Will we have to wait another 60 years for the reconstruction of the granaries?

The chances of reconstructing the two granaries in Bydgoszcz that burned down in winter 1960 are slim. Nevertheless, Rybi Rynek will undergo a thorough revitalization. One of the changes will be the removal of the parking lot that spoiled the place.

The granaries between Mostowa Street and Rybi Rynek were built between 1793 and 1800 by the merchant Samuel Gottlieb Engelmann. In the 1950s, the dilapidated buildings housed a wholesale store for household appliances, chemicals, and building materials. They sold paints, varnishes, tar, tar paper, asbestos cement, and wooden products, among other things.

Two burned down at night, the rest was saved

Dramatic events took place on February 5, 1960 – just ten days after the granary complex was entered into the register of monuments. Knights of St. Florian from Zachem, Solca Kujawskiego, Torun, Koronowo, Nakło, Inowrocław, and the military fire brigade fought the fire (the cause was reported as an electrical installation short circuit) from the Rybi Rynek side. Unfortunately, two granaries could not be saved. The others, despite charring, survived the blaze.

There was supposed to be a reconstruction, but the land was sold

Immediately after the fire, the councilors of Bydgoszcz made the decision to rebuild the historic buildings. However, the lack of funds stood in the way. Ultimately, the matter stagnated, and in 2002 the land was sold to a private individual. However, the owner is not interested in reconstruction, although in the opinion of city planners and architects, constructing a building reminiscent of the burned granaries would be an excellent direction.

There is a local development plan here

– We have created conditions that allow a private investor to implement such an investment – explains Marta Stachowiak, spokesperson for the City Hall of Bydgoszcz. – The plot is covered by a local development plan. According to its provisions, new construction in this location can be 12 to 14 meters high. The construction must be of a frame structure, with plastered infill. In addition, it is required to reproduce the slope angle of the roof panels, including the arrangement and structure of all windows, using ceramic roofing tiles: karpiówka. The interior of the building does not require historical reconstruction. The plan also obliges potential investors to recreate a pedestrian passage in the form of a cobbled pedestrian alley, between the existing historic granaries located at 11 Grodzka Street and the proposed development at 13-15 Grodzka Street – emphasizes Marta Stachowiak.

They won’t buy it, but they will take care of the market

Due to the difficult financial situation, the City does not plan to repurchase this land and carry out its own investment. – However, we will continue to revitalize the urban space around Rybi Rynek. We have completed investments related, among others, to conservation work on the granary complex, reconstruction of the Kameralny Theater, and restyling of Podwale Street and part of Grodzka Street – adds the spokesperson for the City Hall.

Project by architects from Szczecin

Despite these statements, innovative projects for the development of the area are being created, such as the one from 2021, authored by the architects from the Analog office in Szczecin, known for many brilliant projects. Analog office won, among others, the competition of the Katowice branch of the Polish Architects Association SARP for the expansion of the Zagłębia Theater in Sosnowiec.

The parking lot will disappear, there may be gastronomy here

However, the Bydgoszcz City Hall wants to thoroughly change Rybi Rynek. The documentation is currently being updated, which will allow work to be commissioned in this place later this year. It is intended to become an attractive space primarily dedicated to pedestrians. Thanks to the reconstruction of Rybi Rynek, it will be able to serve complementary functions for nearby institutions: the Kameralny Theater, the District Museum, and Barka Lemara. This will also create the possibility of launching gastronomy. The task will fit in perfectly with the already completed revitalization of the streets adjacent to the Old Market Square in previous years (including Podwale, Kręta, Mostowa, and part of Grodzka Street). The parking lot will also disappear from Rybi Rynek. This is made possible by the ongoing construction of the multi-level Park & Ride parking lot on Grudziądzka Street. – We hope that our initiatives will encourage investors to take action so that even private properties in such attractive locations can utilize their growing potential – adds Marta Stachowiak.