1950s Manufaktura : History and Modernity of Poland’s Largest Renovation Project

History of Manufaktura

The largest factory in the Kalisz and Mazowsze industrial area operated at the end of the 19th century on the location of today’s Manufaktura.

It is situated on the grounds of the former Izrael Poznaski factory and is one of the largest Polish commercial and recreational hubs. The complex, which included a former weaving mill, power plant, finishing facilities, and the fire department building, underwent a four-year restoration. It was Poland’s first significant example of industrial space revitalization. Numerous awards have been given for this incredibly successful fusion of history and modernity.

In 1852, the first Manufaktura loom started spinning. However, real development occurred between 1872 and 1892, when more than 80,000 spindles dispersed across 12 different factories were producing high-quality textiles at a rate unmatched anywhere in Europe at the time. Poznaski loved luxury, and it is said that when asked which style he would like one of his homes to be built in, he replied, “All of them, I can afford them all!” He was known for his love of extravagance, as evidenced by the palaces he built for himself throughout the city, but he was also regarded as a forward-thinking employer.

Izrael Kalmanowicz Poznaski began to establish his own “cotton empire” in 1871 after purchasing the first property parcels along Ogrodowa Street in the western section of the New City. Only one year later, the first weaving mill with 200 English mechanical looms powered by a steam engine was put into operation. Every year, the factory expanded, adding new weaving mills, bleacheries, finishing plants, spinning mills, or its own gasworks and fire station. The wealthy factory owner then began to construct a grand palace, which is now one of the most recognizable historical structures in Odd.

Incomparably wealthy when he passed away in 1900, his sons received ownership of the business. A fitting memorial to the real king of bling, Poznaski is interred in a massive mausoleum in the Jewish Cemetery (some claim it to be the largest Jewish tomb in the world).

At the conclusion of his life, Poznaski was one of the richest industrialists in the Kingdom, with an estimated net worth of 11,000,000 roubles. Ignacy Poznaski, his eldest son, assumed control of the family business after his departure.

This included the enormous factory and the workers’ housing complex, which at the time was remarkably modern and consisted of multi-story buildings. In addition to finishing the palace, Ignacy also expanded the nearby factory and workers’ community. Up to 7,000 people were employed by the I.K. Poznaski Cotton Products Company in 1913, but throughout the First World War and the interwar years, financial difficulties were faced by the Joint Stock Society of Cotton Products I. K. Poznaski. The family’s position in the company was eliminated due to bank debt.

However, the interwar period saw the beginning of a decline as ód left the Russian empire and became a part of Poland, losing most of its eastern markets in the process. Despite this, Manufaktura continued to prosper, with many of its goods being shipped far and wide to new markets in America and the Far East.

After World War II, a new phase in the history of the factory began. During a few decades, Nationalized Cotton Products Company No. 2, which was founded in honor of Julian Marchlewski and later given the trade name “Poltex,” was operating at full capacity, contributing to the mythology of the textile “ód” and providing employment for thousands of local residents.

The 1990s during the time of system reform saw a lot of bankruptcies. The Ogrodowa Street plant did not escape the problem either. A few years after being placed in liquidation, at the start of the new century, a creative, expansive concept evolved to revitalize the factory complex as a whole, as it had since been separated into smaller enterprises.

Mieczysaw Michalski, a passionate and knowledgeable economist who served as the president of Poltex’s board, came up with this idea and sought partners eager to revitalize this distinctive post-industrial area.

With most of the items produced here, especially cotton, being sent to the Soviet Union, the emphasis on quality was replaced by a concentration on quantity. Since the Warsaw Pact trading block COMECON no longer exists, companies have shuttered and production has decreased.

The plant, by this point a dilapidated, partially abandoned husk, lost its final textile employee in 1997. The largest regeneration project in Poland was started in 2003 by the business Apsys Polska at the location of the former I.K. Poznaski factory. Three years later, on May 17, Manufaktura was inaugurated. It soon rose to the top of the tourist, cultural, and economic maps of ód.

Modernity of Manufaktura

The land was purchased by a French developer in 2000. In 2003, construction on the mills’ transformation into a complex cultural spectacular started. Thus, after more than five years of preparation and building, the site was opened on May 17, 2006. The outcomes are astounding.

The complex’s centerpiece, the old brick structures from the 19th century, have undergone a complete renovation, some brick by brick, with the exception of the chimney stacks that originally dominated the horizon. David Lynch, the director of the movie “Inland Empire,” was so delighted that he decided to film a scene there.

Red brick structures totaling more than 90,000m2 have been totally renovated. Alongside, an equal number of brand-new structures—primarily the shopping center—have risen, while communist remnants from the Poltex plant era have been torn down. Now it’s a place to hang out and spend time in lovely settings that blend the history and personality of the city with modernism and a fresh quality.

Market Square is a public space hosting open-to-the-public artistic or sporting events, and it is surrounded by historic brick façades that contrast interestingly with the glass front elevation of the shopping mall. This location has been formally known as the ód Women Textile Workers Market Square since 2017.

More than 300 stores, eateries, museums, discos, a climbing wall, a climbing wall, billiards, a dance school, a movie theater, and a hotel can be found in Manufaktura. The entertainment area and Experymentarium will be the ideal place for both children and adults to unwind. A fountain-adorned square in the center of Manufaktura is the site of numerous outdoor performances and other events. You can unwind at the city beach in the summer, and you can ice skate in the winter.

Simply put, to believe in the restoration of the old factories, it must be seen. You can access the Rynek by entering through the Poznaski gate, where workers once filed through each day on their way to the mills (main square). With a phalanx of beer gardens, an artificial beach, and outdoor performances by well-known artists, this location really comes into its own in the summer.

Over 2,500 workers were employed during the three years of construction to raise a contemporary, environmentally friendly shopping center and restore historic buildings and their brick facades. 95,000 m2 of new construction were built, and 12,500 m2 of metal windows and 45,000 m2 of brick façades were renovated.

A conservation officer carefully oversaw the restoration of complex values, which required the use of the most cutting-edge architectural and design solutions as well as construction and control technologies.

600 trees were planted, and 90 000 m2 of historic interiors were renovated. The venture cost about 200 million euros.

Manufaktura Lodz’s Museum

The former Palace of Poznansky, one of Lodz’s most impressive structures, is where the Museum of the City of Lodz is located. The palace and its park are situated in the northern area of the city, close to laborer’s housing and industry buildings.

A number of rooms have been devoted to artists connected to the city and those who were deserving of the city’s residents, aside from the exhibition of its interiors from the turn of the 19th and 20th century and the exhibition charting the history of the industrial Lodz.

The artifacts of Artur Rubinstein, Julian Tuwim, Wadysaw Reymont, and Marek Edelman are on display in those exhibitions.

Art Museum of Lodz

The majority of the artwork on show in the Museum of Art 1 and Museum of Art 2 is from the 20th and 21st century. It’s a remarkable collection because the artists themselves assembled it when they contributed their creations to the planned museum. It should be emphasized that one of the world’s oldest modern art museums is the Lodz Museum of Art.

The Museum’s goal is to establish an environment where modern viewers can interact with the artistic creations of both previous and present generations, arousing in them an independent capacity to see, comprehend, and experience their surroundings.

The Museum advocates art as a vital component of social life that may enhance and value human existence.

Muzeum Fabryki, or Museum of the Factory

The Manufaktura complex, which was constructed on the 30-hectare site of the industrialist and master weaver Izrael Poznaski, houses the Museum of the Factory (Muzeum Fabryki), a museum in ód. The Museum of the Factory depicts the evolution of the factory and cotton textile production methods over time, as well as the typical lifestyles of factory workers. It also traces the history of his economic wealth.

Grupa Fabricum, a Lodz-based business that provides tourism services in the city of textile workers, is in charge of running the Museum of the Factory. It oversees the Factory Museum and has encouraged its operations ever since it first opened.

In addition to running the Museum, Grupa Fabricum specializes in planning tours of Lodz, which are led by qualified tour guides fluent in a number of foreign languages. During tours, the tour guides frequently don period attire. Role-playing games and events are a couple of the other things Grupa Fabricum does.

The Lodz Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography

You can experience an ethnographic exhibit and learn why we have been using coins for so long. We display puppet thater dolls like Coralgol od Uszatek for both kids and adults. Beautiful, serene courtyards offer opportunities for peaceful periods in the middle of the metropolis.

It is the ideal choice for everyone interested in archeology and ethnography as well as anyone who wants to feel the “tangible” climate of the old Lodz countryside and gain some insight into the area’s prehistoric past.

The museum is housed in Lodz’s original pharmacy, which dates back to 1839. Gustaw Landau-Gutenteger, a renowned architect of the Lodz Secession, restored this tenement house, giving it a unique touch. A collection of iron cast mortars, authentic furniture from Vienna workshops, and interiors from the 18th and 19th centuries can all be seen as visitors move from room to room. A portion of the display was borrowed from the Jagiellonian University’s Museum of Pharmacy, with which the museum works in conjunction.

The museum contains a lab for alchemy and pharmacy, as well as apparatus from bygone drug stores, magical creatures, and artifacts from slovenian folk medicine, antiquity, materia medica, cosmetics, and perfumes. There are also literature on pharmacy, mortars, weights, and scales.

The Book Art Museum in Lodz, Poland

The Book Art Museum, housed inside Henryk Grohman’s former home, is an odd one-room establishment that only accepts appointments. Examine both more contemporary three-dimensional materials and vintage printing equipment. A section featuring contemporary Polish painters is given particular pride of place. Open only upon request.

The appeal of creative concepts, natural materials, craftsmanship, small batch production, etc. attracts more and more interest in the prints. They are given special consideration by the museum since they serve as a conduit for establishing connections with the outside world and raising money for upkeep.

A public nonprofit institution, the museum is housed at Henryk Grohman’s home at 24 Tymienieckiego St. in Lodz.

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