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Fate of historic building known as Reichert's bakery

18 of May '21

Grochowska 224 - the address of the iconic bakery, whose history and fate have moved architecture lovers and residents. The long-standing struggle of residents to save the pre-war bakery and the discussion of the building's role in the space of the Warsaw district showed how important monuments still are in modern city life.
Will it be possible to save Reichert's bakery?

history enchanted in brick

A pre-war brick building, known to Warsaw residents as Reichert's Bakery. The building is one of the most characteristic buildings in all of Grochow. The multifunctional tenement was built between 1918 and 1926, and was the best bakery in the capital in the last century, with the building itself divided into a company store, production halls and apartments. The family business was headed by Teodor Reichert. During the occupation, Reichert not only fed Varsovians with excellent bread, but became famous for his good heart. During street roundups, he gave shelter within the walls of the bakery and helped underground organizations. However, this brought him many problems, and the walls of the bakery still bear traces of bombing and artillery shelling.

The moving history and heritage of the architecture, the entry in the register of monuments....
It turns out that in spite of this, it is possible to consider the building only suitable for demolition, and probably, if it were not for the lively reaction of city activists, the legendary bakery might no longer exist.

piekarnia od strony
Grochowskiej aktualnie fot.: Adrian Grycuk © Wikimedia Commons

The bakery from Grochowska Street (currently)

photo: Adrian Grycuk © Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0-pl

change of decision?

In view of the planned scale of demolition work at 224 Grochowska Street threatening the legendary Teodor Rajchert bakery in Grochów, I have decided today to suspend the execution of the expansion permit issued by the Mazovian Regional Historic Preservation Officer. The bakery building is one of the pre-war symbols of Warsaw. For decades after its construction, it awakened thousands of Varsovians with the smell of baked bread.

In recent years the building has been systematically deteriorating and devastated. The hope for it could have been the purchase and renovation by a private investor. However, such investments must be subject to reliable and professional conservation supervision, and any architectural interference is subject to historic preservation regulations.In this case, there is a serious concern that the MWKZ permit of December 17, 2019 for the expansion, superstructure and reconstruction of Teodor Rajchert's bakery was not issued in accordance with the regulations. There will be no permission to destroy monuments at the expense of new investments. Our heritage must be protected and skillfully integrated into the modern urban fabric. This is what I have been fighting for from the very beginning of my activity as General Conservator of Monuments!

- we read on Magdalena Gawin's Facebook profile.

Magdalena Gawin, acting General Conservator of Monuments, has officially annulled the decision of the provincial conservator allowing the expansion, superstructure and reconstruction of the former bakery. In fact, all that was to remain of the historic building were the fragments listed in 2017 in the register of historical monuments: the two outer walls, the gate and a piece of the fence. A modern residential complex by a developer was to be built around them.

projekt przebudowy
Grochowska 224 © Bouygues Immobilier Polska

224 Grochowska Street redevelopment project

© Bouygues Immobilier Polska

In 2019, the provincial historic preservationist agreed, and in the second half of 2020 the Praga-Południe district issued a building permit. Local activists protested against the investment destroying a symbolic object for Grochów. The capital's conservator of historical monuments applied to the ministry for a reversal of the provincial conservator's decision. The investor eventually (probably under the influence of growing controversy) withdrew from the project.

to the bakery's rescue

In addition to the front facades of the building, listed in 2017, the building is also protected by the provisions provided for in the local spatial development plan for the Wiatraczna Roundabout area - part I, where the protection of the former bakery complex at 224 Grochowska Street, entered in the register of monuments, has been established. Thus, in this case we are dealing with the confluence of two forms of protection provided for in Article 7 of the Act on the protection and care of monuments.

- Magdalena Gawin emphasizes.

Why did provincial historic preservationist Jakub Lewicki argue as recently as last year that his office could not refuse to agree with Bouygues Immobilier Polska's project? He explains the decision with well-known arguments, the poor technical condition of the building, its compliance with the development plan....

This example shows the importance of vigilance and sensitivity to architecture on the part of city residents.

Marta Kowalska

The vote has already been cast