Warsaw, 1961-1972

Chrząszczowa’s photographs from the years 1961-1972 serve as a review of Warsaw’s new architecture, but her documentation of recently completed residential developments, shops or thoroughfares avoids socialist production-style aesthetics – there are no portraits of muscular workers looking boldly into the future here. It is with the same attention that Chrząszczowa portrays the brand-new Supersam megastore in downtown Warsaw and a modest WSS Społem cooperative outlet in the suburb of Wólka Węglowa.

Pawiak Prison Museum

The museum of the largest political prison in Nazi German-occupied Poland, the Pawiak, was built in 1965 to a design by Romuald Gutt and Mieczysław Mołdawa. Chrząszczowa photographed the open courtyard with a symbolic wall from Dzielna Street, abstract sculptures by Tadeusz Łodziana and Stanisław Słonina, and an obelisk by Zofia Pociłowska. The empty Pawiak courtyard is a unique type of monument in the Muranów neighbourhood, a densely developed area built on the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto. In the photos, residential blocks at Marchlewskiego and Anielewicza streets can be seen in the background.
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Eastern Wall

The development of the east side of Marszałkowska Street, known as the Eastern Wall (Ściana Wschodnia) – three residential high-rises and a row of department stores – was the largest urban-planning project of 1960s Warsaw. Designed by Zbigniew Karpiński and Jan Klewin, the construction began in 1962 and concluded in 1969. Chrząszczowa documented the successive stages of the development of the Rotunda building, the tower blocks at Świętokrzyska and Złota streets, and the department stores (Sezam, Wars and Sawa) at Marszałkowska Street. She took the photographs from the top floors of the Palace of Culture and Science, the lens capturing uncleared rubble and vast stretches of undeveloped terrain.
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Streets of Warsaw

The tenements (built in 1939) at Jaworzyńska Street 13 and 15, and the annexes of the ruined houses at Polna, Nowowiejska and Śniadeckich streets were slated for demolition in 1966, giving way, within a year, to a new stretch of Waryńskiego Street, connecting Nowowiejska with Puławska. Another group of photographs shows the empty Wisłostrada thoroughfare at Old Town, and the Most Gdański bridge. They may have been taken after the bridge’s construction had been completed in 1959.
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