Garden districts and housing in Jihlava in the first half of the 20th century

The family living trail takes us to the nearby suburbs around the centre of Jihlava in all directions within a wide zone from the city walls. Until the mid-19th century, development was of a rather provincial character with rural family homesteads and residences. The houses in the city centre also underwent many interior modifications in the interest of comfortable bourgeois living, adding toilets on courtyard balconies, extending staircases, and adjusting upper floors with separate flats. From the end of the 19th century, the star-shaped street network around the buried fortification wall on Jana Masaryka (formerly Na Valech), Bezručova, and Legionářů Streets in the northern direction in the Špitálské suburb was gradually filled with mostly three-storey tenement houses with larger flats or small studios. Construction there was subject to the requirement to mark out streets in line with modern approaches consisting in wide boulevards and streets according to the city's 1896 regulatory plan. The houses in the vicinity of the town museum were mainly designed by the Jihlava builders Vincenz Zeizinger, Ignaz Lang, and Josef Kubička. Over time, the street network within the mix of urban buildings was connected to other streets in the wider radius around Havlíčkova, Srázná, Třebízská, and other streets.

Family villas and smaller houses filled the surroundings of the city walls in the western direction in the Panenské suburb and in the southern direction in the Brtnické suburb. On Dvořákova Street, we can still find Marie Karas's well-preserved Art Nouveau villa, and the basic structure of Raynoch's and Christ's villas have also been preserved, though their façades have lost their original charm. On the western side in particular, several garden districts with houses were built in the first decades of the 20th century. On the outskirts of the town, around Wolkerova and Bratří Čapků Streets, terraced houses filled the vacant sites near the road to Telč, creating a new garden district, the "white-collar" quarter, outlined in the design of the architect Arthur Corazza, whose family residence was built at the same time at a crossroads near Jiráskova Street. Before the First World War, family residences were mainly commissioned by German-speaking inhabitants, who leaned towards the traditional style of half-timbered houses with high stone foundation walls and massive mansard roofs covered with grey slate.

In the interwar period, the area in the immediate vicinity of the city walls was expanding massively. In the Špitálské suburb, the line of tenement houses on Tolstého Street transformed into uniform house blocks. A number of houses with gardens were built around Jiráskova Street. Jiráskova Street was followed by other streets in a rectangular grid on a gentle slope in the north-west area. In the west end of the town, the street lines between Vrchlického, Žižkova, Seifertova, and Telečská Streets, and on Na Hliništi and Fibichova Streets were filled with simple terraced or detached houses with gardens. There was an increasing number of small, simple houses on Znojemská, Brtnická, and U Větrníku Streets in the Brtnické suburb. Similarly, the number of poorer workers' houses kept increasing in Kalvárie, and in parallel, Dřevěné Mlýny also expanded with tenement houses and apartment blocks.

The regulated development of garden districts or housing blocks was often initiated by housing cooperatives and associations or manufacturing companies. The Free Home (Svobodný domov) (*1919) building cooperative and the Generally Beneficial Building Cooperative for Rantířov and its surroundings(Obecně prospěšné stavební a bytové družstvo pro Rantířov a okolí) (*1919) were very active in their building efforts. Between 1920 and 1922, the Free Homecooperative built a total of 21 houses for 120 Czech residents north of the city centre between Úprkova and Nerudova Streets near the city railway station. The Jihlava builder Jaroslav Dufka, as the principal designer of the Rantířov cooperative, erected the terraced houses between Jiráskova, Erbenova, and Zborovského Streets, as well as several other buildings in the vicinity of Fritzova Street. One of the detached houses was acquired by Bedřich Zvach, head of the Jihlava Regional Court office, who had Dufek's design reworked by František Petráš, a builder from České Budějovice. The administration of the State Tobacco Factory had a number of tenement houses built for its employees on Štefánikovo Square. The Rantířov cooperative continued in their footsteps in the opposite block of similarly designed houses, again according to the design by the Jihlava builder František Brázda.

Further building development was no longer took so organised. To a large extent, there were individual projects of mediocre quality. In the 1920s and 1930s, however, several remarkable houses were built in Jihlava, which were characterised by an attempt to give a new appearance to the fresh First Republic modern architecture. Projects were now also newly commissioned by Czech businessmen and prominent public figures in Jihlava. These included the factory owner Otto Adam's purist villa by the Viennese architect Walther Sobotka, the family housing project by the Prague architect Richard Goldreich for the partners of Klinenberger a spol. on Fibichova Street, and the Jihlava Hospital director Mr Horn's villa by the Brno architect Bohumír F. A. Čermák on Jiráskova Street. Right next door to the Horns, another Brno architect, Bohuslav Fuchs, followed up with the Boudas' purist style house. The Hortenskýs' neighbouring villa by the builder August Třeček from Třešť also attracts attention with its modernist appearance. In German villa architecture, three houses from the 1920s by prosperous builders stand out – the pharmacist Richard Inderka's villa on Fibichova Street, the factory owner Louis Seidner's villa on Legionářů Avenue, and Neumann's villa by Ervín Glaser. The first two are linked by the name of the building contractor, Emanuel Lang, and by the layout principle derived from 19th century English family residences. The construction of Inderka's villa is also remarkable for its ingenious Oikos roof frame.

At the end of 1939, during the Protectorate, the government commissioner for Jihlava, Leo Engelmann, described the state of Jihlava's housing stock as a "housing calamity"and promised to have two hundred single-family houses with gardens of 76 m2and 90 m2built soon. The commitment began to be fulfilled the very same year in the south end of the town, where family houses and soon larger terraced apartment blocks filled the space between Znojemská and Brtnická Streets. After the war, the settlement was called the Lidická estate. In the next two years, several more houses were built on Hany Kvapilové, Mošnova, and Wolkerova Streets. But after that, the Nazis' building activities in Jihlava ended for good with the issuance of the Reich-wide ban on financing construction works other than those intended for the direct purposes of the war. The only interesting post-war residential building was the semi-detached house for railway workers on Bezručova Street by the architect Cesar Grimmich from the late 1940s. From the 1950s onwards, socialist collective housing estate projects were launched.

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Objects on the trail