After World War II, the “Bricks for Warsaw” campaign was initiated and large prefabricated housing projects were erected in Warsaw to address the major housing shortage. Plattenbau apartment blocks were a solution to avoid Warsaw’s former density problem and to create more green spaces. Some of the buildings from the 19th century that have survived in a reasonably reconstructible form were nonetheless demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, like the Kronenberg Palace.
The Śródmieście (central) region’s urban system was completely reshaped; former cobblestone streets were asphalted and significantly widened for traffic use. Many notable streets such as Gęsia, Nalewki and Wielka disappeared as a result of these changes and some were split in half due to the construction of Plac Defilad (Parade Square), one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Much of the central district was also designated for future skyscrapers. The 237-metre Palace of Culture and Science resembling New York’s Empire State Building was built as a gift from the Soviet Union.
Warsaw’s current urban landscape is one of modern and contemporary architecture. Despite wartime destruction and post-war remodelling, many of the historic streets, buildings, and churches were restored to their original form.
These amazing color photos from Gorm Helge Grønli Rudschinat captured street scenes of Warsaw in 1956.
|Krucza Street into Bracka Street|
|Buildings of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China from Świętojerska Street|
|Copernicus Statue, Krakowskie Przedmieście|