After guilds were abolished in 1872, trades workers and merchants established the Industrial Council as a body to protect their professional interests. Membership was obligatory. A branch of the organisation for Žilina and the surrounding district was established in 1891. In 1931 the merchants left the organisation and established their own organisation Obchodné grémium obchodníctva (Commercial Business Council), which lasted until 1952. The growth in trade after 1918 increased the need for people to work in business accounting and administration. The business council in Žilina therefore asked the Ministry of Education to establish a two-year business school.
In 1937 a building was purchased for this purpose from the Belošovič family, which ran a bakery. The building was located on the corner of the streets Horný val and Burianova medzierka. A building permit was issued for its reconstruction on 16 July 1938. The building work was carried out by Armín Windholz’s construction firm based on a design by Michal Maximilián Scheer. The completed building received its occupancy certificate on 16 November 1938. The largest elements to survive from the original building were the cellars and the perimeter walls. On the ground floor there were two offices, the director’s office, a staff room, a typewriter room and a flat for the school caretaker. On the upper floor there were four standard classrooms, a large classroom for experiments and language lessons and a room for collections of goods.
The new school called the Public Business School of the Commercial Business Council in Žilina first opened its doors to business students on 01 September 1938 while it still did not have an occupancy certificate. The first head of the school was Miroslav K. Talpa. In 1943 it shortened its name to the Public Business School. After 1945 it was renamed the State Business School and Dr. Vasil Ravluk was appointed head teacher. From 1949 to 1960 it was the Economic School with Martin Kulich as head teacher. The school grew during this period and its original premises no longer provided enough space. For this reason, it moved out of the building at the end of the 1950s and moved into the former premises of the secondary school of education (now occupied by the Congregation of School Sisters of St Francis).
The Grémium building was refurbished and from 1961 its classrooms were used as an overflow by the new secondary comprehensive school established in the building opposite, which is now the Town Theatre. Its first head teacher was Jozef Horák. In 1977 this school relocated the building of the former nine-year elementary school on Veľká okružná ending the history of schools operating in the building. After the students left in 1977, the building was occupied by designers from Športprojekta Bratislava, studio 22, Žilina One of the most important projects of this design offices was the Žilina sports hall, whose design was overseen by the architect Ľudovít Kupkovič. The organisation shut down in 1990. At this time there was a commemorative plaque to the left of the entrance to the building dedicated to the Žilina native Peter Tvrdý (1850–1935), an important Slovak teacher, lexicographer and philologist, the head of the first Russian girl’s grammar school in Baku and the author of several books and dictionaries. The commemorative plaque, donated by the Town of Žilina in 1940, was designed by the sculptor Stanislav Bíroš.
After 1990 the building passed into private ownership. The last private owner Ing. Peter Suchoň T+T REAL a. s. rebuilt it in its present form in 2000–2001 and received an occupancy certificate in April 2001. It was mainly used for commercial purposes. In 2009 the building was acquired and slightly refurbished by the Roman Catholic Church, Parish of Žilina town, which has used it as a parish office since it was consecrated by Tomáš Galis Bishop of Žilina on 10 April 2010.
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský a Milan Novák
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: B4