Streets: Gala Galaction and Ing. Zablovschi
Andrei G. Ioachimescu, N.I. Georgescu
Ioan D. Trajanescu, Dimitrie Mohor
The Zablovschi lotissement was approved by the Communal Council in the spring of 1912. The Municipal Company for Low Cost Housing projected 132 dwellings, located on a land that it owned.
Approval chronology and lotissement history
It stretched between the Philanthropy Boulevard and Iordache Golescu Street and was bounded on the north side by Ing. Zablovschi Street and on the south by the Jewish Cemetery. The orientation of the land from east to west determined the opening of a single street, Mihail Cornea, and the construction of houses on both sides of it, as well as on the southern side of Ing. Zablovschi street. The construction started from the Philanthropy Boulevard, was stopped in 1916 and resumed in 1921. For the construction of the first houses, the Company used types C and D, designed by Trajanescu in Rahova, and the new types-E and F, designed by Mohor. The latter were more complex, with an area of 62 sqm, on two floors. All the houses were set back from the alignment by three meters and were constructed from the same materials that the Company was using in other lotissements.
Architecture of the symbol-house
The most representative house of this plot is located at the intersection of Mihail Cornea street and Philanthropy Boulevard and signifies the direction of the reform towards a complex neo-Romanian style and a target audience of the Society consisting of members of the middle class. The architect of this house, most probably Mohor, proposed a different and much more complex morphology than the one used in the types of housing previously developed by the Company. The façade from Mihail Cornea street is characterized by a symmetrical composition, with the volumes developed vertically and located at the extremities, which close the main body of the building, set back from the general alignment. Although the architect used various forms, the lotissement composition is characterized by unity, obtained by homogenizing the architectural elements. The ground floor of the main facade is harmonized using the same type of windows, decorated with carefully detailed frames. Even if the hollow spaces have different shapes and proportions, the profiles of the frames repeat similar patterns, leaving room for special settlements in the case of the three pockets in the facade from the Filantropia Boulevard. The rhythm imposed by the tripartite windows in the three frames, the repetition of the three windows on the facade from the Filantropia Boulevard, the three steps and the connection between the window frames and the arch supporting the porch give uniformity to the asymmetrical facade. The rigorous design of the flower box and the capital of the column, as well as their alignment with the floral architraves, give a coherent composition to this facade. The entrance has a monumental lobby, supported by a stone column, and is continued with a vertical volume, with a staircase and a balcony on the upper floor.
Modernity entered the lotissement in the 1920s and left visible traces in the current configuration, which shows the gradual transformation of the area from a repetitive composition into a specific one. Apart from changing the types of houses or various extensions, the Company designed all fences with similar pickets, even if the owners changed them with metal fences later on. The trees contributed to the general, modern image, as the Compant and the City Hall planted them on the sidewalks in front of the houses, at an equal distance, as they had done in the lotissements they had previously executed. On the house number metal plates are inscribed names of different companies of the period, which shows that the families had a contract with the Garbage Collection Company, that they had subscribed to the radio service or that they had insured their houses at different companies. The municipality ordered the construction of a public school in 1913, in 1931 it issued new numbers to the houses and in 1933 paved the streets with cobblestone, all these elements representing expressions of modernity.
Most of the inhabitants were civil servants or they had liberal professions, very few of them being workers. From the 132 families, totaling almost 300 inhabitants, the sources from the Communal Monitor between 1915 and 1939 mention the profession of only 80. During that period, 20 were civil servants, 18 had liberal professions (teachers, lawyers, artists, architects), 15 were housewives, while only 9 were workers. The rest were engineers, students or did not have a job. The most famous inhabitant was Grigore Pișculescu (Gala Galaction) – a priest, translator of the Bible and a renowned personality of Romania during the interwar period and after the Second World War. After his death (in 1964), the street bore his name and a marble plaque was placed on the front of the house where he lived. In 1937, among the lotissement workers was Teohari Georgescu, a 29-year-old typographer, a graduate of the Professional School of Graphic Arts classes and an employee of “Cartea Românească”, “Adevărul” and ” Imprimeriile Naționale”. The marriage records from the Communal Monitor shows that he lived on 5 Zablovschi street. This type of document does not mention whether he owned the house, if he rented it or only used the address as proof for his marriage record with Leide Gherscovici. From a simple worker in 1937, Georgescu will move on to play a major role in the housing reform in Bucharest, as Minister of Internal Affairs in the first pro-communist government in 1945.
By 1927, the Municipal Company had completed the Zablovschi lotissement, building houses on all 132 lots. In 1921, it requested the City Hall to approve the construction of three houses on Cornea Street, according to D. Mohor’s plans. The first of these, in May 1921, referred to the building of the house at 17 Mihail Cornea street, for Victor Dumitrescu. The second, in June 1921, represented Elena Pavelescu’s house at no. 15, which consisted of “ground floor with a hall, three rooms, a pantry and a closet and upstairs a hall, two rooms and a bathroom”. The third house, dated October 1921, was to be built for Capt. D. Bucur at 9-11 Mihail Cornea Street. After 1927, most of the building permits signed by the City Hall covered extensions and construction of fences. One of the building permits from 1921 mentioned that the Company had carried out all the urbanistic works on Mihail Cornea street: water, sewerage, electricity and asphalt. In addition, the 1927 aerial photograph shows that all the houses were already built, and at that time the Municipal Factories had installed or improved the sewerage system. The Zablovschi lotissement did not change radically from its 1948 state. If the fences were made of wooden pickets in the first stage, the owners later replaced them with metal mesh fences. From the very beginning of the lotissement, the Company has also taken care of planting trees, and their now thick trunks still provide a pleasant atmosphere on the two streets, Gala Galaction and Ing. Zablovschi. Although all the houses were built at almost the same time, two of them are on the list of houses with high seismic risk.