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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think we need to have this kind of thread here and I would like to invite people to contribute as much as they can with pictures of both reabilitation/reconstruction works, as well as buildings which have been recently renovated or, conversely, who cry for renovations.

Bucharest has been experiencing some interesting amount of renovations recently, and though not enough (never enough), it is worth while paying attention to. :):cheers:

I will present now the main areas of old Bucharest:

This is the main area considered today as "Old Bucharest", main buildings dating before the begining of the 20th century, and most of them before the 19th century.



This area is currently under an extensive municipality programme of renovations.

This is by no means the proper historic area of Bucharest (the one with buildings before WW2), which in earnest spans on a significantly larger surface than the one above. This is roughly the area spanning the pre-WW2 Bucharest, and in red the area portrayed above as undergoing extensive renovations:



Hopefully, as we will be able to go to photo sessions, we'll take certain sections of that area and photo the interesting parts.

^^ These areas (with buildings dating from late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century will be part of another thread dedicated to these. ;)

PS 1: History of the Lipscani Street (a 400 years old street!) from Wiki:

Lipscani is a street and a district of Bucharest, Romania, which in the Middle Ages was the most important commercial center of Bucharest and the whole Wallachia. It is located near the ruins of the old Princely Court built by Vlad III the Impaler.

It was named after Leipzig (Lipsca in 17th century Romanian), as that was the origin of many of the wares that could be found on the main street. The word lipscan (singular of lipscani) came to mean trader who brought his wares from Western Europe.

All trades were found in the area, including goldsmiths, hatters, shoemakers, tanners, saddlemakers, etc., many guilds (or isnafuri) having their own street: even nowadays, the nearby streets bear the name of a trade (Blănari = Furriers street, Şelari = Saddlemakers street, etc).

During the Communist period, the whole area was scheduled to be demolished, but this never came to fruition. The district became neglected, and nowadays many buildings are in a deplorable state. However, as of 2008 most of these buildings are being restored. In the early 21st century, much of the district has been pedestrianized.
And a more detailed presentation of the Lipscani Area:

A GLIMPSE ON THE LIPSCANI AREA, BUCHAREST

The Lipscani area is a lively part of old Bucharest which polarized various trades between the 15th-18th centuries. Its name comes from Lipsca (Leipzig) as a reminder of the flourishing commercial exchanges that were once made in Wallachia.

After the earthquake in 1977, the historic area of Lipscani was often threatened with demolition; when they started to build the so-called Civic Centre on Ceausescu's order, in its close vicinity, Lipscani entered an age of decay and oblivion. It was partially restored after 1990, especially in the Banks area, but most of the old houses and narrow sloping streets still wait for some Prince Charming investor who may return to them their formerly life and glamour.

Even before the official foundation of Bucharest (September 20, 1459), the Lipscani area represented the heart of the city. Once the political and economic power concentrated in the area of the Princely Court, around 1600, a lot of guilds and shops came into being, and that is why the area would be populated with goldsmiths, hatters, shoemakers, tanners, furriers, saddlemakers, grocers a.o. Many streets in the area still bear the names of those tradesmen and craftsmen. Along with the Romanians, there were communities of Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, Armenian, Jewish, Albanian and Austrian merchants. This mixture of nationalities is relevant for the flourishing trade relationships established in old Bucharest, to the benefit of both shopkeepers and customers.

If one takes an imaginary trip back into time, he or she can see the shopkeepers out in the street near their stores, for they never stood behind the counter; they would watch people from the outside, encourage them to buy their merchandise, negotiate prices with them, for each pedestrian could be a possible customer, and thus contribute to their wealth.

Luxury and poverty, expensive and cheap commodities were mixed up in the same manner in which the Eastern world would meet the Western one in this part of Europe.

There were many inns built in the area for the tradesmen who would stop by for business in Bucharest, or would be on their way to other cities and fairs. Most of the formely known inns have not resisted to the test of time; others can still be seen, like the Inn with Lime Trees (1833) or the Manuc's Inn (1808) - see also presentation.

When walking along the by-streets of Lipscani, one can still be impressed by the architecture of the one-storey houses built in different styles Renaissance, Baroque, Neo Classic, or sometimes a mixture of them all, with their fine ornaments, baroque balconies, classic façades and eclectic decorations.

At the end of Lipscani St., there is the Smârdan St., where one can find some banks built in the 19th century, i.e. the National Bank (built between 1883-1885, and conceived by architects Albert Galleron and Cassien Bernard in neo-classic French style), Ion Tiriac Bank, the Bank for Agriculture.

After having left the Smârdan St., one reaches the Stavropoleos St., well-known for the famous Stavropoleos Church built in 1724 by the Greek monk Ioanichie, in late brancovan style (see its vegetal decorations the belt with floral motives, columns with flowers). Near the church, there is a "chiostro", a yard with three covered sides, in which there are columns, slabs and tombstones. The "chiostro" was designed by one of the most prominent Romanian architects, Ion Mincu who also restored the church in 1899.

Where Stavropoleos St. meets Victoriei Avenue, there is a famous restaurant and beer house, i.e. "The Beer Cart" (1879). Both its façades and interiors are built in Neo-gothic style (see pavement, columns, arches, chandeliers, wooden staircase, furniture, mural paintings on the walls and the ceiling). This place was much sought by famous Romanian literary and political figures, who would often meet there and discuss topical matters of their time over a mug of beer.

A bit farther, across the street, on the Victoriei Avenue, stands the Palace of the Savings Bank, an imposing and well-balanced edifice built in the French academic eclectic style by architect Paul Gottereau. The palace has a square shape, a large central dome with metallic ribs separated by glass, which allows natural light to come in; there are also four smaller domes, whereas the main entrance has a monumental archway, supported on both sides by two pillars in composite style.

Going back to Smârdan St., one can admire the richly-decorated building of the Fashion House (1881) built in neo-classic style combined with Renaissance elements. The interiors are as luxurious as one can expect for a fashion house marble staircase, columns with gilt ornanemts, stained-glass.

The Lipscani commercial area was developed around the Old Princely Court placed in the Princely St. (the present French St.), the oldest one in Bucharest. It used to be paved with oak beams by order of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in 1692, and was designed to link his Princely Court to the Mogosoaia Bridge (today's Victoriei Avenue), which led right to Brâncoveanu's summer residence at Mogosoaia. The oak beams come from the rich forests around Bucharest can still be seen at the entrance of Manuc's Inn (1804-1808), in the close neighbourhood of the present-day ruins of the Old Princely Court.

May you wish to buy a souvenir like an antique, an art, or a Romanian folk object, glassware, a household commodity, or would you look after a fine lady fur coat, the small shops in the Lipscani area are there to please you.
From Romanian Travel Guide


I will present here the main buildings in the are: TO BE DEVELOPED


MANUC'S INN (entirely renovated):








Manuc's Inn (Romanian: Hanul lui Manuc) was, until it was recently shut for refurbishment, the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest, Romania; it also housed a restaurant, several bars, a cake shop, and (facing the street) several stores. Its massive, multiply balconied courtyard hosted many performances and fairs and was a popular place for Romanian television crews to shoot folkloric performances. The hotel and restaurant were closed down in 2007 for refurbishment, but the shops and an extensive bar (Cafeaneaua Bucurestilor d'Altadat') are open. The hotel and restaurant are expected to reopen under new management when the refurbishment is completed.

The building is located at 62 Iuliu Maniu street, across the street from the ruins of the Old Court (Curtea Veche). Although one side now faces a vast modern public square, Piaţa Unirii, there is no evidence of this in the courtyard or the inward-facing rooms.

The inn was built in 1808, and originally owned by a wealthy and flamboyant Armenian, Emanuel Mârzaian, better known under his Turkish name Manuc-bei.

Although Manuc's Inn has been subject to repeated restorations — in 1848, 1863, 1966-1970, and 1991–1992, as well as the one now under way — its essential structure remains intact; of the three surviving 19th century inns in the Lipscani district, it is the only one currently in use as a hotel.

The inn was the site of the preliminary talks for the Treaty of Bucharest, which put an end to the 1806–1812 Russo-Turkish war. In 1842 it briefly housed Bucharest's town hall. Around 1880 a hall at the inn as used as a theatre, and was the site of the first Romanian operetta performance.

Before Romania entered World War I, in 1914–1916, the hall "Sala Dacia" hosted meetings of the Wallachian pro-war party seeking to establish a Greater Romania by uniting with Transylvania and Bukovina; speakers included Nicolae Filipescu, Take Ionescu, Barbu Ştefănescu Delavrancea, and Octavian Goga.
Wikipedia

Old Princely Court (restaurated)




Curtea Veche (the Old Princely Court), built as a place or residence during the rule of Vlad III Dracula in the 15th century, [1] now operates as a museum in the centre of Bucharest, Romania. The residence was moved under the rule of Radu cel Frumos, who moved the princely residence and the Wallachian capital to Bucharest.[citation needed] In the 16th century Mircea Ciobanul rebuilt it completely and afterward it became the nucleus of the Bucharest, surrounded by the houses of traders and craftsmen. Alexander Ypsilantis built a new princely court in 1775 at Dealul Spirii and the old one acquired its present name.[citation needed] In its current role as a museum, the palace and neighbourhood inspired Mateiu Caragiale to write his novel Craii de Curtea-Veche. It is also at the center of efforts to restore the historic center of Bucharest. [2]
Wikipedia
 

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AUTOBANN.ED
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Tonight I went for a walk in the area and then for a beer and I will post some(few random) pics I took in the area. I hope this thread will be very busy soon. :cheers:

This is Strada Franceza, which is under reconstruction now (it was evening when I took the pics):


This building is on Strada Doamnei, just vis-a-vis the National Library:


The following picture is also from Strada Doamnei:


And now Coltea Hospital (built in 1704 !!!) which is also under complete renovations:











Some pics before renovation:







And here is the location of Coltea Hospital (marked in blue):



Coltea Hospital has been a functioning hospital all the time and after renovations, it will continue to function as a hospital, yet under better looks! :)

And this is the park nearby which has been rebuilt last year:





And this is Strada Carada, also U/C, actually almost finished, as you can see:


And some pics tajken during the day, with the result of the pavement restauration:





Mind you, the stones were honed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
And an interesting article about the results of the recent (close to 5% :D) renovations:


Ziarul Financiar

Old Bucharest centre, back to life
24.06.2009

While not even a quarter of infrastructure works are finished in Bucharest's old centre, the average sales of restaurants and coffee shops opened in the area reach 40,000 euros per day, according to ZF's calculations based on the data provided by the owners, who expect revenues to at least double after streets have been finalised, which will most likely happen in two years.

"(...) Until now, the old centre had targeted medium-income clients, but once so many new places have been opened, there is a shift to the upper medium income segment," says the manager of Pub Vintage, who has recently opened the bar on the site of Casa Rochiilor de Mireasa and expects sales of at least 1,000 euros per day and at least 400 customers.

Most pub owners say that in a rainless day they make between 700 and 1,200 euros, with big restaurants reaching even 4,000 euros in good days.
Against an overall average income of 40,000 euros per day, the 50 restaurants and coffee shops in six months generate over 7m euros, with the cold period contributing at least half to this sum.

The smallest revenues are generated by those shops located in streets under renovation, even though the outdoor restaurants opened on the City Hall's scaffolding seem "interesting" to passers-by.

The newest bar is Team Pub, opened in mid-June in the wake of investments worth 30,000 euros. Still, the 100 square metre bar has the advantage of being located at the crossroads with Selari, a street where another 8 coffee shops and restaurants operate, attracting a significant number of clients. The rest are awaiting nostalgic clients or simply loyal ones.

One of the oldest places, which has survived changes for more than twenty years, is Lucy&Vrany open-air terrace in Lipscani.
The old centre, once the paradise of stores selling antiques, glassware, canvas or jewellery mending ones, has started to get a Western look through the replacement of placards of before '89 with bright signs of new restaurants.

The City Hall receives around 15 euros/square metre to place tables outside, according to the data provided by players, while the owners of buildings put up for rent around 40 euros/square metre. Thus, an entrepreneur with a 500 square metre bar pays around 20,000 euros per month.

"Rents are around 10% higher than last October because space owners have become aware of the area's potential," explains Vintage Pub manager.
And some pics from the area tonight to prove the article is right:









BTW: Since the renovation of Selari and Smardan, I would not exagerrate that at least 20 terrases, pubs, caffes and antique shops have been opened and they are teaming with young people and tourists (yes, plenty of foreign tourist, especialy French and British) to the extent one can barely find a spare table among the dozens of terrasses. The area has an enourmous potential, and the people are ready to stimulate that potential. ;)

All pictures were taken in the evening/at night, with phone, hence por quality. Sorry for that. :)
More pictures will follow in the coming weeks (I hope). :)

BTW: Bucharest is becoming again a powerful attraction for foreign tourists. Last night (in between 11 and 1 in the morning) I strolled the old aera, including Calea Victoriei, and I met many, many groupds of tourists.
 

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AUTOBANN.ED
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BTW: I am inviting people at a photo session on some weekend. Next one is busy for me, but the coming one may be free .Who's interested?

We'll also get some beers on the way to get better camera focus abilities. ;)
 

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It's only fair to have a look and show people how Lipscani used to be , circa 30-40's , even older :










looks so nice with colors ^^



Vilacrose - Passage ^^




National Bank ^^


I know it will never get it's charm back , i hope they finish it asap, it's such a waste of city-beauty. :bash:

Ciudat cum ar putea face din Lipscani o afacere frumoasa dar nu ii duce capu :weird:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
^^ We should stick to current images U/C or completed. But I think it'd be a good idea to open a thread with old pictures of Bucharest. I think there's a discussion about that in the main section.
 

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Foarte bun threadul...chiar ma gandeam si eu mai demult ca ar trebui un thread despre cladirile istorice renovate...
Ar fii fain sa avem la poze cate 3 poze Old picture + before restauration + after asta in masura in care se poate. O sa incerc sa particip si eu in masura in care pot la acest thread care cum a zis si le clerk sper sa devina aglomerat!
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Asta ar fi perfect, insa nu stiu daca vom putea gasi astfel de poze. E bine sa incercam insa.

Parerea mea este sa lasam acest thread numai pentru zona foarte veche a BUcurestiului, iar pentru celelalte zone sa deschidem alt/alte threaduri, astfel incat sa fie mai organizata expunerea. Cred ca avem foartye mult de spus in termeni de U/C in aceasta zona relativ mica, dar foarte incarcata de istorie. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^^ Nice, but let's leave Victoriei Ave. out for the moment. It's not in the "old area" defined in the first post. I think we should open a distinct thread for Calea Victoriei IMO, because it frets with beautiful historic buildings fomr the first half of the 20th century, many of which have already been renovated. :):cheers:
 

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Parerea mea este ca la rebuilding history am putea include o zona mai ampla decat -numai Lipscaniul- Orasul vechi se intinde pana la Piata Victoriei si pana la Piata Iancului; Orice cladire istorica , casa boiereasca ce intra in restaurare ar putea fii inclusa aici dar acum cum vreti voi.
Totusi daca am face 3-4 threaduri diferite pentru zona istorica a Bucurestiului
nu cumva ar fii prea goale threadurile? Nu ar fii mai bine sa le concentram?

PS: Sunt foarte interesat de acest subiect asa ca va puteti baza pe mine cu ceva activitate aici!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Pai exista o harta. Nu inteleg la ce te referi? Cat despre celalte threaduri, cat de specifice ar trebui sa fie ele (e.g. (i) Calea Victoriei, (ii) Elisabeta + Carol, (iii) Magheru etc), vreau sa discutam inainte ca sa cadem de acord.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Smecherule, ai editat deja postul :lol:

Eu nu m-am mai uitat peste primele deoarece le-am vazut aseara :D

In cazul asta ... :cheers:
Harta am pus-o de aseara (azi noapte de fapt), cred dupa ce te-ai uitat tu. ;)

Cred ca ar trebui sterse comentariile astea cand se intoarce Cosmin si lasate doar posturile cu poze. Tot atunci vom discuta si despre necesitatea deschiderii unor threaduri separate pentru lucrarile de restaurare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
^^ Thank you Cotnari. Awesome map! :):cheers:

Unfortunately, most buildings may withstand little renovation operations (those in red :(). It's going to be very expensive to restore them. Actually, most of them need complete rebuilding of the structures and utilities, with keeping only the facades and the decorations.
 
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