a monumental stove with an order structure (a plinth, a body and a profiled crown at the top). The main modular element of the stove is embossed tiles: square one with a circle rosette in the center, stylizing the so-called bowl tiles. The stove colour is brown combined with green, ocher and blue accents, which is characteristic of such products in the late Historicist period. The stove is decorated with the use of a wide arsenal of embossed decorative elements such as twisted columns, palmettes, various rosettes, scaly and binding ornaments. Judging by some similar objects and typical style, it can be said that the stove was made at the Glińsko factory by Julian Zachariewicz and Arnold Werner. The stove was apparently designed by Leonard Marconi, who is known to have collaborated with Julian Zachariewicz both in the design of buildings and stoves. The door of the hall and other rooms have authentic profiled woodwork with boiserie panels as well as neogothic and Secession brass latches. In the adjoining room, there are some remains of an authentic parquet, which consists of panels with a characteristic geometric pattern of diamonds and three colours of wood. According to the plans, all rooms had stoves. Some grass green neobaroque tiles discovered in the courtyard suggest that this stove was thrown out of this apartment.

Restoration works in the apartment revealed authentic murals and paintings completing the palace image of the villa. Thus, the body of the pilasters and friezes in the hall are painted a la marble of many shades with a predominance of grey and blue, which matches an identical painting in the assembly hall of the Polytechnic, made by Ivan Dolynsky (Jan Doliński) and designed by Julian Zachariewicz (Бірюльов, 2010, 37). The hall ceiling is decorated with an illusory painting in the grisaille technique imitating stucco rosettes, recessed panels and rocailles and made probably by the Fleck brothers, who collaborated with Julian Zachariewicz in the decoration of the Polytechnic.

The courtyard of the townhouse looks like a green oasis in the middle of the city. According to the design drawings, one can see here a layout adapted for a French garden with ornamental boxwood plantings, curved paths and a complex system of stairs with terraces. Stairs with vases in which plants (possibly agaves) were to be planted have survived from this project. The shape of the vases is similar to those that should have decorated the attic. In some places, fragments of the authentic path paving made of square ceramic tiles, as well as traces of boxwood planting have been preserved. Most of the garden, especially on the side of the monastery wall, is covered with thickets of lemon balm. It can be assumed that this is what has remained from the original planting, when medicinal plants were a mandatory part of the garden, and the proximity to the convent allows one to put forward a bold hypothesis about the existence of lemon balm beds since very old times, when there was a monastery garden on this site.

The landings of the garden stairs are paved with cobblestone tiles, which are typical of the courtyards and passages of Lviv townhouses. These ocher tiles have a characteristic division into nine squares serving as stiffening ribs. In addition, there are tiles in the courtyard paving, which apparently originally covered the ground floor stair landings. These are tiles of two types: mosaic monochrome (black and white) ones with circles and arcs, as well as smooth ones with diagonal division (ocher-grey).

In addition to stone vases, there are also vases made of artificial stone; some parapets of the garden stairs and some paving tiles are also made of artificial stone. This indicates that the garden was reconstructed in the early 20th century or, more precisely, in the interwar period (1920-1930).

The rear façade of the townhouse, despite some modern additions and redevelopment, still retains its authentic appearance. In particular, the entresol is topped with a triangular wooden gable in the proportions of a classic pediment. A wooden glazed veranda, which was originally supposed to decorate the entire rear façade, is adjacent to the boundary wall with the seminary (DALO 2/2/3457:70).

On the sides, the plot is limited by high boundary walls of neighboring buildings, as well as the brick wall of the Discalced Carmelite nuns' convent. This brick wall is unplastered and overgrown with five-leaved ivy, providing the courtyard with a picturesque look.


Józef Bielski  doctor of medicine and homeopath, who had a consulting room in this building in 1886-1889
Franciszek Czeyda — field marshall, resident of the building in 1900
Michał Fechter (1843-1908) — architect in Lviv who designed buildings in Historicism and Secession styles 
Leon Kossak — doctor specializing in skin and venereal diseases who had a consulting room in this building in 1914 
Hermina Łozińska — a resident of the building in 1900
Leonard Marсoni (1835-1899) — famous sculptor and teacher in the late 19th century Lviv and partner of Julian Zachariewicz, who authored the decorative plasterwork for this building 
Jan Szargut — resident of the building in 1910
Alfred Turecki — tenant who organized an afternoon board for school students here in 1904-1906
Honorata Wajda  original co-owner of the building before 1900, wife of Piotr Wajda 
Piotr Wajda  original co-owner of the building 
Arnold Werner  entrepreneur, co-owner of the Glińsko ceramic enterprise (together with Julian Zachariewicz), where the ceramic tile heating stoves were made 
Adolf Wiesiołowski — owner of the building after 1900
Julian Oktawian Zachariewicz (1837-1898) — leading architect in late 19th century Lviv, co-owner of the Glińsko ceramic enterprise


1. Державний архів Львівської області (ДАЛО) 2/2/3457.
2. Gazeta Lwowska, 1885, № 193.
3. Gazeta Lwowska, 1886, № 224.
4. Kalendarz Ilustrowany Słowa Polskiego, 1900-1901.
5. Kalendarz Ilustrowany Słowa Polskiego, 1906.
6. Kalendarz Lwowskiego Towarzystwa Ratunkowego, 1914.
7. Księga adresowa Król. Stoł. Miasta Lwowa, 1897
8. Księga adresowa Król. Stoł. Miasta Lwowa, 1900.
9. Księga adresowa Król. Stoł. Miasta Lwowa, 1902.
10. Księga adresowa Król. Stoł. Miasta Lwowa, 1916.
11. Księga adresowa Małopołski, Lwów, Stanisławów. Tarnopól, 1935-1936.
12. Skorowidz adresowy Król. stol. miasta Lwowa, 1910, Rocznik II (Lwów, 1910), 904.
13. Towarzystwo Politechniczne we Lwowie 1877-1902, Pamiętnik jubileuszowy, red. Edmund Grzębski, (Lwów, 1902), 85.
14. Архітектура Львова: Час і стилі. XIII—XXI ст. (Львів: Центр Європи, 2008), 346.
15. Юрій Бірюльов, Захаревичі: Творці столичного Львова (Львів: Центр Європи, 2010), 336.
16. Юрій Бірюльов, Львівська скульптура від раннього класицизму до авангардизму (середина XVIII — середина ХХ ст.) (Львів: Апріорі, 2015), 528.
17. Oksana Boyko, Vul. Vynnychenka, 26 – residential building
18. Stanisław Łoza, "Fechter Michał", Architekci i budowniczowie w Polsce (Warszawa: Budownictwo i Architektura, 1954), 73.
19. Tetiana Kazantseva, "Evolution of the Polychromy in Lviv Architecture of the second half of the19th century", Przestrzeń i Forma/ Space & Form, 2016, № 27, 227-244.
By Tetiana Kazantseva

Edited by Olha Zarechnyuk
Translated by Andriy Masliukh