Streets: Cazărmii, Vitănești, Lăzureanu (demolate)
Andrei G. Ioachimescu
The Lăzureanu lotissement was built on the basis of an agreement concluded between the Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing and the Ministry of War, whose intention was that of constructing seven lotissements for the military in Bucharest.
Approval chronology and lotissement history
The object of the convention was “the construction, by means of the Municipal Company, of cheap housing for officers and master sergeants. These works will be executed in Bucharest or wherever the Ministry of War will need them, under the conditions of the special law of May 6, 1914 ”. The company was to sell the land it had previously purchased, build the houses by contracting some entrepreneurs and distribute them “through the common agreement between the Ministry and the Company”. The convention also stipulated the possibility for the ministry to contribute with people and material for the rapid building of houses, but also the Company’s obligation to carry out the construction works such as “leveling the ground, opening and paving streets, sidewalks, water, sewerage, electricity, etc.”. These articles, as well as the mentioning of the 6% profit that was to be returned to the Company, were similar to the agreement concluded with the Ministry of Finance. In addition, compared to that convention, “the Ministry will decide the type of housing and the manner of execution, then the Company will draw up plans and quotas for each type and location separately; these studies will have to be submitted to the Ministry of War for approval”. Finally, the convention explicitly stipulated that after the completion of the works, the houses would remain the property of the Ministry of War, “by virtue of this convention which has the value of a transfer act of ownership. The Ministry will make use of them as they see fit”. Overall, the Society had to build for the ministry a total of 137 homes in Bucharest and another 22 in Silistra. The houses in Bucharest referred only to those in Cotroceni (the land in the Drumul Sării road, where 82 houses were to be built), Dorobanți (25 houses) and Ana Davila (30 houses). Plans for the other domains had not been conceived. The convention is not dated, but the mentioning of the May 6 1914 law clearly indicates that it was signed at a later date, probably in the summer of 1914, around the outbreak of the war.
The convention did not mention any details about the Lazureanu lotissement, that the Company began to build in the spring of 1914, a sign that, most likely, the houses were erected by the Company without a prior agreement with the ministry, to which they were subsequently sold. The Lăzureanu lotissement, the only one bulit by the Municipal Society that was completely demolished in the 1980s, was located in sector 2, on the Cazărmii and Lăzureanu streets, at number 71, near the Uranus boulevard. Consequently, the reconstruction of the lotissement history is based on the documents from the Archives of the Bucharest City Hall and on the photographs recently published online. In March 1914, Ioachimescu asked the City Hall (at that time under the mandate of Emil C. Petrescu and his deputy C. Hălăuceanu, who signed the correspondence with the Company) for the approval of the lotissement plans and of the houses, both signed by Mohor.
The construction of the Lăzureanu lotissement began after May 1914, and the Company brought innovations compared to the previous projects by taking into account the inclination of the land when designing the houses. Both streets, Lăzureanu and Cazărmii, went upwards from Sfinții Apostoli street to Uranus boulevard. This arrangement also meant limiting the surrounding garden to a minimum. The plot had the appearance of a cul-de-sac, around Aron Vasile street, later named Emil Costinescu, and the architect Dimitrie Mohor was one of the first inhabitants of the plot. The semi-detached houses were separated by stairs that went up to the top of the courtyards. From an architectural point of view, these types have a complex composition, in which the Neo-Romanian style characterized by the trilobate arches at the doors and windows, bay windows and bellevues play an increasingly important role. The company has designed different types: four type E houses, six type E1 houses, four semi-detached and one individual type-E2.
In 1933, Sfințescu mentioned that, “before the war, however, the Company built more spacious types, such as type F, with two floors: three rooms and a hall on the ground floor and first floor, plus a bathroom, on a building perimeter of about 62 sqm, like the ones from Cazărmii street […] ”and also publishes the plan of one of these houses. In the absence of the houses, it is difficult to analyze the differences between type E and F plans; however, the differences were quite small and both represented an even more significant influence of the Neo-Romanian style. It is possible that the architects modified this initial request and built type F houses or that Sfințescu might not have been accurate. In any case, the Company used the same materials as in the previous cases (bricks, concrete, etc.), and the roof was made of tiles. The beneficiaries of these houses were officers from the Ministry of War.
The municipality numbered Lăzureanu street on May 20, 1915, when the houses had not yet been distributed to the officers. The Lăzureanu plot is the only one that is no longer found in the current Bucharest landscape, having been demolished in the 1980s, together with the entire Uranus neighborhood, to make room for the Civic Center. Numerous data on Uranus has been revealed in projects such as Cartierul Uranus and Uranus.Acum.