Daily Picture 7-Dec-09: Bucharest Art Deco Public Conveniences

Art Deco style public conveniences structure dating from mid 1930s when the most extensive infrastructure improvement of Romania's capital took place. Izvor area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

Bucharest is a city of 3 million inhabitants (including the non-registered residents) with just a handful of public conveniences. Today, the local McDonald’s network of restaurants seems to offer the only decent such public facility in this large urban agglomeration. Back in 1930s the city was much better provided and served in that respect, by the vast infrastructure modernisation works undertaken during the reign of King Carol II. Public conveniences were some of the best achievements of that time and these were built according to a standardised pattern as the one presented in the image above: an Art Deco style pergola made from a reinforced concrete structure. Because of the lack of funds and interest from the city authorities, most of these architecturally noticeable facilities, which survived the five decades of communist administration, are now closed or demolished. The structure above was repainted, cleaned and re-decorated because of the recent inauguration of the Holocaust Memorial of the Romanian Jews, which is located nearby. The local Bucharest officials in a true East European communist fashion spruced up the surrounding area, including these former public conveniences, in order to make a good impression on the foreign diplomats and journalists who participated at the event.

***********************************************

I endeavor through this daily image series to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural heritage.

***********************************************

If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.