The factory merchant club, built in 1870, is an unusual evidence of old times.  There was The Association of Officials of the Żyrardów Joint-stock Company here.  The interior was furnished with the exceptional splendour.  It was for the patrons that quiet studies, a professional library with a reading room, a billiard-room and rooms for card games were available.  On the floor, there were guest salons. An unforgettable impression is made by the (ball) room with the stage, ravishing with the variety of gold leaf and colourful wall paintings.  A ballroom was set up in the Renaissance style with certain classical elements.  There was a stage on the left side of this most carefully furnished interior,  on the right side however, there was a high put minstrels' gallery closed with a balustrade, which kept its charm till today.

 

It was in the years 1899 - 1905 that the merchant club was extended, there were built two side wings on the north side of the building.  Probably also at that time, the décor of the ballroom was accomplished.  This formal room kept its charm and the XIX century grandeur till today.  The ceiling of the room is decorated with three ceiling coffers, of which fields are filled up with painted geometrical ornaments compositions  with the plant twig.  The flange above the stage is decorated with a figurative composition on the sky background.  Three allegorical characters are the theme of the composition - the central one is winged Apollo, keeping the zither in the right hand, and the laurel wreath in the left one.  The muse Erato, playing the harp, took the place by the Apollo , whereas, on the right-hand side, there is Melpomena with the theatrical mask and the laurel wreath at her legs.  The signature and the date, being at the bottom corner of the composition, point at the fact that work was created by I. Bagiński in 1921.  The ballroom glows with the new glitter keeping its original beauty.

 

The merchant club pulsated with life in times of it magnificence, there were held numerous balls and parties for officials, their families and invited guests.   Private schools organised sometimes their fairs or staging in it.  It was from 1895, that the library for officials of the factory functioned in the building of the merchant club, which made available the specialist literature mainly for the technical staff and officials.  

 

The character and the purpose of this building are described the best by the words:

"It is for officials of the factory that the house of social assemblies is furnished,

the so-called merchant club, having a big room with the stage, the restaurant, the reading room and billiards.
It is here that all assemblies, concerts, dancing evenings and theatre performances are held. 

Apart from that, the not married officials can eat and live in furnished rooms for the moderate fee here. "

" Car Kołokoł ", 1894

At the moment of the outbreak of the world war I, the glory days of the merchant club ended.  An inevitable process of destroying beautiful rooms started, a part of the equipping was stolen.  Only at the end of the occupation, the local intellectuals with Paweł Hulka-Laskowski and doctors Władysław Rybkowski and Aleksander Szulc organised The Association of "Self-education" and The Polish School Association in the  merchant club.  The rooms of the merchant club were renovated in 30-ties - unfortunately the renovation did not included the faithful renovation of interiors.

 

History wrote variable scenarios for the merchant club, a circle of its users narrowed what was caused by the occupation, however its purpose did not diverge much from the original one - it was still a centre of the cultural and social life.  In that period, the so-called Deutsches Haus with the café, the canteen and club rooms and the registered office of the organization "Selbschutz" supporting police was located in the merchant club.  After liberating, the merchant club had a dozen of residents - in 50-ties of  the 20th century, the Pioneer House was organised in it, later the after-school club for children of employees of Zakłady Lniarskie(Linen Units), and since 1960,  there was the Factory Textile School educating young staffs for the industry and at the end, the Factory Community Centre of the Plants of the Linen Industry in Żyrardów.  In the 70-ties, the reconstruction and conservation works were  effected in order to preserve what still could be preserved of the former brilliance of the historic ballroom.  The merchant club is an exceptional witness of the cultural role, which it played in the history of Żyrardów.

The building of the merchant club was entered in the list of vintage buildings with the decision of 17.05.1975.  In 2001,   the commune of the city of Żyrardów purchased the building of the merchant club from the bankruptcy estate of Plants of the Linen Industry.  The object showed the weak technical and functional condition as well as negligence caused by the lack of the adequate care of the monument at the moment of its taking over.  The merchant club is the cultural heritage of the exceptional value, what is possible thanks to the restoration, which restored its glitter and woke the spirit of history up.


Copyright © RESURSA Urząd Miasta Żyrardowa 2011