Șerban Vodă

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Delimitation

Calea Șerban-Vodă, Streets Soldan Șerban Ilie, Muguraș, General Mihail Cerchez, Gheorghe Lupu, Nicopole

Director

Andrei G. Ioachimescu

Architect

Ioan D. Trajanescu

Period of construction

1913-1926

Personalities

Ligia Macovei

Between 1911 and 1948, the  Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing built over 3,000 buildings in the Capital, most of them in lotissements based on the city-garden principles (coupled houses, arranged at equal distances, durable building materials). The Șerban-Vodă lotiessement has been designed and executed starting with 1911, with the housing plans signed by the architect Ioan D. Trajanescu.

Approval chronology and lotissement history

In 1913, the Epitropie buys from the Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing the land on the Șerban-Vodă Road, a fact attested in the documents authenticated by the Ilfov Court, “with the purpose […] of facilitating to its officials the possibility to become owners of good and cheap housing “. The buildings are initially rented to the civil servants, the price is determined according to the surface of the houses and the Epitropie quite often declares that it does not want to have any profit, but that it also wishes to avoid running at a loss. In July 1926, the Epitropie sells to the tenants the buildings in which they had been relocated in the past 14 years, deducting the rent from the sale price. In order to take possession of the houses, the clerks who bought the buildings were bound to remain in the service of the Epitropie for a certain number of years, during which time they could not alienate the property. According to article 4 of the Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing law, the purchase of real estate was exempt from taxes, and the money from their sale returned to the Company. On the Așezăminte side, the contracts were signed by director Gr. N. Grecianu and by the Constantin Basarab Brâncoveanu churchwarden. It is not clear if all the streets were simultaneously built, as the plans attached to the contracts only mention Nicopole and Gh. Lupu streets. However, a 1933 aerial photograph published by Cincinat Sfințescu in his article dedicated to the Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing confirms the existence of all five streets. The houses were built following the same plans used for the constructions of the previous lotissements made by the Company, being both type A and B projects (ground floor only) as well as C and D (ground and first floor).

The postwar years

In 1951, Așezămintele Brâncovenești were declared illegal, the patrimony was confiscated, and the inhabitants of the Șerban Vodă lotissement were relocated or forced to accept tenants. The name of Savopol street was changed to Muguraș. A single inhabitant of the lotissement remembers the origin of the houses as part of the collaboration between the Company and Așezămintele Brâncovenești. The other residents reconstruct their history through stories heard from neighbors, placing their origins in the “communist” initiative of providing housing to workers in the 1950s, thus inventing a new history and imaginary narrative that probably characterizes their nationalization, as opposed to an initiative that became taboo along with the Company that ordered it. The only inhabitant who offered a perspective closer to the narrative based on the archives proved to be the nephew of one of the first inhabitants, illustrating a silent continuity of the story. The residents remember that in one of the houses originally lived the painter and art collector Ligia Macovei.