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Former building of the Pažanga (Progress) company

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Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas
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The creation of one of the most prominent Lithuanian architects, Feliksas Vizbaras, that emerged on Laisvės alėja (Freedom Avenue) in 1934 on the site of an old stone house, never slept during the interwar period.

As Pažanga, a company that published and distributed books and newspapers, informed the public in the press, the company itself, the management and club of the Lithuanian Nationalist Union, the editorial offices of the magazine Jaunoji karta (The Young Generation) and the newspaper Lietuvos aidas (Echo of Lithuania) and its administration were all established inside the palace. Later, on the fifth floor, a restaurant and a roof terrace were opened. On the first floor was a haberdasher belonging to the Parama (Support) company. People carried out different activities even in the cellar where there was a meeting room lit up via skylights made of dim glass (they were removed after the Second World War). More separate parts of the building have remained in the yard.

The Lithuanian Nationalists Union was the governing body, so it’s not surprising that the design of an ethnic style was chosen for the building and a significant amount of money was spent to highlight it. It’s estimated that over 600,000 litas (the former currency of Lithuania) was spent on the building’s construction, which was a very large sum of money at the time.

The lattice décor elements of the multidimensional façade are reminiscent of the wood carving tradition, and the motifs of folk art interpreted in the manner of Art Deco can be seen in the balcony railings. Feliksas Vizbaras used similar tactics when designing the Kaunas Central Post Office. There are ethnic motifs in the interior of the palace.

Together with its neighbour, the Pieno centras palace designed by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis, the building has become an accent of the most important boulevard of the temporary capital, Laisvės alėja. This is one of the city’s few skyscrapers from the interwar period that can now be called business centres. Another skyscraper is the so-called house of one of the founders of the Pažanga company, Jonas Lapėnas, located on Kęstučio Street.

During the Soviet occupation, the inside of the palace, in which various scientific organisations once operated and even apartments were built, was re-thought, although some specialists prefer to use the word destroyed.

In 1989, Vytautas Magnus University was restored and established inside the building. In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the palace of Pažanga.

Former building of the Pažanga (Progress) company

Laisvės al. 53, Kaunas

The creation of one of the most prominent Lithuanian architects, Feliksas Vizbaras, that emerged on Laisvės alėja (Freedom Avenue) in 1934 on the site of an old stone house, never slept during the interwar period.

As Pažanga, a company that published and distributed books and newspapers, informed the public in the press, the company itself, the management and club of the Lithuanian Nationalist Union, the editorial offices of the magazine Jaunoji karta (The Young Generation) and the newspaper Lietuvos aidas (Echo of Lithuania) and its administration were all established inside the palace. Later, on the fifth floor, a restaurant and a roof terrace were opened. On the first floor was a haberdasher belonging to the Parama (Support) company. People carried out different activities even in the cellar where there was a meeting room lit up via skylights made of dim glass (they were removed after the Second World War). More separate parts of the building have remained in the yard.

The Lithuanian Nationalists Union was the governing body, so it’s not surprising that the design of an ethnic style was chosen for the building and a significant amount of money was spent to highlight it. It’s estimated that over 600,000 litas (the former currency of Lithuania) was spent on the building’s construction, which was a very large sum of money at the time.

The lattice décor elements of the multidimensional façade are reminiscent of the wood carving tradition, and the motifs of folk art interpreted in the manner of Art Deco can be seen in the balcony railings. Feliksas Vizbaras used similar tactics when designing the Kaunas Central Post Office. There are ethnic motifs in the interior of the palace.

Together with its neighbour, the Pieno centras palace designed by Vytautas Landsbergis-Žemkalnis, the building has become an accent of the most important boulevard of the temporary capital, Laisvės alėja. This is one of the city’s few skyscrapers from the interwar period that can now be called business centres. Another skyscraper is the so-called house of one of the founders of the Pažanga company, Jonas Lapėnas, located on Kęstučio Street.

During the Soviet occupation, the inside of the palace, in which various scientific organisations once operated and even apartments were built, was re-thought, although some specialists prefer to use the word destroyed.

In 1989, Vytautas Magnus University was restored and established inside the building. In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the palace of Pažanga.

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