I had the honour to be invited, yesterday 21 Nov. ’12, at the launch of the Liberal Publishing House, in the great company of Mr. Radu Campeanu, a veteran of the National Liberal Party of Romania, who spent many years in the Stalinist prisons and in exile (he is among the main re-founders of the party after the fall of Ceausescu’s dictatorship), and Mr. Varujan Vosganian, a leading member of that National Liberals. I spoke about the Neo-Romanian architectural style and how the building hosting the event, Ionel IC Bratianu House, by architect Petre Antonescu – 1908, is one of the archetypes of this design peculiar to this country. I trust that the speech was received with interest, judging from the images and video-recoding presented bellow. VM
We had a wonderful sunlight this autumn, beginning roundabout the equinox in late September until the time I write, in the second week of November. This season at 45 degree north latitude in continental Europe, where Bucharest is located, seems to be exceedingly propitious for architectural photography, with its clear, crisp atmosphere and intense colours. The images in this post are of a house in the Little Paris style (a term which I use to describe the late c19th architecture of Romania of that period, inspired mainly from French historicist styles, rendered in a provincial manner in this corner of South East Europe), a manner of architectural design that imprinted the identity of Romania’s capital ever since its day of vogue in the La Belle Époque period. The photograph was taken on 8 November at midday. It is a pity that the house and the entire surrounding garden is left derelict and damaged through being exposed to the elements or theft. These houses can be relatively easily and cheaply restored, but the actual citizens of Bucharest seem to not understand yet the fatal loss of their identity and heritage though that kind of damaging communist and post-communist attitude.
I am happy to report that at last had the opportunity to visit Casota conac, the period aristocratic mansion in Buzau county, south eastern Romania, about which I wrote an article that became one of the most popular among the Historic Houses of Romania blog readers. Mr. Moray Letham, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, is the owner of this magnificent aristocratic countryside mansion, built at the end of the c19th in a historicist style inspired from France’s Loire Valley castles. The extensive structural repairs and restoration works are going on for a few years now, which were done almost single-handedly by Moray, with loving care, dedication, great expense, and extraordinary loyalty to this historic place, so important for the local community’s identity and Romania’s architectural heritage. He had and still has to overcome many adversities, ranging from the damaging communist mentality of many among the locals and local authorities, who not infrequently misled him in his quests, to outright stealing from his property and indifference toward this piece of remarkable historic architecture With a will of steel, Moray has made great progress and is as always strong on his position, despite all the setbacks and disinterest from the community for whose heritage preservation he selflessly works, to give a new lease of life to an important monument that defines the identity of the area. In my opinion he is more than a textbook proprietor – restorer of such an exquisite period building in this corner of Eastern Europe, and will achieve his aim to bring Casota conac back to its former glory.
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- The NEO-ROMANIAN ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: a brief guide on its origins and features
- Bucharest mid-1930s Art Deco Style House
- Travel writing: trip to Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Church royal chair featuring King Ferdinand’s cypher
- ART DECO Bucharest building damaged through ignorance and avarice
- Art Deco Style Greek God Bass-Reliefs: Photomontage & Slide Show
- CASOTA CONAC: a magnificent Romanian period property with a great potential
- The DOORWAYS of Bucharest – Part 1 (the Little Paris type)
- The FOUR BUILDING BOOMS of BUCHAREST