Palace

Museum of the City of Lodz has its seat in one of the most impressive buildings in Lodz, the former Palace of Poznansky. The palace along with its garden is located in the Nothern part of the city, in the close neighbourhood of factory buildings and labourer’s houses. Along with them, it forms an industrial-residential complex, typical for „the Polish Manchester”. The corner-storeyed brick dwelling house with clipped corner with free-standing buildings – ground floor dyeworks, wooden outbuilding, square and garden, which Izrael Poznanski bought in 1877, gave the beginning of this monumental building. The property has changed over time in the palace-garden complex, repeatedly transformed as the changing social status of the Poznanski's family. Building of residence, often being compared to the Parisian Louvre, served Lodz industrial bourgeoisie to achieve prestige and consolidate their identity.

The palace was originally designed as based on the patterns of the French Renaissance showcase and commercial and residential building. The author of the project, which has not been fully fulfiled, was the city architect Hilary Majewski. The palace began gaining its present shape as a result of reconstruction in 1898, according to Juliusz Jung’s and David Rosenthal’s project. The decision on further modernization was made in 1901 after Izrael Poznanski’s death (died in 1900). It was designed and carried out by Adolf Zelingson and supervised by Franciszek Chelminski. The job was done in 1903. At that time, the residence acquired architectural shape similar to the present day’s one.

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The main body of the building has a monumental neo-baroque character, with rich decoration and allegorical sculptures, glorifying industrry and emphasizing the role of the factory owner in an industrial city. The domes, which roof representative dining room and ballroom, dominate above the building. The layout of the rooms is also reflected in the composition of the façade. In the external decoration, as in the architectural form of interior, symbols and motifs inspired by the ancient art and traditions of Jewish culture were used.

The interior has been given a rich and glamorous character. The rooms decor of the palace is eclectic and refers to styles of the second half of the 19th century, with applying a decorative Art Nouveau. In the main body, which served as the official and representative, aside from a large dining room and ballroom, there were lounges upstairs and offices and the stock exchange in the pavilion directly connected with the palace on the ground floor. In the bottom of the side wing, there were warehouses of finished products, and on the floor – apartment building, guest rooms and – covered with glass domes – the winter garden.

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The financial failure of the company, which began with the outbreak of World War I and deepened because of the October Revolution and global crisis in the 20s of the 20th century, led to changes in the company management. The palace, though it was still formally owned by the Cotton Products Joint-Stock Company of I.K. Poznanski, had new users, and the family was not interested in its maintenance.

Since World War I, the residence was rebuilt many times and often changed its owners. In the January of 1927, the Lodz’s governor Wladyslaw Jaszczol obtained the ministerial consent to move the current headquarter of Regional Office from the previous location in former “Bristol” Hotel on 11 Zawadzka Street (nowadays Prochnika Street). The move of the Office was started on 31st of January 1927 and finished in the beginning of February. At that time, the winter garden was closed down, the palace got extended to the North and some of the interior was rebuilt.

In September of 1939, the palace was occupied by the German Civil Management at the Headquarter 8th. The supreme authority and main departments of Lodz’s Regency (Regierungsbezirk Litzamannstadt) were moved to the building on the 10th of April 1940. After the war, the palace became the seat of the Regional Office, and since 1950 - the Regional Bureau of the National Council.

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Since October 1975, the residence of Poznanski’s family is home to the Museum of the City of Lodz (until 2009 the Museum of History of the City of Lodz). From the very beginning, the institution started long-term reconstruction, renovation, restoration and conservation out of concern for restoring the former glory to the representative building. As a result of conducting the maintenance and further acquisitions by the Museum of the historic halls of the palace, premises largely regained their original appearance.

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