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Old July 22nd, 2015, 06:47 AM   #2221
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This picture of the Grzybowska Street canyon eloquently exemplifies Warsaw's post war evolution - a gap tooth assortment of lower rise pre-war tenement houses (kamienice) bisected by slabs of perpendicular commie blocks increasingly overshadowed by new skyscrapers:



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Old July 22nd, 2015, 02:09 PM   #2222
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Unwanted gift from Stalin, Warsaw Palace of Culture turns 60 _ Poland's iconic eyesor

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Some Poles liken the skyscraper to an elephant in lace underpants. A famous poet dubbed it "the nightmare of a drunken baker." And one joke goes that it provides the best view of Warsaw because you can't see the building from inside.

Warsaw's Palace of Culture and Science has been derided as an oppressive eyesore ever since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin built it as his personal gift to the city. Now —having survived persistent calls to tear it down — the building marks its 60th birthday on Wednesday as an enduring symbol of a city that has known waves of destruction.

Concerts, exhibitions and fireworks are to mark the anniversary of a building Warsaw residents have finally come to appreciate. Rising 42 floors, it remains Poland's tallest building and it boasts over 350,000 visitors each year. A growing number of them are foreign tourists curious to explore the many corners of the massive Soviet-style edifice.

"I like it, it's nice," said Joanna Golabek. "I don't mind its history so much. I have good associations with the concerts and the events that I attended there."

In the early 1950s, when Warsaw was still largely a sea of ruins after World War II, some 5,000 Soviet and Polish workers built the skyscraper in less than three years, complete with marble interiors and impressive crystal chandeliers. Some 18 were killed in on-site accidents.

Stalin offered to build the edifice in 1951, while the Soviet Union was strengthening its grip on Poland and other countries in the region. The money and most materials came from the Soviet Union; Polish and Soviet officials opened the building, then-named after Stalin, with great pomp on July 22, 1955.

"It was an unwanted gift mainly because, as we say, it was a gift from Stalin and for obvious reason it was not welcome," said Renata Kaznowska, head of the city-run building's management board. "Its difficult childhood also comes from the fact that a whole section of old houses had to be pulled down to make room for it."

A team of Soviet architects, led by Lev Rudnev, styled it after similar buildings in Moscow, but added traditional Polish features like wooden box ceilings, pillars and carved stone ornaments.

Polish poet Wladyslaw Broniewski famously called building — stacked like a wedding cake — "the nightmare of a drunken baker."

Even as an eyesore, the structure was — and remains — very functional. It houses theaters, cinemas, museums, a swimming pool, a concert and congress hall and many scientific organizations. It also "employs" 11 cats that fight rodents in the basement.

"For those times it really was a great support for culture," said Wit Henryk Bak, 76, who worked in the building in 1958 as an elevator technician. He recalled how Warsaw's downtown in the 1950s was still a wasteland of "only debris and debris all around."

The palace also boasts a popular viewing platform on the 30th floor. Tragically, eight people, including a Frenchman, chose the viewing area to plunge to their deaths, until protective grates were installed in the 1970s.

After Poland shed communism in 1989, calls were made for the palace to be torn down in a symbolic gesture of doing away with the Soviet past. But the city ended up preserving it due to its Socialist realist architecture — which in recent years has begun to gain some appreciation— and because it is part of the city and the country's history.

"It's good that it's still standing here," Bak said. "But it would be good to clean it a bit."

Foreign tourists also appreciate it.

"I think it is an extraordinary piece of architecture," said Paul Kulig, a high school student visiting from Edmonton, Canada. "Just seeing those ballrooms and the history behind them, how the communists would meet there, discuss politics and, obviously, drink together because that's just what they did — it was extremely neat."
http://www.newser.com/article/8cd8e4...ic-eyesor.html
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 03:31 PM   #2223
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Honestly, calling the Palace of Culture an "eyesore" is a bit old school these days. Sure, it's got those weird Socialist-Realist proportions, but it remains one of the few architectural gifts from that period that one can appreciate for its bravado, along with some of the ministries and Plac Konstytucji.

Meanwhile, the more functionalist variation(s) of architecture can be summed up as economical, practical, boring, etc.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 10:51 PM   #2224
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It reminds me of 1890s Parisians calling the Eiffel Tower ugly.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 11:15 PM   #2225
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1968/2013



I wonder how it will look like in 2058

Source: https://www.facebook.com/margasfoto/...type=1&theater
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 11:20 PM   #2226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intervention View Post
Honestly, calling the Palace of Culture an "eyesore" is a bit old school these days. Sure, it's got those weird Socialist-Realist proportions, but it remains one of the few architectural gifts from that period that one can appreciate for its bravado, along with some of the ministries and Plac Konstytucji.

Meanwhile, the more functionalist variation(s) of architecture can be summed up as economical, practical, boring, etc.
The building is great. The best looking "old school" European skyscraper.
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Old July 22nd, 2015, 11:35 PM   #2227
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Any news about a possible cleaning of the building?
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 12:35 AM   #2228
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apparently these Stalinist baroque skyscrapers were modeled after Chicago skyscrapers, as Soviets at the time were trying to emulate and outdo America at everything, that was the inspiration. and the palace does remind of New York and Chicago skyscrapers of the 30's as by the 50's modernism was in vogue.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 01:23 AM   #2229
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The Municipal Building in New York was one of the greatest inspirations for Stalinist architecture.
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 08:03 PM   #2230
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanVL View Post
Any news about a possible cleaning of the building?
warszawa.wyborcza.pl/warszawa/1,34889,15040059,Palac_Kultury_kiedys_byl_czysty__Na_umycie_potrzeba.html

I doubt there is money for that.

Edit: nowawarszawa.pl/palac-kultury-konczy-60-lat-czyszczenia-nie-bedzie/
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 11:48 PM   #2231
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and one more past-present juxtaposition:



thanks Tomzaw999
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Old July 23rd, 2015, 11:51 PM   #2232
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Politechnical University restoration continues:









almost finished

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Old July 27th, 2015, 03:21 PM   #2233
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So weird to see it white, I've grown accustomed to it being yellow!
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Old July 27th, 2015, 04:38 PM   #2234
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it's white with a rose tint, in direct light it might look more white.
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Old July 31st, 2015, 12:33 AM   #2235
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Nice
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 01:47 AM   #2236
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Remembering the Warsaw Uprising.










http://wmeritum.pl/facebook-usunal-z...ski-walczacej/
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Old August 2nd, 2015, 04:36 AM   #2237
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1938





1925



https://www.facebook.com/ABCWarszawy?fref=photo
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Old August 3rd, 2015, 01:34 AM   #2238
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Thanks for posting Warsaw Uprising Remembrance rychlik.

We can never forget the price that was paid for the freedom that we got 65 years later. We can never submit to tyranny wherever it may exist or wherever it is emerging - Europe, Canada and worldwide.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 07:40 AM   #2239
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August 5th, Warsaw, March in Memory of the Civilian Victims of the Warsaw Uprising:

Today marked the first time a March in memory of the victims of the Warsaw Uprising took place. Starting at the Monument of the Wola Massacre and winding through the streets of Wola, Leszno and Wolska Streets, where some of the most horrific mass murders took place, the sombre march ended at Powazki Cemetary where 96 glass pillars were erected that so far only identify 60,000 people of the estimated 150,000-200,000 civilian murders that took place at the hands of the Nazis.

The bestial nature of the Wola Massacre where 60,000 were murdered in 2 days was mainly driven by the sociopaths Heinz Reinefarth and SS-Oberführer Oskar Dirlewanger who drove the units to commit more and more horrific war crimes. After World War II, Polish authorities demanded his extradition; however, the British and American authorities of occupied Germany decided that Reinefarth could be useful as a witness at the Nuremberg Trial. After the trials, he was arrested for war crimes, but the local court in Hamburg released him shortly afterwards on the grounds of lack of evidence. West Germany ruled that depositions were not sufficient to secure his conviction, and also, that genocide was not in the criminal code of Nazi Germany and therefore, would not be applied retroactively. Reinefarth went on to live a normal life in December 1951, he was elected Mayor of the town of Westerland, the main town on the island of Sylt. In 1962, he was elected to the parliament (Landtag) of Schleswig-Holstein. After his term ended in 1967, he worked as a respected lawyer. The government of West Germany rewarded him with a General's retirement pension. He died on 7 May 1979 in his mansion on Sylt.

Anyone interested in knowing more about the unbelievable events that took place on the streets of this very average pre-war district should read Alexandra Richie's Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler and the Warsaw Uprising.

I would also strongly recommend Jan Komasa's Warsaw Uprising that utilizes original archive footage of the Warsaw uprising in 1944 that has been digitally remastered and colorized. Original footage had no sound, and all dialog that is seen throughout the film has been recreated by experts reading the lips of the individuals. All other dialog and sounds are educated guesses and eye witness accounts as to what may have been heard or said in those moments. I have never seen anything like this, hard to believe it's real, although seeing it in crisp colour makes it very real.

http://warsawrising-thefilm.com/

Here's the film on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_P2BFWNujg

http://warszawa.wyborcza.pl/warszawa...l#BoxLokWawImg
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Old August 7th, 2015, 10:52 PM   #2240
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Honestly, I don't know what to think about Palace of Culture. I'm not fan of socialist realism, in fact, it's one of my least favourite styles in architecture. I view socialist-realist buildings as cold and hostile. It's not because of communism, I just don't like them. However, there aren't many of them, especially not like the Palace (ignoring those 7 in Moscow ), so they should be protected. As much as I want to see it demolished and replaced with something new or reconstructions of buildings that were on that site before WW2, I want for it to be preserved as it is unique and interesting (not beautiful, just interesting). Not everything from communist period must be preserved (nobody would care if we demolish every commie residential), but there are some buildings that MUST find their place in this time, and one of them is for sure the Palace of Culture.
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