From the end of the 18th century, the north-eastern border of Terézváros was marked by Fabrik Gasse, which was translated as Gyár Street. As the name suggests, this was not a classic residential area either, but beyond it was a real suburb. During the 19th century, with the gradual expansion of the city, it became more and more a bourgeois environment, which was also facilitated by the planned construction of the Outer Ring Road. By the beginning of the 20th century, the street name was ready for a change and in 1925 - on the centenary of Jókai's birth - it took on the name of the great storyteller.

The neighbourhood on an 1872 map; the plot is marked by a blue circle, its planned location on Oktogon is also visible, and the name of Gyár Street can be read at the bottom (Source:

The fate of the lot affected by the accident at the beginning of the week also followed the urbanization trend: in 1840, the hospital of the Pest Israelite Congregation was established here. The institution operated here until the end of the 1880s, and after it moved to Szabolcs Street, its building was demolished. The plot was divided into several parts: a three-story Neo-Renaissance residential building was built in 1889 according to the plans of Gusztáv Petschacher on the side of the Outer Ring Road, in which a bust of the designer himself was erected. On the side of the then called Gyár Street, a four-story residential house was built in 1894 on behalf of the famous doctor Dr Vilmos Dick, the plans of which were made by József Gutwillig.

The few years that passed between the two buildings were enough for the later apartment building to follow a new style: the Neo-Baroque that burst through in the nineties. The second half of the 19th century was already dominated by neostyles, but in addition to Neo-Renaissance (which was the most popular), Neo-Romanesque and Neo-Gothic, the share of Neo-Baroque was negligible. This changed in the last decade of the century, and the style known for its lively forms and rich decorations began to spread.

The French Baroque facade (Photo: Google Maps)

In Gyár Street, we do not see the most characteristic Baroque facade, according to József Rozsnyai - an expert in Neo-Baroque architecture - it can only be called Baroque. Compared to its typical Baroque counterparts, the dome closing the circular corner risalit has an unusual shape: it was built on a so-called tholobate and thus elevated, and spiral lines were formed at the bottom. At the same time, it also has French features, such as the densely arranged window shafts, the high mansard roof and the segmental arched windows of the top floor.

The interesting feature of the residential house is the many open balconies on the main facade: there are three balconies each at the bottom of the first and second floors, protected by handrails, and there are also two balconies, one below the other, in the middle of the shorter side on Aradi Street. There is only one balcony on the corner risalit, but it harmoniously follows the semicircular arch of the building. The designer also doubled the strongly projecting cornices: they extend over the third and fourth levels as well. According to reports, they also unfortunately increased the extent of the accident, as the building structures falling from the roof swept away the elements of the balconies and ledges.

The building in the 1960s (Source: Fortepan/Reference No.: 107001)

The ostentatiousness of the Neo-Baroque was also liked by the residential house builders because it focused more attention on the building, which made it easier to rent out the apartments and shops. This house also had different tenants: at the beginning of the 20th century, for example, Adél Verő's boarding school for girls operated there, and during World War II, the Swedish Embassy maintained an office where Raoul Wallenberg hid many Jews (unfortunately unsuccessfully). Pál Lukács, a Kossuth prize-winning violist, also lived here later. Based on the testimony of the photos, in the 1960s and 1970s, a car parts store operated in the business premises on the corner.

The Terézváros Municipality sold the attic in the mid-2000s, and the real estate investors had already planned to build it in. However, the investment kept slipping and finally started only in September 2021, according to the permit plans, fifteen apartments would have been created. A few weeks ago, as a result of the works, a fire broke out on the roof, which was put out, but this incident also certainly contributed to the collapse.

Cover photo: Building at 1 Jókai Street in the 6th District (Photo: Google Maps)