Streets: Clucerului, Ady Endre, Petőfi Sándor
Andrei G. Ioachimescu
Ioan D. Trajanescu
Shortly after the start of the activity, the Municipal Company built one of the most important projects on Clucerului Street, which represented the symbolic beginning of the housing reform and the adoption of the Neo-Romanian style.
Approval chronology and the history of the lotissement
Clucerului represented the first lotissement of the Company, although it had only 61 houses built on three streets. The plot (with an area of 11,400 square meters) had been ceded by the municipality, in accordance with the agreement of December 28, 1910, and was part of Boerescu Park, a lotissement of villas for the upper classes, under construction at that time. The company integrated the houses in the park’s lotissement plan and distributed the houses to the beneficiaries whose social status proved to be closer to that of the villa owners such as lawyers, teachers, officers and civil servants. In this lotissement, the Municipal Company built 60 semi-detached houses and an individual one, which later became the residence of the architect Trajanescu. 22 semi-detached houses were built on Clucerului street, 11 more on B street and 18 on A. Street. The choice of designing the new B street, parallel to Clucerului street, determined the orientation of the houses from north to south. All houses were of type C and D, two storey (with a total area of 55 square meters) and were built on equal plots, of 180 square meters, withdrawn from the alignment of the sidewalk by 2 m. The new streets were named with provisional letters, being the responsibility of the Nomenclature Commission of the City Hall to officially name them. In 1923, after the completion of the park, the authorities decided to change the name from Boerescu to Delavrancea, as well as renumbering the streets. Thus, street B was renamed C, and street A became street D. In total, the newly opened streets measured 4,800 square meters (41% of the total area of the plot), and the Company organized a public sale in July 1911 for paving the streets with cobblestone. Trajanescu’s house (built in 1923) has become the symbol of the lotissement, with multiple meanings: the direction of the reform, its promoters, the style and the social position of the inhabitants. A marble plaque confirms that the house was in Delavrancea Park, D street, a clear sign that the lotissement claimed its origin by belonging to a villa neighborhood, not by being a lotissement for the working class. Four effigies symbolized the patronage of this project: Ermil Pangrati and Ion Mincu dominated the main facade, and Rafaello and Michelangelo completed the side facades.
The architecture was received with enthusiasm by critics: The Literary Universe considered that “in the mix of villas on the highroad, the affordable houses, by their simplicity, by the purity of their form and style and by their picturesque verandas, arise as a display of past times when a good tradition was kept in our building craft”. In the 1950s, the architect Grigore Ionescu considered that “the architectural line, generally balanced and simple, uses processed traditional elements”. Trajanescu designed based on references to traditional architecture as the main influence on his project: the wooden balcony (belvedere), the semicircular frames of the windows on the facade, as well as the ornaments between the first and second floor, all designed to connect the past with the present, to build a special community and give it meaning and significance. A wall with a double layer of bricks and a chimney stack separates the semi-detached houses from the roof to the cellar. In its continuation, the fence between the two houses separates the gardens, clearly marking the properties. The inhabitants used the side door for access, through which they entered a small room, placed under the balcony, and continued towards the two rooms. Upstairs were the bedrooms, while the roof was covered with eternit. All the houses were equipped with wood burning stoves. The analysis of the occupational status of the inhabitants proves, however, that they came from an economic class different from the vulnerable classes that the Company wanted to represent. Firstly, the beneficiaries paid for the house the highest amount provided by law: 8,000 lei. Secondly, the analysis of marriages between 1912 and 1935 confirms that the Company distributed half of the houses (either by rent, initially, or by sale, subsequently) to civil servants, lawyers, engineers and officers. This evidence confirms that the lotissement represented the aspiration of the bourgeoisie to the status of elite, and the villa in Neo-Romanian style, one of the means of obtaining a better position in the society.
The Clucerului lotissement had a different regime than Lânăriei and Lupească, being destined for the middle class, as mentioned by its initiators and inhabitants on many occasions. The testimonies of one of the oldest lotissement inhabitants (Mrs. Stavarache) confirm that after 1948, the owners of the houses were forced to accept tenants. After 1989, a wine warehouse was set up in one of these houses. The inhabitants remember the cutting of the original trees in the 1960s, but also the preservation of the old aspects of daily life such as the daily passage of yogurt sellers, milkmen and merchants. None of the houses mentioned above suffered from the earthquakes of 1940 and 1977. The streets B and A were named after two Hungarian poets, Petőfi Sándor and Ady Endre. It is not clear when the authorities assigned these names, however it is certain that in 1940 they still had letters for names. Also, residents remember terracotta stoves in homes as being of exceptional quality.