What, in the last decades, seemed only a dream, begins in full coronavirus pandemic. Renovations of the Casino in Constanta started.
The works for the rehabilitation of the Casino from Constanta started at the beginning of this month (April). The scaffolding has already been installed and the building and part of the seafront have been fenced off. What, in recent decades, seemed like a dream, begins in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic.
Constanta City Hall issued on April 3, 2020 the construction permit for the consolidation and restoration of the Constanta Casino. The restorers started the work by cleaning the old plaster. While specialists are looking for all the technical solutions to save the casino’s decorations and stained glass windows, workers have already discovered a window that was hidden. It’s a shell-like glass on the sea side. This window separates the Performance Hall from the Hall of Mirrors.
“The Hall of Mirrors will remain, because it is a pity to spoil it because it is large and has its cultural efficiency, if in fact the Casino will acquire only cultural functions. Of course, it was thought of as a casino, in a casino gambling is played and giving them up is also a giving up of the initial functions of the building “, said Doina Pauleanu, director of the Art Museum of Constanta.
After the completion of the works, the Casino will be returned to the public circuit, becoming a cultural and entertainment center that will be able to host cultural events, symposia, exhibitions, etc., thus highlighting the most important public building made in Art Nouveau style in our country.
In the project started in 2019, compared to the documentation initially approved, in 2015, the main changes are mentioned:
• Functional reconfiguration and adaptation of interior and exterior spaces to the new functions proposed by the design theme, representative for the socio-cultural life of the city and for a monument of category “A” with exceptional architectural and historical value;
• Adaptation of architecture, structure and installation projects to the new proposed functions, taking into account the updating of expertise and studies at this design phase;
• Revision of architectural documentation and artistic components (mural painting, stucco-marble, polychrome stucco, metal and stained glass) for the proper treatment of degradations that occurred between 2014 and 2018;
• Updating the design norms and the legislation in the field”, states the Ministry of Development.
The first casino in Constanta was built in 1880, in the same area of the city, notably near the Genoese Lighthouse. It was called Kursaal and was built predominantly of wood.
The place of Kursaal was taken by the Casino, also on Regina Elisabeta Boulevard, on the current site of the Aquarium.
The third and new Casino of Constanta was designed by architect Daniel Renard in Art Nouveau style. The birthday of the emblematic building is a contract concluded on July 23rd, 1903 by liberal mayor Cristea Georgescu with the architect Daniel Renard for the design of the new Casino.
The political color of the administration changed quite often at the beginning of the 20th century. Selected by the Liberals to build this building, Renard is removed when the Conservatives came to power in 1905. The design of the Casino was then handled by the architect Petre Antonescu. In his view, the casino had a theater role. But the return of liberals to power between 1907 and 1908 makes Renard reinstate his Art Nouveau style.
The superb building was inaugurated on August 15th, 1910, in the presence of Prince Ferdinand. It was the largest such edifice on Romanian territory.
The ground floor had a generous reception hall, a staircase in three ramps towards upstairs. On one side of the stairs there was a sanitary group and the administrator’s office. Further to the north, there were wardrobe spaces, a buffet with kitchen, reading room, dressing room, two game rooms and a billiards table. Upstairs, it was the auditorium.
On August 20th, 1916, when the bombings on Constanța began, the Casino was used by Cucea Rosie as a field hospital. On November 19th, 1917, the Casino became operational again. In 1934, Daniel Renard was called for casino repairs. Since 1941, the Casino has become the host for German troops that have been staying in the beautiful seafront edifice. Again, the Casino suffered from the bombing, but was renovated in 1951. Since 1948, the Casino hosted the House of Culture of the Trade Unions, and between 1960 and 1989 it belonged to ONT Litoral. The last major repair of the Casino was made between 1986 and 1988.
We hope that the current project will be completed in a maximum of 30 months and the Casino in Constanta, one of the most important tourist attractions, in Art Nouveau style, will be able to become an international cultural and entertainment center, which will be able to host cultural events, symposia and exhibitions.