The renovation project, which started last year, included the renovation of the interiors of the main building on Piac Street, and the interior and exterior modernisation of the building on Sas Street. The project was funded with HUF 2.7 billion from the European Union.
At a briefing on the energy modernisation of the Old Town Hall building, Mayor of Debrecen László Papp said it was good to return to the Old Town Hall, where the scale of the renovation work carried out was already visible.
He recalled that the work site for the renovation of the Town Hall was handed over in March 2022. It was demolished in the 1840s, and the new building on Piac Street was completed for the municipality between 1843 and 1845. It was quickly outgrown by the Debrecen administration. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city bought the Kis Orbán House, and from 1916 onwards it served as the administrative building. He added that the building survived two world wars, and underwent its last major renovation in the early 1960s, since then it has been in continuous use.
The mayor also pointed out that in 2014 and ’15, the building on Piac Street underwent an external renovation and a roof renewal. The building was renovated with TOP funds, with a non-refundable EU grant of HUF 2.7 billion. The programme also included the renovation of the external facade of the Kis Orbán building in Sas Street, the installation of insulated windows, upgrading of the mechanical systems, and the provision of heating and cooling in the offices. The cladding has also been renewed: the old red limestone cladding has been replaced by limestone cladding in keeping with the atmosphere of the Town Hall, and the renewed building has been renovated in a way that takes into account the historical heritage.
The interior and exterior lighting system has also been overhauled, with the installation of energy-saving light sources. Work is still ongoing in one part of the building, while the interior of the façade facing Piac Street will be completed in the coming months. Referring to the historical significance of the building, László Papp recalled that Lajos Kossuth was also a resident of the building. For a time, the Holy Crown was hidden here, and Ferenc Joseph and Sisi also stayed here. These important events will also be commemorated in the second part of the renovation. He also said that staff could start to move back into the building in the first part of next year, while the city administration could return in the second half of the year.
“The refurbishment of the Great Council Chamber will be an important element. We want to replace the current furnishings with an interior design in keeping with the city’s history. A new entrance to the Town Hall will also be created. The new entrance to the building will be located where the Tourinform used to be. In the courtyard, the entire sewerage system needs to be replaced, and this work will be done in the next period,” the mayor said. In the future, it will again be possible to show the Old Town Hall to interested visitors. The briefing ended with a tour of the building.
Source and photo credit: debrecen.hu