Villa on Kuzmány Street 8

In 1902 JUDr. Milan Kohút, a lawyer, and his wife Elena, née Milcová, bought a plot of land at the beginning of Rajecká Road next to a Jewish elementary school. In 1904 he built a Secessionist house with a basement, originally number 505, where they lived until 1915 when Milan Kohút died. The building had six rooms, a veranda and a bathroom. In the large garden behind the house there was a tennis court.

In 1917 Milan Kohút’s widow, Elena Kohútová, and her daughters inherited the villa. They did not, however, live there; the building was rented out. From 1915 to 1928 the building was home to the offices of JUDr. Glásel and Ing. Bittčanský. After that the building was used only for residential purposes. In 1938 the building was occupied by Milan Kohút’s wife Elena and her married daughter, MUDr. Edita Ottlýková, who lived with her husband JUDr. Ivan Ottlýk, her daughter Alexeja, and her son Mikuláš. Two rooms were set aside for her husband's law firm, and one room for MUDr. Ottlýková’s surgery. In 1947, the family moved to Bratislava, and MUDr. Ján Fábry, a gynaecologist, moved into the house where he lived and also worked.

Elena Kohútová and her daughters owned the villa until 1952, when Mäsopriemysel Žilina took it over and the garden was used by the Special School in Žilina, which was housed in an adjoining building, part of the former Jewish elementary school. From 1960 onwards the building was used by Žilina Bakeries. Then other state enterprises were located in the building. In 1991 the Agricultural Planning Institute, Žilina, and Agrocons enterprise were based here. Following restitution in 1991, the house was returned to the descendants of the original owners. Since 1992 it has been a restaurant.

The original owner of the villa, JUDr. Milan Kohút, came from Martin. He studied at the Evangelical School in Banská Bystrica and then in Kežmarok, before studying law in Budapest. He started working as a lawyer in Nové Mesto nad Váhom, but after the death of his father-in-law, Ján Milec, he moved to Žilina in 1901 and took his law firm over. He was a member of the Slovak National Party and manager of Žilinská pomocnica bank. He was involved in the establishment of the pulp mill. He was choir leader of the Žilina church choir for fifteen years and in 1903 to1904 he oversaw the construction of the place of evangelical worship in Žilina in Kuzmányho Street (it is now one of the buildings belonging to Švihálek Glaziers). Milan Kohút and his wife were buried at the old cemetery in Žilina. They had three children – a son, Mirko, who died at the age of seven, a daughter, Edita, who married JUDr. Ivan Otllýk, and a second daughter, Alexandra, who married MUDr. Ján Kňazovický, a well-known surgeon.

The villa’s co-owner, Elena Kohútová, née Milcová, came from the family of a well-known Žilina lawyer, Ján Milec, whose wife, Oľga Milcová, was the daughter of a prominent businessman from Ružomberok, Peter Makovický. Ján Milec was a founding member of Matica Slovenská, Tatra banka and Vzájomná pomocnica in Žilina. The cement plant in Lietavská Lúčka and the water supply to Žilina from Turie were built on land he owned. He also contributed financially to the construction of the Žilina-Rajec railway. Ján Milec was also the choir leader of Súľov church choir. In 1889 he organised the first Lutheran service at his own home in Žilina. He was involved in the establishment of an independent Lutheran Church choir. He also built an urban villa in Žilina, on the corner of Hodžova and Hurbanova streets. The people of Žilina refer to it as "Bacher’s villa" because another of his daughters, Edita, married a prominent inhabitant of Žilina, the Slovak nationalist Andrej Bacher and together they bought the villa.

Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský and Milan Novák

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