The construction of the Administrative Palace of Targoviste (1897)


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Taking into consideration the need to build an administrative palace in Targoviste, due to the modernization that included the city in the last decades of the 19th century, the mayor Vasile Dumitrescu (mayor of the city in two terms: September 14, 1894-19 June 1895; January 3 -1 March 1896), stated in a report from the beginning of 1895 “ "The place for the City Hall has come close to ruin, insufficient and infected, so you can no longer live there, the need to build a new place is imperative..." At the same time, Vasile Dumitrescu informed in the report that he received from the mayor of Pitesti "the plan and estimate of the communal Ospel worth 76,360 lei that was built there recently, to make a similar project in Targoviste." In addition, the mayor pointed out that he had borrowed the amount of 99,000 lei and that they were at the Deposit House, with the help of which the new town hall was to be built and to pay the compensations to the minors C. Petrescu and Stelian R. Dudău, for the straightening of the City Hall Street and for the arrangement of a square in front of the new premises. 

In 1896, the new mayor, Ion I. Stematiu (March 1, 1896-2 September 1897), contracted from the state a loan of 300,000 lei, with the help of which he would build the new City Hall, the expropriation of the place in front of the City Hall and the arrangement of a public garden here, as well as other important objectives. Also now, the City Hall and the Communal Council bought the houses owned by Nicolae Zenide, located in a central position, with the facade facing Grigore Alexandrescu Street. On September 16, 1896, the first tranche of 200,000 lei was received, which allowed the signing of the contract with the entrepreneur Baldasar Vignosa Giovani, regarding the construction of an administrative palace, according to the plans of the Italian architect, while the engineer Nicolae Bruneanu was commissioned with the supervision of the works.

The works at the administrative palace were completed in 1897, but they were continued in 1898, under the direct coordination of the new mayor Lazăr Petrescu (in the first mandate from September 21, 1897 to 19 November 1898), when the painting works were executed, the installation of stoves, endowment with furniture, as well as the construction of a sidewalk around the new City Hall. The painting was executed by the artist Iosif Tendler from Bucharest, both in oil and with water and glue, under the direct supervision of the engineer Nicolae Bruneanu. For the installation of the stoves, a public auction was organized, which was won by Dumitru Zăgănescu from Ploiești, the owner of a "Bureau of mining and secular forests". 

After the plan for the installation of the 14 stoves was drawn up, they were distributed as follows: on the ground floor, there was installed a stove in the offices of the secretary, the accountant, the clerk, the official of metric measures and the architect. As for the furniture, consisting of cabinets, tables, desks, chairs, plush curtains with metal borders and wicker baskets, it was purchased from the company S.Emanuel in Bucharest - Grand magasin des meuble. 

The mayor's office was furnished with a carved oak desk and covered with cloth, leather armchair, Japanese rug and wooden hanger Tonet system, but special attention was paid to the "Meeting and Reflection Room", the current Florentine Hall.

In conclusion, the Administrative Palace of Targoviste is a public building that was built at the end of the 19th century, in the Beaux Arts style, during La Belle Époque, and which, besides the grandeur of the construction, presents a very curious element in the rich decorative panels of the building: the theme of the wind rose (an ornamental architectural detail rarely found in Romania) from the top of the tower to the right of the town hall building, which gives rise to an asymmetry, that contrasts with the geographical environment of the city under the tower “a marine animal with a crown on its head”. Also, a special feature is given by the clock of the building in its pediment, which has an excellent visibility from the public square, and which, it seems, still retains both the dial and the original languages and the mechanism of the late nineteenth century. Above the pediment arch is a bell turret, and the clock is framed by two zinc griffins of classical origin, which symbolize authority. 

Article author,

Cornel Mărculescu

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