such scandal announced in the newspaper, young architects, students
and whole generation, that feel responsible for national heritage of
Warsaw, started publicly disagree with the new plans of what
Koszykowa Hall might be turned into. They wanted to play part in the
decisions which were taken, but no one from Warsaw administration or
developers wanted to take their will into consideration.
they started with a public debate. On 28th
February 2007 Warsaw Association of Care about Monuments organized
meeting in Historical Museum in Warsaw. Participants were mainly
architects and conservators. What was surprising, no
one from Quinlan Private Golub company
came on that meeting, what automatically was read as a lack of a
chance for compromise. As a conclusion participants formulated
statement, that there is no sense to discuss about the case, until
Warsaw Conservator will give them his absolute opinion – it was
their chance to be heard by City Council. Warsaw Conservator
informed, that City Council is still continuing the negotiations with
the developer about other, less extreme, steps then those which they
were planning to take. Instead of the representative of the company,
participants heard the final statement from Bartłomiej Konarski, who
had been making research about humidity and moulting on the walls. No
one expected this. He pointed, that in spite of the lack of termic
and water isolation, condition of the walls was said to be very good.
Mould was seen from time to time, but they were not endanger at all.
Not only brick construction – but also steel structure of the roof
and truss was not in such bad state that would predestine
them to be demolished. Also fire
resistance, in that specific case, was not supposed to be so
problematic and confusing. It was seemed that there is a way to find
good solution also for that issue.
It turned out that for citizens it was not enough. They wanted to underline their expectations and overrule the decisions stated in the paper number 2359/ 99 - an agree for the changes of the Hall. Activists made a proposition of organizing the picket in the defense of the Hall. They also wrote a letter to Warsaw President, which people could sign in via internet.
LETTER TO WARSAW PRESIDENT: SAVE THE KOSZYKI HALL
Nowadays more often we get the information about following valuable, Warsaw buildings, that will be demolished. Lately we could observe strong quarrel about Supersam which unfortunately could not been rescued.
Now is time for historic Koszykowa Hall. American-Irish developer, QUINLAN PRIVATE GOLUB company, want to built near by Hall eight-level apartment building, and demolished the main part of the Hall because of its very poor roof condition, which can not be repaired. Then they are going to raise it again with two-level underground parking, using reinforced concrete construction.
The value of historic building is its authenticity and this is the reason why we can not agree for such a treatment of cultural heritage by developers company, which in a name of commercial benefit give the Warsaw citizens falsification instead of original.
As a group of young architects and a generation responsible for Warsaw cultural heritage we do not agree for devastation and sale of monuments of our city. We are organizing the protest in a name of saving the Koszykowa Hall, day 04.02.2007, 13.00 hour. We invite everyone, who supports our opinion and want to join us .
Kalata, Mikołaj Kołacz, Mikołaj Mundzik, Marta Żurek, Hubert
Tramer, Maria Ryczer, Otylia Pastwa, Olgierd Jankowski, Piotr
Sołowiej, Bartłomiej Citko, Maciej Lewandowski, Kasia Sadowy,
Martyna Tajwan, Ola Wrzosek.
picket took place on 4th
March, 2007. How was it organized? Information about it was published
on the websites of many, popular polish newspapers. Promoters used
also contemporary way of informing wider public – via public portal
A lot of people started discussing this issue on forums on the
internet. It was not such a hot theme for a long time. All of
involved media played its role very well– people came with symbolic
baskets (Koszyk) on the picket organized next to the Hall. They made
big posters and voted against demolishing such wonderful, historical
building. Young architects and activists came from whole Poland –
the case of the Koszyki was important not only for the inhabitants of
Warsaw but for everybody for whom valuable architecture from the
beginning of XX century plays important role. On the place of the
picket there was also possibility to sign the official letter to
president of Warsaw. People wanted to pointed their attention in
that place and in that time. They also wanted to give a clear
statement that public participation is about getting legitimacy for
public decisions. They thought that people should consider situation
where no one assures that the people will is done. Regrettably
government takes side of more strong, powerful developers, from whom
can benefit a profit. Media helped a lot in that ‘fight for rights’ demonstration – they showed photos and movies from 4th
March in television, newspaper and internet. Vision of history
fighters, presented as an activists ready to support their city in a
need, had been clearly marked.
How the situation looks at this moment? Some decisions were changed from very radical to less radical. Developer agreed to renovate each element of the hall – even the smallest, and he promised that everything will be back on its place with some „small additions” of the construction elements. Probably it is some compromise between the argument of the public will and the ‘need’ of constant city changes, even in its historical parts. The fight was not win totally, but people are still trying to participate actively. It is also about fairness and justice. On 14th November 2010 they were protesting again in the same place, close to the Hall. This time, that place played mainly the symbolic role of something which city and all its citizens are loosing, because of some decisions made by people as Mrs. Ewa Nekanda – Trepki. Habitants made even a black list of the worst decisions of the Conservator (http://blog.zw.com.pl/zabytki/ ). Enormously sad conclusion marks its existence after the lecture of this case. Why bureaucrats, legislative officials and sometimes even planners are seem to be from different camp then those who keep in their harts the beauty of the historical, precious city and who are free from strange political agreements? Nevertheless, active public participation process is the way of underlining citizens opinion of their city and their way of expressing their thoughts from which they should never resigned.