CRITICAL REVIEW


    Leopold (Lipót) Baumhorn, Hungarian architect of Hebrew origin. After finishing his studies, he settled in Budapest, where he had worked for 12 years in the office of the architects Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos. He was nicknamed "the synagogues architect" because he designed no less than 25 synagogues in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, after 1918, in Hungary. 
    The architect is known in Transylvania for the projects of the two synagogues in Brasov and Timisoara, but he is especially known for the two reference buildings of the town on Bega: The Water Palace in the Fabric neighborhood and the Lloyd Palace in Opera Square. Both palaces are realized in eclectic, historicist style.  In the eclectic architecture of the Lloyd Palace are also to be observed the influences of the Secession style, predominantly dominant in the interior.
    Baumhorn died at 72, in his native town, and he was buried in the Central Jewish Cemetery in Budapest. On his tombstone the synagogues he designed during his lifetime, including the image of the largest one, the Neolog Synagogue in Szeged, were marked.  (Mariana Croitoru, 2015)
 


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    BIOGRAPHY


    (Kisbér, December 28th 1860 - Kisbér, July 8th 1932)
     
    Academic/specialized studies:
    ?-1883 - He studied Polytechnics in Vienna.
     
    Professional activity (affiliations, administrative positions, committees):
    1883-1894 - He worked with Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos in their office in Budapest.
     


    PROJECTS


    Finished projects
    Architecture projects:
    1. Public buildings
    1900-1901 - The Water Palace (currently, The Romanian Railways Palace), Fabric neighbourhood, Timisoara;
    1905-1907 - The Israelite Community House, Fabric neighborhood, Timisoara;                                
    1910-1912 - Lloyd Palace*, Corso, Timisoara.
     
    2. Private residences
    1910-1912 - Lloyd Palace*, Corso, Timisoara (at the second and third floors report dwellings were set up).
     
    3. Religious architecture
    He realized two Jewish places of worship (synagogues) in Transylvania:
    1895-1899 - The Synagogue in the Fabric neighborhood, Timisoara (built in neo-Moorish style and with Italian Neo-Renaissance elements);
    1899-1901 - The Neolog Synagogue in Brasov, with a surface of more than 600 square meters (built in Moorish style, this synagogue has the design of a church with three naves; Gothic decorative elements are present - rosettes, window and door frames - and Roman elements.
     
    Restoration projects:
    1880-1932 - He restored a number of synagogues in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Hungary.
     
    Interior projects:
    1910-1912 - The Lloyd Palace leaves an impression with its luxurious interior, characteristic to the beginning of the 20th century, decorated with mirrors, stained glass and magnificent chandeliers. In the restaurant’s interior, the 1900 Art furniture is remarkable, adorning the numerous private booths of the building. This fact fully contributes to the preservation of the early 20th century atmosphere. Furthermore, the stained glass and woodwork, the mirrors, and the lamps as well, remain the original ones. Alternatively, the spaces belonging to the Polytechnic University Rectorate, the decorative elements of the linear Secession period are highlighted, which contrast with the exterior’s eclectic architecture. The parietal decoration is currently present, being realized with vegetal elements, and also geometric stuccos, along with the decorative mosaic tile floors, the original woodwork, as well as the lamps and the dome lights. All of these were appropriately restored. In the conference room, there can be observed the lights with decorative strips of colored glass, placed in a geometric field of translucent glass elements. This part of the building has been operated since 1948 as headquarters of the West University’s Rectorate.
     
    *On the building’s first floor, the Agricultural Stock Market and the Lloyd Society were being operated. During the inter-war period, the Lloyd Palace belonged to the Chamber of Commerce Timisoara, and on May 15th 1945 the building was offered to the West University in Timisoara; after 1948, the building was transformed into the Polytechnic University’s Rectorate in Timisoara. It included the Agricultural Stock Exchange’s headquarters and also the famous Grand Café Lloyd, on the ground floor. The later represented a major landmark of antebellum Timisoara and it remained one after World War I. The place still operates today as a restaurant, taking back its original title "Lloyd", after bearing titles such as "23 August"and "Bulevard" during the communist era. The palace was realized in the eclectic style, with Secession influences.  In this respect, the façade’s composition is of an eclectic nature, being divided into two registers with the help of two horizontal profiles. The Secession elements can be observed on the treatment of the balconies’ parapets, the access zones and the chapiters or pillars.
     


    BIBLIOGRAPHY


    Author volumes:
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Arta 1900 in Romania, Editura Meridiane, Bucuresti, 1972.
    CONSTANTIN, Paul, Dictionar universal al arhitectilor, Editura Stiintifica si Enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1986.
    STEFANUT, Ada, Arta 1900 in Romania, Editura Noi Media Print Publishing House, Bucuresti, 2008.

    Webgraphy:
    www.enciclopediamaghiara.ro/monumente_ardelene
    http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipót_Baumhorn