The monumental building on Károly boulevard will soon receive its ornate domes back

Hungarian version of the article: Hamarosan visszakapja díszes kupoláit a Károly körúti műemlék épület

April 22, 2022 at 5:00 PM

The imposing roof of the Art Nouveau apartment building at 3 / A Károly boulevard will be rebuilt soon. The roof of the house, built after the turn of the century, was damaged in World War II and was later restored in a simplified manner. The roof reconstruction of the building, which is now home to the Downtown Theater, was made a priority investment by a government decree issued last week.

It was not until the end of 2020 that a government decision was made to restore the destroyed or demolished domes and other ornaments of architecturally and city-famous buildings across the country - as we have previously reported . As a first step, three buildings in Budapest will regain the dome lost during and after the Second World War: the building at 4 Vécsey Street near the Parliament, ELTE Egyetem square 1–3. The central building at 4 Gellért Square, the so-called CH building. The government decree published in the 14 April issue of the Magyar Közlöny expanded this line with the house at 3 / A Károly boulevard.

The headquarters and tenement house of the First Military Insurance Institute was the building completed in 1913. A period postcard clearly shows its roof ornaments

The headquarters and tenement house of the First Military Insurance Institute under the auspices of Archduke József Károly were built on the site between Dohány street and Károly bloulevard between 1911 and 1913. The six-storey, three-yard building was designed by Géza Györgyi and Guidó Hoepfner in Art Nouveau style, but in some details art deco has appeared. So, for example, at the domes of the ornate roof.

The building later became the property of Victoria Insurance, which is why it was also called the Victoria House. The curiosity of the building was the huge basement under the courtyard, in which a cinema was built in 1938 according to the plans of Tibor Wellish and Ferenc Domány. The movie theater was first called Broadway Cinema and then Ady Cinema after World War II. In 1957, however, it was given a new function: it operated as a film museum, and old films were screened in it. After the change of regime, it was once again waiting for the audience as a Broadway Cinema, but today it already functions as the Downtown Theater.

Soon there will be a dome again where there is a billboard today (Photo: Both Balázs / pestbuda.hu)

The domes of the Art Nouveau building were damaged in World War II, so they were demolished after the burning of the world. 

A government decree published in the Magyar Közlöny on 14 April states that the building on Károly bloulevard will be given back its pre-war damage and its pre-destruction form, ornate roof structure and roof decorations. During the reconstruction, the permitted height of the building and the highest point of the structure are the same as the dimensions before the damage and destruction. The restoration is based on contemporary documents.

Cover photo: Former Headquarters of the First Military Insurance Institute in 2021 (Google Maps)


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