Wednesday, 28 October 2015

In Warsaw's Norblin factory before redevelopment

The Norblin metalwork factory on the corner of ul. Żelazna and Prosta functioned for over 150 years under various guises before being closed in 1982. After that, part of the premises became a museum (closed in 2008). The entire site is to be redeveloped as a mixed-use retail and business centre, with a focus on innovative start-ups and stores not found in mainstream malls. Interesting! I like these post-industrial spaces, which Łódź is becoming famous for (see my posts on Łódź for pictorial coverage of this phenomenon).

Within a few years, this will have all been modernised - in a sensitive way (like the award-winning Grohmann factory in Łódź) with the old machinery refurbished and mingling with modern retail space and incubators for young entrepreneurs. The future and the past together in one development.

How it looks today:

Two furnaces and trolleys in the bright late-October sunlight

A barrow, probably 19th Century

Another view of the furnaces (sunny day not great for this type of photography)

...and pulling back into the next room for a wider view

Machinery once used for cutting sheet metal

Many films and TV series were shot here

The roof has long gone. The old machinery, resting and rusting.

In the distance, Warsaw Spire gets closer to completion.

My father's first house (as an infant) was just behind this factory, to the left of the photo above, within the same block, on the corner of Żelazna and Łucka, before his family moved to far posher accommodation on ul. Filtrowa. A post-war copy of his birth certificate gave his parents' address as one thousand one hundred and fifty five, ul. Łucka. Given that Łucka then (as now) only goes from 1 to 25, and number 11 was a factory making horse-drawn carriages before the war, the clerk copying out the original must have mistaken the 1/5 as 1155, as the building on the corner of Łucka and Żelazna never had 55 apartments in it.

This time two years ago:
Sadness at the death of Tadeusz Mazowiecki

This time four years ago:
More hipster mounts (Warsaw fixieism)

This time five years ago:
Welcome to Warsaw

This time six years ago:
Just like the old days

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