The tenement house as a building form in relation to the large-scale urban development of Warsaw 1864-1919

Martyn, PJ 1991, The tenement house as a building form in relation to the large-scale urban development of Warsaw 1864-1919 , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The evolving urban landscape has been investigated in the socio-economic context of Warsaw's incorporation into the Russian Empire (another defeated Polish Uprising, rural immigation in the wake of tsarist social reforms from 1861, Jewish immigration from the Empire's interior, economic integration and the city's expansion as a trading and banking centre between Russia and the West). Spatial growth has been interpreted as resulting primarily from private property speculation, limited spatially by tsarist military strategy (fortifying of the city 1878-1911). Secondary urban-creating factors have been identified in industrialisation and St. Petersburg's control of the municipal budget, thereby emphasising the private sector's primacy. The tenement house is defined as "barracks"-type housing, subdivided into multiple dwel1ing. units. This building form is perceived as the fibre in the city’s large-scale urban development until World War I (E. Szwankowski). The importance of 1919; the year when fair rent legislation and new regulations to control private property development were introduced by a reconstituted Polish administration, seeking for the first time to curb the excesses of private tenement construction, is taken to be purely symbolic,- the end of tenement speculation as it had been known until that point in a purely hypothetical sense (J . Cegielski). Most commercial and • even certain industrial enterprises, dominated by small manufacturing firms and workshops rather than factories located in more outlying areas (W.Pruss) are expected to have been absorbed by the tenement house. The tenement emerged in the raid-180Os as a complex of interconnecting building components arranged around a central courtyard or courtyards, subject to broadly applied building regulations (Polish and from the 1860s tsarist), which nevertheless increasingly failed to preserve constructional standards and even, so far as the Polish Home Rule era is concerned, a certain uniformity for which such legislation had originally been devised (S. Herbst, J. Roguska). An "inner" city of tenement houses is identified as the main area for investigation, unfolding during earlier stages of development on open terrain, later replacing older buildings or occupying remaining undeveloped areas, including gardens as well as infill projects and street block "back-building". Cells or landscape units originating from the period under investigation usually include, or are composed exclusively, of tenement multi-apartment housing blocks which may serve as subjects for empirical research. A degree of functional continuity is expected (A. Rottermund, J. Chroicicki, J. Roguska, B. Chmiel, 2. Walkiewicz, J. Sujecki). The thesis is divided into three main parts: 1. analysis of the urban profile in 1914, based on a detailed property and apartments census from 1919. municipal statistics from 1913 and a 1:2500 scale base plan giving rise to a model of urban physical structure composed of functional zones; 2. hypothetical urban form and land use patterns resulting from urban-creating processes of the second half of the 19th. and early-20th. centuries are tested in sub-study areas within the inner urban area and especially in districts shaped largely during the period of investigation (street block analysis in the inner urban core, tenement belt and inner-peripheral areas; also identification of urbanising districts outside of the main study area as regions potentially ripe for advancing property speculation, where other building forms predominated over tenement-barracks housing, or the latter building type was entirely absent from the profile); 3. the tenement house in the urban landscape (Stadtlasidschafi) : building layout, plot parcel 1 isation, changing constructional forms (flat subdivision, subsequent outbuildings and raising of additional storeys), social compositional and stratification considered in relation to identified tenement "types", empirical examination of surviving tenement houses or ensembles constituting fragments of 19th. century urban topography within the present day Mid-town . Reference is also to be made to inner city areas which have undergone complete redevelopment since their total obliteration in 1943 or 1944 in order to permit an integrated evaluation of the "historic" urban form regarded as evolving organically until the 20th. century, of which cells or landscape units have survived in other parts of Warsaw's Mid-Town. A methodological question crucial to the analysis has been the undertaking of an inquiry conducted at varying scales: metropolitan area (Greater Warsaw) - inner city (Warsaw city within its pre-suburban incorporation municipal boundaries) - functional zones or districts - urban units - street blocks - building plot3 accommodating tenement property cells or real estate divisions. In Part I the study area is delineated according to property and demographic data from 1919/1913 in relation to street block research units, with an aim to facilitating the break down of this area into sub-study areas of approximately consistent building and housing density characteristics (Part II). In Part III tenement properties of varying constructional, functional and social characteristics (often undergoing changes during the study period itself) may be interpreted in relation to their location within the study area, constructional chronology, later extensions or internal alterations and functions these buildings perform at the time of writing in cases where continuity or a degree of continuity has been retained in the city's functional structure (especially residential, but also office space, shops, workshops in groundfloors and even basements). Particular complications have arisen in connection with the unavailability or total absence of documention. Primary sources are centred around property census statistics (municipal records from the 1860s, 1882 and 1891, as well as the all important 1919 survey) and cartographic evidence from the study period or the interwar years, supplemented by fragmentary published information, including articles taken from contemporaneous newspapers and periodicals, land registry files for selected individual properties, certain tsarist bureaucratic sources as well as photographic information from the time. Secondary sources taking the form of published research or monographs which have proved directly relevant to the urban analysis are listed in the literary survey, while other points of reference are contained in the notes placed before the conclusion. A comparative aspect of the thesis would endeavour to place 19th. century Warsaw's urban pattern In a regional context thereby acknowledging the irnpoi tance of seeking models of urban growth and form, together with broad social and economic processes common to cities in history. Models of "tenement city" development have been sought in studies of the urban profiles of Berlin and Vienna, although in the specific case of Warsaw comparisons might be drawn with urban form and tenement house evolution in such principal cities of the Russian Empire as Riga, Odessa, Kiev, Vilna (Vilnius) and Minsk, apart from Moscow and St. Petersburg. This latter aspect, while considered fundamental to placing the urban case study in a wider urban context, has had to be cut short in view of limited time and space. Historical analysis in urban geography of this period in particular is regarded as being of relevance to our own times, not least because the reinterpreting and rehabilitation of the 19th. century urban fabric - and in Warsaw's case the question of regenerating large parts of the inner city, substantial portions of which were designated. or quite by accident turned into, urban fallow areas - have become pressing contemporary issues.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2021 17:10
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2021 14:39
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/61658

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