Dairy of the Farmers Dairy Cooperative
1932

Politických vězňů 2003/5, 17. listopadu 2003/2 (Plzeň) Plzeň Jižní Předměstí
GPS: 49.7292022, 13.3722281

The first farmers’ dairy cooperative in Pilsen was founded in 1897 in Útušice near Pilsen, and it was the first one in West Bohemia to be registered for the purpose of the direct sale of milk, butter and cheese. Initially, it did not have its own premises and used the cellars of the agriculture school. Production there took place on hand-operated machines. In 1922, however, the cooperative found itself in liquidation. Shortly thereafter, thanks to an increasing demand for mass production, the Czech Dairy Company was founded to support farmers in and around Pilsen. Under the name Farmers Dairy Cooperative and with the strong support of the Director of the Association of Dairy Cooperatives, František Dlabal, it had a new modern dairy built in 1932, designed by the local construction company of Jaroslav Kostka and Karel Mastný. A site near the crossing of present-day Politických Vězňů Street and Náměstí Míru (Peace Square – 17. Listopadu Street) was chosen for the new building, in the vicinity of the engineering workshops of the Czech State Industrial School (C6–1742) and the nearby Institute for Deaf Children (C3–1926).

Like many other cooperative dairy plants in Czechoslovakia at that time, the Pilsen building also arose on a letter T-shaped ground plan. The front wing with a facade facing Politických Vězňů Street originally housed a shop and the administrative department, while the adjacent elongated wing was for production. The entrance part of the three-storey shop-administration tract is accentuated by ceramic tile cladding and glass-block window panes in place of the former shop windows. The symmetrically conceived main facade is given rhythm by seven window axes and is topped with a distinctive crown moulding covered with a hipped roof. This type of roofing was also applied over the manufacturing part of the complex. The exterior shapes of this wing are formed by functions of its various operational sections. These are, in addition to the articulated mass solution, reflected in the asymmetric order and various sizes of windows on the facade surface (later alterations contributing to this as well). The production tract, enclosed in the north-eastern part by a rounded end, is dominated by the electrically powered engine room, overrunning the slender block of the elevator shaft it is located upon.

The southern side of the production wing was dedicated to raw material supplies; in the northern part the finished products were dispatched. The factory consisted of underground rooms for the preparation of cottage cheese and yogurt, cellars for cheese maturing and cold stores. On the ground floor, milk was processed and bottled and butter was produced. (Daily production of up to 40,000 litres of milk was provided by 28 employees in the first years.) The eastern part of the premises was occupied by garages, an engine room, a boiler room with its steam boiler Cornwall which heated the manufactory as well, and a chimney. Along with the Škoda Factory, other Pilsen companies supplied the machinery – Macho and Turek, and Kraus and Löwidt – as well as the Prague firm Novák & Jahn, and Lutín-based Sigma.

The Dairy Cooperative expanded with the construction of two branches in 1939–1941. The branch in Dvorec u Plzně was conceived as a buffer – in the case of lower production at the main plant in Bory it delivered directly to Pilsen. The branch in Ptenín was closed down as early as in 1942. In 1943, the dairy expanded its machinery capacity and was reconstructed within the Czech–Moravian Association for Milk and Fats work programme. Afterwards, it possessed a butter production section, three intake tanks of 5,000 litres, an egg-sorting section and modern freezer rooms. A social lounge was open for the employees and dressing rooms and bathrooms were installed.

In 1950, the plant was nationalised and, thanks to a merger with the West Bohemian Consumer Cooperation, production was increased to 80,000 litres of milk. In the 1970s, a production line was installed for the still-popular Termix cottage cheese dessert. In the new circumstances of the 1990s, however, the production of the Bory dairy was terminated. Today, the front tract of the complex is used by a private high school; the rear one as a warehouse.

 


 

Investor

Farmers Dairy Cooperative in Pilsen

Sources

  • Bývalá Mlékárna rolnického mlékařského družstva, Politických vězňů, Plzeň – Jižní Předměstí, http://koda.kominari.cz/?action=fotka&id=39344, vyhledáno: 30. 11. 2015.
 
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