Municipal Welfare Homes
1921–1926 (demolished 1992)

Sady 5. května 523, 8/513, 2 (Plzeň) Plzeň Východní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7483602, 13.3816051

A series of municipal welfare homes was erected in 1921–1926 according to plans by Hanuš Zápal, Josef Farkač and František Beneš (and possibly other employees of the municipal construction authority). The architects proposed for the relevant function the use of a new building as well as the adjacent building of the former mill Panský mlýn. The early 1860s Historicist building was converted into a four- to five-storey home with social housing for senior citizens and the new three-storey building served as a base for the social and healthcare institutions’ offices. It was not by chance that the welfare homes were erected here – the area around the later filled-in mill race Mlýnská strouha had a long tradition connected with care of the needy. In 1832, the city hospital had been established on the site of a former small infirmary for infectious diseases. In 1868, the spaces of the hospital were expanded to include an old bell foundry, which belonged to the prominent Perner family, adjacent to the north end of the hospital.

The block of buildings was united by facades that carried Zápal’s signature of the time; similar ornament in the National Style is also evident in other Pilsen buildings of the same period – the U Trojdohody (Tripartite Agreement) group of houses (the so-called “Skyscraper", 1923–1924, see C1–1697) or the Beneš School (1923–1926, see C4–1692). Characteristic features included the three street frontages of the south wing, vertically rhythmic pilasters above the socle of the parterre with circular elements derived from the ‘rondo style’. The sculpted capitals of the semicircular pilasters formed part of the cornice, above which were three small attics, the layout of which corresponded to that of the facade. Another feature of architectural design consisted of a pair of historic portals salvaged earlier from demolished or converted buildings in the city centre and integrated into the adapted building.

Following WWII, the municipal welfare houses were converted into the city hospital. After the latter moved to new premises in the 1980s, it was decided to demolish the entire block of houses. The demolition, which in 1992 impacted destructively on the site of the urban heritage reservation that had been declared only three years earlier, was not rectified even in the free conditions of the post-Velvet Revolution period. A mundane hotel complex that greatly exceeds the scale of the historical centre was erected on the site.

 

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City of Pilsen

 
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