Most citizens of Katowice associate this modernist, six-storey building on the corner of Adama Mickiewicza and Piotra Skargi streets with headquarters of ING Bank Śląski.
However, this building has much more longer and richer tradition, where you can feel the history and former glory virtually in every corner.
The original investor of the building with a floor area of more than six thousand square metres, designed by Stanisław Tabeński and Jan Noworyta, and built in 1930 in expressionist style, was the Warsaw-based Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego.
The building was founded on a trapeze-shaped plan, due to the form of a lot where it was built. It has untypical, transverse façade, due to its location at former Skośna street (non-existent since the sixties of 20th century). On the roof there was a clock and chimes which played the “Płynie Wisła błękitna” melody from 1975.
The building is decorated by pilasters finished with capitals. The interior boasts a representative character. The main hall is decorated with colourful marble, white stuccos, gold plating and bronze. The characteristic element are pillars with a square cross-section, crystal-like capitals and lamps with geometric shapes.
Over the stairs leading to the first floor there is a stained-glass window with a year of construction, while over main entrance you can see a clock inside marble setting.
Before 1930 on the site of present bank building there was a two-storey corner tenement house with characteristic dome. On 4th September, 1939 in front of the building a fierce battle was fought between Polish insurgents, enlistees and scouts with German Wehrmacht forces. In the thirties of 20th century the Higher Mining Office had its premises here.
In the nineties of 20th century the building was renovated, as some of its interiors lost their original character over time. Among other rooms, the conference hall on the first floor was reconstructed with its original parquetry.
After ING Bank Śląski left the building, in April, 2017 the news hit the media, stating that the former headquarters of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego might be purchased by Śląskie Kamienice (Silesian Tenements) company which planned to create luxurious apartments for short-term rental there. Eventually nothing came out of that.
Today it is one of the most interesting local historic monuments, located on the Silesian Modernism Route.
Historical photos: www.katowice.fotopolska.eu
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