Over the last few years Bratislava has lost many historical buildings. Old industrial buildings like Kablo and Gumon are already gone and only the remains of Cvernovka and Stein are left. On the site of the former culture venue PKO there is now only a vacant plot and what will happen next with another culture venue, Istropolis, no one wants to reveal yet.
But there are also positive things happening. After many years, the local council of Bratislava’s borough of Ružinov has managed to agree on the acquisition of the former municipal town hall in its part of Prievoz with its current owner. After years of the building not being in use and just dilapidating, the borough is planning to give the building back the form it had when constructed in the 1930s.
“We’ve been waiting for years for the return of this piece of our history,” Ružinov Mayor Dušan Pekár told The Slovak Spectator. “The former town hall from 1932, which is an architectural monument from the period of Functionalism, once represented our borough. I believe that after proper renovation it will serve Ružinov’s citizens for many years.”
Municipal town hall in Prievoz
- Built according to the design of the architects Christian Ludwig and Augustín Danielis
- Put into operation in August 1932
- A part is the so-called notary house
- The town hall is located in close proximity to two national cultural monuments: the firehouse from 1880-1923 (the only preserved firehouse of this period in Bratislava) and the evangelical church built in the Cubism style in 1927
Negotiations with the long-term owner of the building, the private company Pro Bios, have lasted for several years.
“The owner originally proposed the sale price for the building and the surrounding land at €450,000. Finally, we agreed on the sum of €400,000,” said Pekár.
Deputies of Ružinov’s local council have already issued this sum from the borough’s budget. The local council will still have to approve the sale and purchase agreement in September.
It was the then mayor and notary of Prievoz, Eduard Moller, who ordered the building of the town hall. It was officially put to use in August 1932.
“Until then, the councillor did not have their own building. They were meeting in a local pub where they had leased premises,” said Patrik Guldan, a councillor in Ružinov’s local council and worker on the Monuments Board on the basis of the minutes of Prievoz local council’s sessions in the State Archive. He has been pushing for the saving the building of the former Prievoz town hall for more than 10 years. Guldan has also prepared expert documents to declare the building a national cultural monument.
In the 1930s, several towns and villages in Slovakia were building brand new town halls. Žilina built a new town hall at that time in the Functionalist style as well, recalled Guldan.
Architects Christian Ludwig and Augustín Danielis
The architects Christian Ludwig and Augustín Danielis belonged among the most important architects during the inter-war period in Bratislava. They worked almost exclusively for the German community. In Bratislava they designed dozens of villas and apartment buildings. Their most famous works include the Manderla residential and commercial building (1935), what was the first high-rise in Bratislava, writes architecture historian Henrieta Moravčíková in books dedicated to architect Christian Ludwig. In her opinion the town hall in Prievoz is part of the period of their most successful cooperation.
“However, the town hall in Prievoz is the only one on the territory of present-day Bratislava, which was designed as a town hall and built during the Functionalist period,” said Guldan.