1982 | 1-2 | 36-44
Article title

Ochrona i konserwacja zabytkowych witryn sklepowych we Wrocławiu

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In hitherto conservation activities the problem of the architecture of service ground floors and their windows has been either omitted or treated freely and their architectural value denied. Still, shop windows have always constituted an integral part of tenement houses and as such, ranking with them, deserve to be covered by conservation care. Some of the shops in tenement houses appeared in the Middle Ages but trade, as a rule, was concentrated on market squares and on town markets. It was at that time that attributes of shops came into sight: trade marks, signboards and wooden hoods protecting goods sold in front of shops as well as front entrances to cellars. Along with the development of the town and industry, in the second half of the 18th centruy shops began to appear in tenement houses more and often. After that fact had become legalized in the early 19th century ground floors were adapted for trading functions. At first only the door leading from the street to the shop was pierced and accentuated with a wooden hood or with shelves. At the end of the first half of the 19th century the grilles on the ground floors were removed and replaced with shutters. At the same time shop windows got enlarged at the expense of entrances to cellars and glazed with small panes. In the fifties there appeared case-like shop windows — wooden, self-bearing constructions fixed into the elevation. A development of glass manufacture and construction materials made it possible to glaze bigger surfaces and to enlarge windows of the ground floor. Two storeyed and wooden shop windows, folded-up shutters and markees appeared. In the secession period, architecture of interiors became particularly spectacular and formed a uniform entity with buildings. A department store, which came into existence at the end of the 19th century, adopted and developed shop windows with enlarged window oriffices. A characteristic feature of modernism were big simple shop windows corresponding to the needs of display and satisfying tastes. On the other hand this led to the reconstruction and removal of older types of shop windows. A danger of chaos in architecture of shop windows was noticed in the twenties of this century. Works were undertaken during which a big number of advertisments and signboards was removed from the elevations and ground floors were restored to their old forms and details. At present, in conservation works carried out in Wroclaw on buildings of historic merit one can notice a tendency to enlarge to a maximum extent windows found on ground floors and to remove completely all details. Such methods do not meet the requirements, as indirect stages of the development of shop windows had also their value and now they just disappear at a disquieting rate. It is thus necessary to have a stock-taking and to include this problem into the process of the town revival.
Physical description
  • mgr inż. arch., Instytut Historii Architektury, Sztuki i Techniki Politechnika Wrocławska
  • Sztuka Wrocławia (praca zbiorowa), rozdział Sztuka w latach 1850—1945 — T. B r o n i e w s k i , Wrocław 1967, s. 413.
  • H. Ma r k g r a f , Barthel Steins Beschreibung von Breslau aus den Jahren 1512—13, Breslau 1902.
  • A. W e i s , Chronić der Stadt Breslau von dem altesten bis zur neuesten Zeit, rozdział 66, Breslau 1888, s. 1111—1116.
  • E. M a ł a c h o w i c z , Stare Miasto we Wrocławiu, PWN, Warszawa—Wrocław 1976, s. 79.
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