“Insured” Little Paris style house

Some of Bucharest’s period houses still boast their picturesque insurance plates, as is the case of the dwelling presented bellow. These started to appear in a noticeable number during the first decade of the c20th, once the city adopted proper urban planning rules and developed a fire service able to cover the whole area of the city. It was a sign of civic responsibility and also of status, because paying insurance rates was something which only a minority of the citizens could afford in those times.

Insurance plate on a Little Paris style house, dating from 1912, Patriarchy Hill area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The insurance of a house was very advisable in Bucharest, a crowded city, with many wooden structures, which already faced a devastating conflagration, the Great Fire of Bucharest of 1847. Once a proprietor insured his house, the insurance company affixed a metallic plate with the company logo on the street façade of the edifice. The lettering style and spelling of Bucharest’s name are typical for the 1890s – 1910s period.

Little Paris style house, dating from 1912, with an insurance plate affixed on the street façade, Patriarchy Hill area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The building is wagon type house and dates from 1912, as inscribed on its pediment, a prosperous year for Romania, after the great world recession of 1907 and just before the Second Balkan War in which Romania participated directly. That brief period of prosperity and solid urban and architectural development went up in smoke during the expensive Balkan conflagration and the immensely more devastating First World War, when Bucharest fell under the occupation of the Central Power armies.

"Insured" Little Paris style house with the building date on its entrance pediment: 1912, Patriarchy Hill area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The construction year of the house, 1912, inscribed on its entrance pediment is contemporary with the period when the lettering style of the insurance plate and and the way how Bucharest’s name is spelled was in use.

"Insured" Little Paris style house, dating from 1912, Patriarchy Hill area, Bucharest (©Valentin Mandache)

The well designed Little Paris style house and its insurance plate described in this article constitute a bit of a bright spot within the uneven and precarious historical development of this city and country, located in one of the most unstable geopolitical regions of c20th Europe.

Versiunea in limba romana la: http://casedeepoca.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/casa-in-stil-mic-paris-asigurata/

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I endeavour through this series of periodic articles to inspire appreciation of the historic houses of Romania, a virtually undiscovered, but fascinating chapter of European architectural history and heritage.

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If you plan acquiring or selling a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in sourcing and transacting the property, specialist research, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contactpage of this weblog.

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