From dialogue and support to consistent inspections and enforcement, this year for the Office of the City Historic Preservation Officer means over 900 ongoing cases and nearly PLN 4 million in funding for historic preservation efforts.
Grants and support
In 2021 the Municipal Conservator of Monuments granted targeted subsidies for conservation and restoration works in the total amount of PLN 3,792,590, of which PLN 2,092,590 was a subsidy obtained from the Government Fund for Local Investment to renovate historic educational buildings of the University of Szczecin at Piastów Avenue in the former barracks complex. The remaining amounts from the city budget were allocated to continue work commenced in the previous years, including repairs to the towers of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Evangelical Augsburg Church of the Holy Trinity in Łasztownia, and the half-timbered tower at the Church of the Holy Family in Płonia. Furthermore, renovation work continued at the Church of the Holy Saviour in Słowackiego Street, the façade of St. Mary’s Church in Dąbie, and the decoration of the Great Hall of the former Pomeranian Land Mortgage Bank Management Building (now the Academy of Art in Szczecin) at 40 Niepodległości Street. The grant money was also available for housing communities.
“This has enabled us to carry out conservation repairs of the façade of the tenement house at 19 Pocztowa Street, and to continue work on the decoration of Szczecin’s most beautiful staircase at 7 Piłsudskiego Street,” explains Michał Dębowski, the Municipal Conservator of Monuments. “Conservation work has also been focused on less obvious monuments scattered around the city, such as the gatehouse and porter’s lodge in the former ‘Skolwin’ paper mill complex, the railway signal box in the Szczecin-Główny railway station complex, and the unique staircase in the Dohrn House (22 3 Maja Avenue).”
Mermaid and furnace
Moreover, the Municipal Conservator of Monuments joined in the rescue of a unique stained glass window with a mermaid from a villa in Lipowa Street in Szczecin’s Gocław District and financed conservation work on a valuable tiled stove in Villa Ida at 18 Ks. Piotra Skargi Street (currently “Chochlik” Public Kindergarten No. 30).
In 2021, more than 900 administrative cases related to the issuance of permits and agreements for project documentation concerning individual monuments and areas under conservation protection were conducted.
“The consistent inspections of compliance with and application of the regulations on monument protection and care have enabled us to force the owners of the monuments at risk of destruction to undertake basic protection works or start comprehensive renovation works,” adds Michał Dębowski. “Therefore, the state of many monuments, which in the past years was subject to progressive degradation, has improved significantly.”
At that time, the historic manor house at 4 Łączna Street was secured, as was the tenement house of the former Piast Hotel, which underwent necessary structural protection, or the Gocław Tower (Bismarck Tower), whose current owner started protection works by removing the corroded antenna mast. After several years of stagnation, a private investor started renovation and adaptation work on a historic manor house at Husarów Street in Gumieńce. Extensive restoration and adaptation work has also begun on the historic department store (former printery) at św. Ducha Street.
“The condition and appearance of this prominent monument have not matched the representative surroundings of Tobrucki Square for many years,” comments Michał Dębowski. “For the first time in Szczecin the architectural detail of the facade will be fully reconstructed on such a scale, which is a huge preservation challenge, but also an opportunity to restore the former glory of one of the most characteristic buildings of Szczecin’s Old Town.