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House of Antanas Gravrogkas

Kaunas, Lithuania
1 of 10
burmistro gravrogko namas_ikonele

The house of Antanas Gravrogkas was a famous public figure of the interwar period both in Lithuania and in Kaunas. At the time, he was working as the Kaunas city burgomaster. In 1932 he built a house on V.Putvinskio 70, which was designed by E.A.Frykas. E. A. Frykas, who had a distinctive style in Lithuanian architecture, designed only a few residential buildings, and this is one of them. Therefore, the building is important not only as an architectural object but also in architectural history as well. The building perfectly reflects the harmonious interaction of modernist and historicist tendencies characteristic of the architect.

The façade of the four-storey building contains bay windows at the middle axis. However, they are not all along the four floors, but only three floors. On the top floor, the façade is kept at the same surface as the other parts, and a small balcony is created with classical-formed balustrades. The balcony is connected on both sides to the higher lateral parts of the façade. On the west side of the plot, there is a small entrance to the building; however, the main entrance is at the east axis.

The entrance is framed by a very high but narrow, stepped grey plaster surround, the top of which is decorated with bronze bas-reliefs by J. Zikaras in 1933: 'The Reaper' on the left, 'The Gatherer' on the right, with a composition of two coats-of-arms and seven figures on the top and 'The Horse-Tamer' (the Thunderer) above the door. In ancient times, it was believed that this decoration of the house (a thunderer holding horses) would protect it from thunderbolts.

The single door has a high lintel, which is intended to provide as much natural light as possible to the narrow staircase. The original skylight has not survived. The door is panelled with a decorative diamond pattern. This type of panelling is typical of ethnic doors in Lithuania. The door is also decorated with a decorative oak leaf, acorn fittings, and a door handle with the same motif. The composition of this door was taken from the door of an ethnic architecture house in the Zarasai district. This door is thus a striking example of the national style, where Lithuanian ethnic architecture and its details were used to create a new Lithuanian style.

On top of the entrance, there are two balconies on the second and third floors. These balconies also contain decorations with plant motifs, which can also be considered as accents of folk art. The third-floor windows of the front façade have small pediments.

Today, the building is used by Mykolas Romeris University as the Public Safety Academy.

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