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2013-01-23

Bytom architecture digitalised

Cyfrowa Biblioteka Bytomskiej Architektury (Digital Library of Bytom Architecture) has just been launched. By clicking www.architekturabytomia.org, you will find detailed descriptions of fifty-two tenement houses which date back to before 1945. All articles are available in Polish and German. This is a novel project, which has not been carried out in any of the other cities before.

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The website has been created by Karolina and Piotro Jakoweńko, the project’s originators and founders of the Cukerman Gate Foundation, Marek Wójcik, who contributed to the website’s content and photo collection, and Jacek Maniecki, who investigated archives and is the author of German translations of the articles.

Karolina and Piotr Jakoweńko are the authors of the former project entitled The Stories of the Absent, the audio guides to the Jewish heritage in eleven towns in the region, including Bytom. When compiling the digital library, they did not limit themselves to Jews alone, as in all previous projects. In this case, the idea is to photograph and write detailed descriptions of prewar Bytom architecture.

The library comprises a street plan with designated historical street names from 1927, biographical notes of important figures as well as a list of tenement houses accompanied by descriptions. The main website includes addresses and pictures of catalogued buildings. While browsing the website, you will be surprised at the amount of information. Each tenement house is provided with its date of origin, the names of investors, designers, owners, changes it has gone through, shops, businesses and restaurants that were located in the building. In addition to archival architectural projects and pictures, contemporary pictures of these houses have also been published. The main reference for all information was records of the former German construction police, which are stored in the Bytom Municipal Archive. The German archive operated from ca 1860 to 1945, being a unique and extraordinary source of information concerning the history of the city in its prime period.

The authors want the project to continue to expand and strongly encourage local inhabitants to contribute and share their memories, accounts and memorabilia with others.

For more information about the library click here.

 

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