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A paper city, or what Torun could look like today

18 of August '20

In the late 1950s, many cities in Poland held competitions for development plans for historic centers and new districts. After the completion of the most important stages of reconstruction of wartime destruction, the modernization of neglected downtown areas was resumed in Warsaw, Lodz, Wroclaw and Poznan, among others. Toruń, described by architect Ryszard Karłowicz as a "great urban planning workshop," was also to gain a modern face.

With a view to the celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus' birth, which fell in 1973, spectacular investments were undertaken - the university campus and the reconstruction of the Old Town complex. At the same time, projects were developed for the development of the Vistula River area, plantations and the construction of large housing estates. Although the most important plans were successfully completed (although not without difficulty), which was scrupulously emphasized by the socialist propaganda of success, a number of architectural and urban planning ideas remained only on paper.

Hotel Helios, Toruń,

Helios Hotel, Torun, 1972

photo: NAC

The audience will hear about Toruń's unrealized projects from the 1960s and 1970s. The20th century will be heard next Tuesday, August 25 at 6:30 pm during an online lecture by Dr. Emilia Ziolkowska-Ganc, art historian, assistant professor at the Department of the History of 20th Century Art in Central Europe and Emigration at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun.

The lecture, according to the organizers, will be an opportunity to let your imagination run wild and look - on the basis of plans, drawings and models - at what Toruń would have looked like if the projects of, among others, the planetarium in Bielański Park on the Vistula River, the expansion in the spirit of modernism of the W. Horzyca Theater, the Rubinstein district, and the city of Toruń had been realized. W. Horzyca Theater, the Rubinkowo district conceived as "Toruń's Manhattan" or the so-called New Center with a network of office buildings and shopping pavilions.

z Torunia, lata 70.

A postcard from Toruń, 1970s.

© organizers archive

The lecture will be held as part of the ArchiLATO series at the Carriage House. The lecture broadcast can be watched on Facebook and Youtube channel.

elaborated. ed.

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