PASTa

Main data:

Height to the roof: 55 m
Total height: 60 m
Number of floors: 11
Year of construction: 1908
Designer: Bronislaw Brochowicz-Rogoyski
Location: ul. Zielna 39

If someone thinks that Palace of Culture had been the first skyscraper built in Warsaw, he is wrong. Skyscrapers have been built in Warsaw since long time. Exactly since 1908, because in that year the building of telephone company Cedergren was built at Zielna street, close to its intersection with Krolewska street. It was the first building in Warsaw that can be described as 'skyscraper'.

The building was one of the firsts so large structures made of reinforced concrete. Its lower part was constructed from 1904 to 1905, and upper part from 1906 to 1908. The skyscraper was built for Swedish telephone company Cedergren. In 1922 it was taken over by Polish Telephone Join-stock Company. PASTa stands for first letters of that name. After its construction, the building was for six years the highest one in whole Russian empire. And it dominated Warsaw until 1934, when at Napoleon square (currently Warsaw Insurgents Square) Prudential building was built (today known as Warszawa Hotel).

The building perhaps look rather like a castle tower, not like a typical skyscraper. It is very monumental and gives an impression of solidity. It is a mixture of few architectonic styles. What stands out the most is the upper part of the building, which is wider on the top. Before the war the building had even crenellation, like a medieval castle.

During Second World War Germans have installed communication equipment in the building. And that was why it became a very important target for Polish insurgents during Warsaw Uprising. A very intensive fights were going on here. Germans' resistance was really strong and because of that it took the insurgents 20 days to capture the building. In 1944 the building was seriously damaged. After the war it was restored in a bit modified form. The last floor was not rebuilt and a staircase was added at the back of the building. Before the war the stairs used to be in a separate tower, joined with the building.

In last years, the same people that had fought for the building during Warsaw Uprising had to fight for it again. The city authorities did not want to agree for locating offices of veterans' organisations in the building. Finally, the argument was ended happily, the building was symbolically handed over by the veterans from Prime Minister in August 2001. In order to emphasize the fact that the building is the head office of veterans' organisations, the sign of "Fighting Poland" was put lately on its top.

Lately PASTa was unfortunetely a bit demoted by a new office building built next to it. Both buildings are more less the same height. Luckily, the building is still quite well exposed from the side of Marszalkowska street, the situation is much worse if we look from the back. A huge, white, straight wall overwhelms PASTa there (it can be seen on one of the following pictures).

More information (but in Polish only) about the fights that took place here can be found on website: wilk.wpk.p.lodz.pl/~whatfor/kilinski_pasta.htm.

The whole history of Warsaw Uprising (also in English) can be found on the website of Warsaw Uprising Museum: www.1944.pl.

Historical photo and draft of the building:

Today's photos:

PASTa at night:

(C) 2001-2013 Maciej Blazejewski