Drumul Sării

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Delimitation

Drumul Taberei, strada Nicolae Găină, Drumul Sării, străzile Lt. Negel, Lt. Caranda, Gheorghe Cuțului, Octav Băncilă, Lt. Colonel Constantin Marinescu

Directors

Andrei G. Ioachimescu, N. I. Georgescu, D. Stoica

Architects

Dimitrie Mohor, D. Ionescu

Construction

1914-1944

Present

Archive

The second project built by the Municipal Company for the Ministry of War was located in the western part of the city, near the firing range, where between 1914 and 1916 the Company built 54 semi-detached houses.

Approval chronology and lotissement history

The Technical Commission approved the lotissement following Ioachimescu’s request in 1914, with one objection: “An additional exit to Drumul Sării Street should be provided and the two squares should be sloped”. The construction began in 1914, after obtaining the approval notice with the aforementioned modifications from the Superior Technical Council of the Ministry of Public Works. Initially, the layout of the houses was determined by the shape of the land, which did not allow the design of three parallel rows of houses and was oriented from north to south. The semi-detached houses were designed in accordance with the principles assumed by the Company, such as the rigorous spacing, the set back from the alignment of the plots and the design of a surrounding garden. The ten housing units on Gh. Caranda Street were placed with their backs to the firing range and set back from the sidewalk alignment. On the other side of Caranda Street, the designers had six houses connected and one detached, and at the intersection with N. Găină street they placed two semi-detached houses, not aligned with the others, but parallel to Găină street. On Negel Street, six connected dwellings adhered to the alignment of the street and to the setback from the sidewalk, back to back with those on Caranda. Finally, between Negel and Caranda, the Company designed only four houses with their facades towards Negel street and left the space for those from Drumul Sării free. Most likely, the Company has postponed the construction of the streets to free up the space for a possible widening of Drumul Sării. Moreover, he also provided a street island at the intersection with N. Găină Street, designed a small park on the remaining land and paved the streets with cobblestone. The architecture put forward by Dimitrie Mohor represented a return to the simplified neo-Romanian style used by Doneaud in designing the houses on Lânăriei and by Trajanescu on the ones in the Lupească lotissement. The company mainly used type B or its derivations, ground floor only, which consisted of two rooms, separate chimneys, and a tiled roof. Given that in 1914, Trajanescu no longer cooperated with the Municipal Company, the type designed by Mohor was probably a derivation of the 1010-1911 type B. The archives do not have the list with the beneficiaries of these houses but, according to the convention, they were to be distributed mainly to the officers and first sergeants. Moreover, the October 1915 inauguration of the neighborhood confirms the construction of 30 houses for first sergeants. The Nomenclature Commission named the streets of Negel and Caranda in 1915 “as an example for the aviation officers, who contributed to the advancement of Romanian military aviation and lost their lives in flight”. Moreover, a monument was erected in honor of Gheorghe Caranda not far from the lotissement.

First expansion

The Drumul Sării lotissement was continued in 1921, also for the Ministry of War, when the Company built ten houses in its northern part. Director N. I. Georgescu requested approval from the City Hall in July and obtained it quickly. The extension of the lotissement was made based on the lotissement plans signed by the arch. Reiss, and the new houses bore the signature of architect D. Mohor. Of the ten, only nine were built, as the 1927 photograph shows. Thus, the lotissement had an elegant square, Negel street was extended to Taberei Road, and Nicolae Găină Street (designed and named as such since 1915) created a shortcut, through the lotissement, between Drumul Taberei and Drumul Sării. Most likely, these new houses were also distributed to army officers. In 1930, the Company obtained approval on the plan for the extension of the lotissement but did not begin the construction of houses before 1938. The new southward extension to the lotissement was accomplished by continuing the Negel and Caranda streets and opening a new street (called Octav Băncilă nowadays). In addition, the Society opened a new street, perpendicular to Drumul Sării, which joined this artery to Lupească Street, next to the houses built in 1911 and 1921. In 1940, this street was called Aviator Garofeanu Ion (killed in action in 1923), and the lotissement also bore the name of “Shooting Range”. In this lotissement, the Company decided to extend the two streets – Negel and Caranda, to the south, leaving a vacant lot  between the houses already built until 1921 and the first perpendicular street from the lotissement (initially named A, later renamed General Ioan V. Culcer), placed right across Garofeanu street. That lot, which belonged to the Ministry of War, remained unused until the beginning of the 1950s. The Ministry of War conceded a 300 square meters land needed to open the street. Thus, the construction of the houses started from Culcer street to Lt. col. Constantin Marinescu street. In total, Dan Ionescu envisaged the construction of 28 houses, most of them coupled, except for those at intersections. The Technical Commission of the City Hall approved the plan in February 1930, establishing that all buildings should be set back two or four meters from the alignment of the street (“the setback should be uniform on both sides of the streets”). The Technical Commission considered the decisions of the Special Commission and those of the town hall of the sector and also required the notice of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The streets were paved in April 1940. In addition to southward extension, the Company designed 14 semi-detached houses on Garofeanu Street, according to Dan Ionescu’s plans. These were types B1, C, D, E, as well as special types which would accommodate street corners.

The second expansion

The construction of dwellings from the Drumul Sării lotissement continued from 1938 to 1944 and led to its completion based on Dan Ionescu’s plans. The parcel had many problems with the authorization. For example, in April 1940, the Municipal Company requested the City Hall to issue an alignment and regimen certificate for the construction of 35 houses. The City Hall initially refused the construction, considering that “there is no approved plan in the sector with all the legal forms, as it should exist”, but also “The company claims that a plan was approved at some point. […] But even if it really exists, it dates back to 1930 and it has no validity today.” According to the certificate of alignment and regimen, finally issued in 1941, the buildings “were set back 5 meters on Drumul Sarii Street, 4 meters on the projected street, 4 meters on a portion of B Street and General Culcer Street and at 2 meters on the rest of the streets inside the plot”. Of these houses, ten were on the Negel extension, 12 on the Caranda extension and another 13 on Nouă Street. In total, there were 36 dwellings. One of the dwellings at the intersection of Nouă (Băncilă) and Caranda streets, built in 1942, of the “Drumul Sării” type, was composed of “cellar, two storeys, masonry, with reinforced concrete floors, covered with non-flammable material”. The 1943 aerial photograph confirms that almost all the houses had been built by that time.
After the Second World War, on the Negel and Caranda streets, the architects of the Ministry of Armed Forces designed, in 1952, a type of special houses, with the apparent brick façade, similar to the Panduri quarter. During the same period, the architects also prepared the continuation of the lotissement up to the streets Constantin Marinescu – General Ioan V. Culcer – V. Macarovici, but there were no modular dwellings built, instead each owner raised the house according to their own plans.