The first known owner of house No. 5 on then Lajos Kossuth Street was Samuel Vogel and his wife Ernestína Fridrichová. The house was purchased for 29,300 crowns in 1903. In 1907 it was sold to MUDr. Eduard Orvan and his wife Ella Chatzenová for 40,000 crowns. In 1913 they registered the house in the land book as a two-floor house and older photos from that period prove that the house had 2 floors.
The Secession house with a cellar was standing on the street leading from the railway station towards the old town and to the square. The square was the trade centre until the beginning of the 20th century. After the houses, shops and restaurants were built at Lajos Kossuth Street (Masaryk Street from 1919) in 1890 - 1920, the trade centre shifted to this street, through which thousands of people from Žilina and the neighbourhood villages, and visitors from the whole Austria-Hungarian walked every day.
The perspective business opportunity in this street was taken by Samuel Frankl from Komárno, who came to Žilina in 1902 and began trading with flour and grain. He was so successful that in 1918 he purchased the Orvan Family house for 125,000 crowns. The house had large commercial premises on the ground floor that were reconstructed into a textile shop in 1919. In 1923 a third floor was built according to the design by builder Ludvik Kantúrek, who also realised the construction that lasted 6 months only. The shop entrance was at the house passage. The same entrance led to the second floor and the third floor that were used as residential premises. In 1924 the owner built a new warehouse in the yard according to the design by Ludvik Kantúrek.
Hermína born as Schwarzová was the wife of Samuel Frankl. The shop was called Vilhelm Schwarz nástupci Samuel Frankl a synovia (Vilhelm Schwarz, successors Samuel Frank and sons) in 1924 perhaps after her. After Samuel Frankl deceased, she owned the house from 1936 and lived in it with her relatives in two 4-room flats. The name of the shop was changed to Siam Vilhelm Schwarz, successors Samuel Frankl and sons.
In 1941 the house came under national administration, but the textile products and fabrics continued to be sold in the shop – it was taken over by the firm Siam. For a certain period a financial authority secretariat had its seat in the building. In 1945 the house was very devastated after the German army was accommodated there. After the owner died in a concentration camp, the assets transferred to her heirs. In 1946 the house, especially the roof, was repaired. Tenants lived on the second floor and on the third floor. The heirs, who survived the War and could not live in the house during the War due to the racial law, were hiding outside Žilina. After returning to the town they found their flats already occupied by tenants and only after more than 10 years one of the heirs managed to move to the flat on the third floor. After 1949 the house was used by ODEVY Žilina (a clothes shop). In 1960, TEXTIL Žilina separated, opened a shop called Astra on the first floor, and was using also the 2nd floor for business. From 1969 fabrics were sold there, too.
From 1973 to 1977 the premises on the third floor were used by Drevoúnia Žilina for offices. Then the state plant called Textil (Textile) – later Obchod s textilom (A textile shop) was on the premises. They were paying a symbolical, state-regulated rent to the owners, which was deposited on a blocked account and the owners could not freely dispose of it. Unlike many others in Žilina, the house was not nationalised, since majority of the owners lived abroad. The aim of the plant Obchod s textilom (A textile shop) was to create a House of Textile in the building with shops on all the floors. Fortunately, this was not able to be done and so no irreparable loss of the house character occurred as designed in a very insensitive reconstruction design.
The textile shop ASTRA with area of 140m2 was still in the building in 1990. Four classrooms of the vocational centre of the national enterprise Otex – Obchod s textilom Žilina (Otex - a textile shop Žilina) were on the first floor and the second floor, and their offices were on the third floor. Central heating boiler room was in the basement. The owners made an extensive reconstruction to repair the house in 1991 and then again in 1999 to 2000, when the fourth floor – the attic – started to be used. At present, a part of the first floor is used as a branch of a bank and the other part for commercial purposes. Other floors are used especially as offices.
Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík, Mgr. Peter Štanský
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: C3