Architect, builders crew and proprietors on a 1928 building site

The architect Constantin Nanescu, builders crew and proprietors on a building site in 1928 Campulung Muscel, Romania. (fragment of an old postcard, private collection)

The above postcard fragment is a fascinating snapshot of Romanian social, economic and also architectural history from the inter war period. It depicts the main parties in a building project for a shop (“Magazinul Staicu” according to the information on the back of the pc) that took place in 1928 in the city of Campulung Arges, southern Romania. The couple on the right are the proprietors, the person in the middle with a hat, tie and smoking, holding the plan is the architect Constantin Nanescu (better known among his contemporaries for his nickname “Cotone”), surrounded by the builders crew (the foreman between the couple and the architect, the bricklayer also holding the plan, the carpenter together with a young apprentice on the left hand side of the photograph). The postcard was intended as a medium for advertising the architect’s services, whose contact details are prominently displayed on a billboard in the foreground. It was most probably sold at the local bookshops and newsagents, thus spreading the word about the architect among other potential local clients. I like the obvious professional pride and sense of optimism (ironically the Great Depression of 1929 – 33 was just one year away) displayed by all the personages depicted in this memorable image, a fact reflected in the high quality architecture and building workmanship existent in inter-war Romania, which made possible the creation of many wonderful Neo-Romanian, Art Deco and modernist style edifices. I believe that the architectural style of this particular shop was Neo-Romanian, very popular in the late 1920s Campulung. (Many thanks to Mr Daniel Bobe, a native of Campulung, for supplying this postcard image).

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I endeavor through this series of daily articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

4 thoughts on “Architect, builders crew and proprietors on a 1928 building site

  • Buna ziua!!

    Ma numesc Ana-Maria si sunt studenta in anul 4 la Facultatea de Arhitectura din Timisoara. La atelierul de restaurare lucram la clasarea Fabricii de Otet din Margina la categoria monumente istorice si m-ar interesa daca ati putea sa ne ajutati cu furnizarea mai multor data istorice decat am putut noi culege. Am fost acolo am vizitat-o, am vorbit cu primarul, am facut rost de cateva planuri vechi , am reusit sa citim ceva arhiva inainte sa fie trimisa la Solventul, dar nu am gasit date suficiente. Ma gandeam ca dumneavostra poate cunoasteti o monografie interbelica in care putem cerceta mai amanuntit.

    Multumesc.

    PS. Daca nu se poate nu e nici o problema. Deocamdata incercam pe orice portita se poate ca sa salvam faribca, care nu e departe de a fi demolata.

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    • Buna, din pacate nu stiu date despre fabrica de otet de la Margina! Asemenea informatii pot fi gasite uneori la marile biblioteci regionale cum ar fi filialele locale ale Bibiotecii Nationale sau Academiei. Un loc foarte bun de cautat sunt Arhivele Nationale judetene sau chiar cele centrale din Bucuresti. Daca nu au dosare referitoare la fabrica propriu-zisa, puteti cauta dosare depre familia primului proprietar, etc. Pentru ca regiunea a fost parte a Imperiului Habsburg si ca fabrica a fost probabil construita dinanintea unirii cu Vechiul Regat, asemenea date au sansa chiar mai mare de a fi gasite la Arhivele si Bibilotecile Nationale din Budapesta sau chiar Viena, unde desigur va trebui sa stiti germana sau maghiara, inclusiv sa cititi scrierea de mana cu penita, etc. Acest fel de cercetare este de nivel profesional si trebuie fonduri si calificari adecvate pentru a fi dusa la o anumita concluzie fericita. Va doresc mult succes in a clasifica aceasta cladire ca monument istoric! Experienta castigata in acest caz, va va fi folositoare pentru multe asemenea edificii care asteapta sa fie inregistrate pe lista de patrimoniu! Cu cele mai bune urari, Valentin Mandache, expert in case de epoca

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