Rahova

5/24

Delimitation

Streets: Grigore Tocilescu, Petrache Poenaru, Calea Rahovei, intrarea Azimei

Directors

Andrei G. Ioachimescu, D. Stoica

Architects

Ioan D. Trajanescu, Ion Țărușanu, D. Ionescu

Period

1912, 1928, 1938

The Municipal Company for Low-Cost Housing has built 26 individual houses in Rahova, according to the lotissement plan approved by the Technical Commission in 1912. The lotissement was expanded until 1938, having, in total, 112 dwellings.

Approval chronology and history

The lotissement measured 30,000 square meters and was divided into 112 lots of 200 square meters on two new streets, parallel and perpendicular to Calea Rahovei, joined at the end with a third street. It was located in the first sector, close to the Lupească plot, at the intersection between Calea Rahovei and Sebastian street. The Communal Council conditioned the approval of the lotissement by the opening of the third street (A street) and its extension to Sebastian street (this request was ignored), as well as by the reservation of a square in its center. The company named the two streets B and C. Later, probably in 1928, the Nomenclature Commission renamed them Petrache Poenaru, respectively Grigore Tocilescu, in memory of two Romanian academics. In 1912, the Company built only 26 dwellings, stopping the construction of the others for unknown reasons. All these houses represented the new type, which Trajanescu designed in 1912, different from the 1910 and 1911 A, B, C, D types. Being ground floor only, the new type was different from the previous ones, especially when it came to the design of the attic, which was larger and more functional. The sources do not present details about the price of this new type or its name. Most likely, the Company used the same building materials as those used in the previous plots and also carried out public works such as the introduction of the sewerage system. The archives do not contain enough details about the first inhabitants.

Second stage

In 1928, the Society decided to resume the construction of the Rahova lotissement, stopped in 1913. The streets were renamed for this occasion, taking the names of two Romanian academics (Petrache Poenaru and Grigore Tocilescu). Both received a sewerage system and were paved in 1929. With these additions from 1928 and 1929, the lotissement reached 100 homes and there were still 12 vacant plots. The remainder lots were built in 1931 and 1938. Apart from the houses, on May 20, 1928, the Municipal Society sent a request to the Technical Commission for the construction of a school (number 39), based on the plans of the architect Țărușanu, on the land between the Tocilescu and Poenaru streets. The approval of the commission came in July 1928, and the Company organized a public sale for its construction. The building, comprised of a basement, a high ground floor, a second floor and an attic with a belvedere, was designed in an explicit Neo-Romanian style characterized by a symmetrical composition of four horizontal volumes and a vertical one arranged between them, in the axis of symmetry. The vertical volume had at the last level a pavilion with eight stone columns. The windows of the school have semicircular frames, and the main access door, from Tocilescu street, was framed by columns with richly ornamented capitals and platbands with floral motifs. The school was commissioned by the town hall. Next to this school, the Compay also designed a kindergarten, instead of the semi-detached houses originally proposed by Trajanescu. In front of the school, the authorities also considered the placing of a bust of politician Take Ionescu, made by the sculptor Ion Dimitriu-Bârlad. Initially, the plans of the houses to be built from 1928 were signed by Trajanescu, but its name was replaced by Țărușanu on the building permits, starting with the summer of 1928. Trajanescu designed the first two semi-detached houses on Poenaru Street and another one on Tocilescu street (these were not built, their place was taken by the kindergarten), right next to the ones built in 1913. These were type 24 (ground floor only), with a ​​67 sqm footprint. Starting with 1928, Ion Țărușanu designed two buildings with six apartments each on Tocilescu street, similar to those in the Raion lotissement, and another 50 semi-detached houses. Most of them were type 100 – 65 square meters, and type 101 – 59 square meters. Also, Țărușanu signed the plans for the houses with chamfered corners, from the intersection of street A with Tocilescu and Poenaru streets, for the house at Rahova Road and Tocilescu Street intersection, but also the two buildings that close the square in front of the school, at the intersection of Tocilescu Street with the street linking the plot to Sebastian Street. These have the corners successively chamfered, which is proof of the influence of the Construction and Alignment Regulation of 1928, which compelled the lotissement builders to design such houses.

Third stage

After 1938, the Municipal Society built the last houses, thus completing the lotissement, and most of the houses were auctioned, being purchased by public and private officials. Architect Dan Ionescu designed houses on the free spaces, initially reserved for the streets’ openings. This is the case of the plot next to the school, on Poenaru street (where he designed a semi-detached house), of the plot placed on the corner of Poenaru and A street intersection, and the only two houses remaining at the intersection of the Rahova Road with Tocilescu and Poenaru streets – type C, raising the number of houses to 112. The houses auctioned between 1932 and 1939 had prices between 290,000 and 400,000 lei, and of the 16 inhabitants mentioned by the Municipal Monitors, 15 were public and private officials, together with their wives, and only one was a labourer. The residents of the Rahova lotissement remember that it was to be demolished in 1990 to widen Sebastian Street, but the 1989 events stopped the project. Among the most important inhabitants of the parcel was the poet Teodor Scarlat, in whose memory a memorial plaque was installed on the front of the house where he lived. The oldest inhabitants mentioned on several occasions that many of the initial beneficiaries of the houses were officials of the Post Office, Telephone Company, Telegraph Society. The most important aspect was the accommodation of agents of the Security in these houses, coming from outside Bucharest to specialization courses, a fact mentioned by all the interviewed residents.