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Will the Wola district lose its oldest house?

19 of June '23

Wola's oldest monument on the verge of collapse. One of Warsaw's districts hardest hit by World War II may lose its oldest house — no one wants to take responsibility for securing the edifice.

The house at 8 Lucka Street is an inconspicuous one-story building with a mansard-roofed attic. Erected for Abram Wlodawer in 1877-1878 as one of the first rental houses in the historic Wola area, it once also consisted of a five-story outbuilding, of which there is no longer any trace. Although the monument survived World War II, the Warsaw Uprising and the People's Republic of Poland, it seems it may not survive the realities of 21st century capitalist Poland. Although the building has been listed in the Register of Historic Places since 1992, as early as 2011 its condition did not allow it to continue to be inhabited. A year later, the tenement was recovered by the heirs of the building's rights. Since then, the building, located in the attractive Wola district, which is being dynamically built up with skyscrapers, has been consumed by successive fires.

Kamienica przy ul. Łuckiej 8

Tenement house at 8 Lucka Street

photo: Adrian Grycuk | Wikimedia Commons © CC BY-SA 3.0 en

The poor condition of the building is, among other things, the result of negligence on the part of the owner, who does not carry out the court's decision to order protective works. As a result, the district's authorities have launched an appeal to secure funds to carry out the replacement work, which was requested by both the mayor of Wola and the conservator. It is for such cases that the legislator has provided for the procedure of so-called substitute execution. It consists in the fact that the necessary work is financed regardless of who manages the property, and then the cost is charged to the owner. According to the district's authorities, the Mazovian Governor initially pledged to help in this matter. Meanwhile, a refusal was recently made.

This is an incomprehensible and downright bizarre decision, because the assurances were completely different ," says Krzysztof Strzałkowski, mayor of Wola.— We know that there has been a personnel change at the highest level in the Mazovian Voivodship Office, but I would like to know what happened so that Konstanty Radziwill's successor changed his position on the matter by 180 degrees ," adds Strzałkowski.

Łucka 8 - stan obecny

8 Lucka Street, current state

photo: Mateusz Witczyński | © Wola District

A similar procedure was followed in the case of the demolition of the Czarny Kot Hotel building, where the owners also refused to comply with the demolition order. The case was handled by the services, which then charged the owners. We wrote more about the case of Poland's most famous self-construction in the article: Black Cat to be demolished. The end of the symbol of lawlessness.

Puzzled by the comments of the district authorities is the Mazovian Voivode, who accuses Krzysztof Strzałkowski of misleading the public. He points out that there is no document in which the Voivode pledged to provide funds to secure the tenement house at 8 Lucka St. According to the Voivode, the protection of monuments and care for monuments are the municipality's own tasks, and it is the city and the district that should secure funds for this purpose.

In this case, we have a perfect example of shrugging off responsibility. The Mazovian Voivode, as the government's representative in the province, does not run a subsidy program for monuments, especially those privatized— as in this case— by the local government , says Dagmara Zalewska, spokeswoman for the Mazovian Voivode.

Widok kamienicy od podwórka

view of the tenement from the backyard

photo: Wola District Office

At present, the situation seems to be at a stalemate— the mayor is expressing hope that the Voivode will change his mind, meanwhile the Voivode is expressing hope that the Mayor of Wola district will do his due diligence and take care of the historic building at 8 Lucka Street, which is his responsibility. Meanwhile, Wola's oldest tenement is looking worse and worse by the day, and may soon give way to a modern development.

Kacper Kępiński

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