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Secessionist Ensemble of Bohomoltsia Street

Olha Zarechnyuk
The Bohomoltsia street design is unusual for the city. An ensemble consisting of residential apartment buildings is grouped around a small square with a public green zone. As for the first years of the 20th century, this is a quite innovative design, as new streets in Lviv were laid exclusively straight and without breaks at that time, façades directly bordering on sidewalks as required by building norms.

What does the square speak about?

Bohomoltsia street is located virtually in the city center. The fact that it has a public green zone in its middle shows the architects’ attention to the problems of the densely built up urban environment; apart from that, the architects realized the city’s need of green spaces and public recreation areas as well as the needs of residents and their comfort. The Bohomoltsia (then Adama Asnyka) street project realization in 1904-1908 was a precedent, following which Lviv architects began to search for new forms of streets trying to insert more green spaces in them and thus making urban space more comfortable and humane.

The buildings of Bohomoltsia street

The architecture of individual buildings located on this street is also noteworthy. The three- and four-storied apartment townhouses were built with the use of modern reinforced concrete structures and with the connection to pipelines and networks. Their design combines the Vienna Secession style motifs and stylized or modernized elements of some styles belonging to the past times, from ancient architecture to the Neo-Gothic and Neo-Baroque, different in each of the houses. The design includes a spacious, unusually shaped main staircase, pseudo stained-glass windows, bizarrely shaped forged items, colored majolica tiles on the walls and ornamented floor ceramic tiles.

The purpose of the theme

The purpose of the theme is to highlight the importance of Bohomoltsia street as an urban planning monument of the time when architectural modernism was being born, and to demonstrate some design features of individual houses, in the context of the general urban development of Lviv, as well as stylistic, ideological, and other factors affecting the architecture of Lviv during the 19th century.

Design features of the buildings

Ivan Levynskyi. An Architect of Secessionist Lviv

Ivan Levynskyi is one of the most interesting figures in Lviv's history of architecture and urban development in the early 20th c. He was born on 6 July 1851 in the Galician town of Dolyna near Stanisławów (now Ivano-Frankivsk). In 1875 he graduated from the Lviv Polytechnic and opened his own architectural bureau soon, a company for producing building materials and a ceramic studio. From 1903 he was a professor and taught architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic.

Levynskyi was a member of several associations organized by Galician Ruthenians — Prosvita, Silskyi Hospodar, Student Society Osnova; he was a patron of the Workers' Educational Society Postup, and member of the People's Museum Council.

Deported by Russians to Kyiv in 1914, along with numerous Polish intellectuals, Levynskyi founded the Agrarian Technical Society Pratsia and built a Catholic church in the Hutsul style in Kyiv. On returning to Lviv in 1918 he fell ill and died.

Levynskyi designed and built numerous Lviv buildings in a style which combined Viennese Secession with Carpathian folk architecture motifs. The most interesting are, in particular, the buildings of the Chamber of Commerce, the Dnister Association, the Academic House, and the Asnyka (now Bohomoltsia) street ensemble. He also designed and built hospitals and sanatoriums in Lviv, Horodenka, Kolomyia, Ternopil, Vorokhta, Zalishchyky, and Zolochiv. In 1917 he built a Catholic church in the Hutsul style in Kyiv.

Sources and Bibliography

  1. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) items 2/1/121, 2/1/122, 2/1/123, 2/1/124, 2/1/125, 2/1/126, 2/1/127, 2/1/128, 2/1/129, 2/1/130, 2/1/131, 2/1/132, 2/1/133
  2. Franciszek Mączyński, "Najnowszy Lwów", Architekt, 1908, Zeszyt 9, s. 91-97.
  3. Jan Bołoz-Antoniewicz, "Secesya", Słowo Polskie, Nr. 125, 1902, s. 2-3
  4. Markian Prokopovych, Habsburg Lemberg. Architecture, Public Space, and Politics in the Galician Capital, 1772-1914, (West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2008), 357
  5. George R. Collins, Christiane Crasemann Collins, Camillo Sitte: The Birth of Modern City Planning, (Mineola, New York: Dover publications Inc., 2006), 440
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  7. Ignacy Drexler, Odbudowa wsi i miast na ziemi naszej, (Lwów – Warszawa – Kraków, Wydawnictwo Zakl. Nar. Im. Ossolińskich, 1921), 323
  8. Jakub Lewicki, Między tradycją a nowoczesnością: Architektura Lwowa lat 1893–1918 (Warszawa: Towarzystwo Opieki nad Zabytkami, Wydawnictwo Neriton, 2005), 590.
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  10. Юрій Бірюльов, Мистецтво львівської сецесії, (Львів: Центр Європи, 2005), 184 [Yuriy Biryulyov, Mystetsvo l'viskoyi setsesii, (Lviv: Center of Europe Publishing, 2005), 184 p.]
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  12. Ігор Жук, "Львівська пам'ятка стилю модерн. Ансамбль вулиці Богомольця та його архітектор", Жовтень, №12, 1983, ст. 83-85 [Ihor Zhuk, "L'vivska pamiatka stylyu modern. Ansambl vulytsi Bohomoltsia ta yoho arkhitektor", Zhovten, no. 12, 1983, pp. 83-85]
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