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Kaunas Central Post Office

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Laisvės al. 102, Kaunas
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Whilst reading the excerpts from the Kaunas press of the 1930s, it becomes clear that the construction of the new post office palace was widely discussed among members of society. The birthday of one of the key representative buildings of the interwar period in Kaunas is on January 2, 1932. On that day, all postal operations were started here. The transferring of workers and equipment from the former premises on K. Donelaitis Street was already finished as it took place in the last days of 1931. The prehistory of the building dates back to 1924, when discussions regarding the need for such an object began. The construction dates back to 1930, the year of Vytautas the Great and the 500th anniversary of his death. The anniversary was celebrated in Kaunas with a significant number of new construction projects.

The main author of the central post office design was Feliksas Vizbaras, one of the busiest architects of the interwar period. He wasn’t the first to express a vision of the future building, but it was he who was entrusted to actually implement the object. It cost approximately 1.5 million litas (the former currency of Lithuania). A quarter of a million litas was spent on the interior of the post office, which today is considered one of the most important examples of ethnic style as it’s abundantly decorated with the works of interwar artists and post office symbols (for example, Petras Kalpokas drew as many as 103 postage stamps). The ethnic style is exactly how the architect himself described the building, even though the object is sometimes referred to as a precursor to functionalism.

What was actually modern about this particular example of Modernist architecture in 1932? There are several reasons for such an epithet, such as five floors and a cellar, lifts, bright and spacious rooms, showers for employees and a lack of unnecessary detail. Few years later, the building’s façade, which is curved in the so-called Kaunas way, gained an electronic clock, whilst the monumental entrance staircase hasn’t lost its relevance even in the 21st century.

Interestingly, the function of the building hasn’t changed for almost a century. Today, however, with the rapid development of the postal service, not all of the floors are used. Discussions concerning ways in which this historic building could be adapted and used more without giving up its primary purpose are ongoing. Today, just as it was during the interwar period, the Kaunas Central Post Office is one the most important and precious objects for the people of the city, combining architectural consciousness and national pride.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the Kaunas Central Post Office.

Kaunas Central Post Office

Laisvės al. 102, Kaunas

Whilst reading the excerpts from the Kaunas press of the 1930s, it becomes clear that the construction of the new post office palace was widely discussed among members of society. The birthday of one of the key representative buildings of the interwar period in Kaunas is on January 2, 1932. On that day, all postal operations were started here. The transferring of workers and equipment from the former premises on K. Donelaitis Street was already finished as it took place in the last days of 1931. The prehistory of the building dates back to 1924, when discussions regarding the need for such an object began. The construction dates back to 1930, the year of Vytautas the Great and the 500th anniversary of his death. The anniversary was celebrated in Kaunas with a significant number of new construction projects.

The main author of the central post office design was Feliksas Vizbaras, one of the busiest architects of the interwar period. He wasn’t the first to express a vision of the future building, but it was he who was entrusted to actually implement the object. It cost approximately 1.5 million litas (the former currency of Lithuania). A quarter of a million litas was spent on the interior of the post office, which today is considered one of the most important examples of ethnic style as it’s abundantly decorated with the works of interwar artists and post office symbols (for example, Petras Kalpokas drew as many as 103 postage stamps). The ethnic style is exactly how the architect himself described the building, even though the object is sometimes referred to as a precursor to functionalism.

What was actually modern about this particular example of Modernist architecture in 1932? There are several reasons for such an epithet, such as five floors and a cellar, lifts, bright and spacious rooms, showers for employees and a lack of unnecessary detail. Few years later, the building’s façade, which is curved in the so-called Kaunas way, gained an electronic clock, whilst the monumental entrance staircase hasn’t lost its relevance even in the 21st century.

Interestingly, the function of the building hasn’t changed for almost a century. Today, however, with the rapid development of the postal service, not all of the floors are used. Discussions concerning ways in which this historic building could be adapted and used more without giving up its primary purpose are ongoing. Today, just as it was during the interwar period, the Kaunas Central Post Office is one the most important and precious objects for the people of the city, combining architectural consciousness and national pride.

In 2015, the European Commission awarded 44 objects of Modernist interwar architecture in Kaunas the European Heritage Label, among them the Kaunas Central Post Office.

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