City guide
Five downtown buildings that stand out after recent renovations
Photo : László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Five downtown buildings that stand out after recent renovations

The officials that are in charge of refurbishing Budapest’s city center never run out of new projects to tackle, but their efforts become more apparent as time goes by and we can observe how various streets, squares, and structures are gradually renewed – including churches, apartment buildings, and palaces. Here we highlight five buildings that are all architecturally significant, located in the historic section of downtown Pest, and are now freshly renewed.

54 Andrássy Avenue Dlauchy House Kálvin Square Protestant Church 54 Váci Street Wellisch House

54 Andrássy Avenue

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
This eclectic building, located amid a world-heritage area, was built around 1880 for entrepreneur József Pucher. The group of buildings was constructed on three plots and – as shown in the pictures – shows a completely uniform image with its external shape. The central building has four floors, while the two outer wings each have three stories. The broad stone, the painted-plaster architecture, and the interior yard layout is also a common feature of the buildings. Therefore, we definitely wish that all three buildings had been renovated, and not only the central structure – the surrounding wings continue to crumble.
Andrássy Avenue

Dlauchy House

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
In an earlier architectural compilation posted on this website, we provided an overview of works by visionary architect Miklós Ybl, who was born 200 years ago. The building standing on the corner of Lónyay Street and Vámház Boulevard, a few meters away from Kálvin Square Protestant Church, is another work by the master. The building took its name from locksmith Károly Dlauchy (1817-1901), who worked on several Ybl buildings. This apartment building of Vámház Boulevard was completed between 1863 and 1864.

Kálvin Square Protestant Church

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Based on our judgment, this church is one of the most distinctive buildings of downtown. It dominates the view from the direction of both the National Museum and the Liberty Bridge, and the steeple’s illuminated clock tower is one of the most pleasant points in the city’s nighttime panorama. The classical building was completed between 1816 and 1830 according to the plans of Hild Vince, and was the first Protestant church in Pest. This part of Ferencváros always played an important role in the life of the city’s Protestant congregation, as proven by the names of the square and nearby streets. Interestingly, the original plans included two towers, and the foundation was made for both, but the tower was eventually built on the internal edges of these foundations. The lobby, enclosed by a columned tympanum, was built after the flood of 1838, while the two side galleries by József Hild that define the monumental interior space was built between 1854 and 1855. The starry helm roof was only built in 1859.

54 Váci Street

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
The renovation of this classical one-story residential building was long overdue. At certain parts of the patio structure, we can still find 17th-century building details. The ground floor is defined by semicircular wall openings, and we can see a parapet ledge on the first floor, while a simple cornice tops the façade. Well, a cornice used to top it – with this renovation, the building’s owners decided to install a glass roof that can also be viewed as a new façade. We are happy about the renewal of this dilapidated building, but the 21st-century provincial add-on is underwhelming.
Váci Street

Wellisch House

Photo: László Balkányi/We Love Budapest
Once a private mansion, the building at 2-4 Kossuth Square features eclectic and early Art Nouveau elements, and currently serves as the headquarters of the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice. The housing block, completed in 1912, used to consist of two individual parts: the side on Kossuth Square was designed by famous architect and real estate investor Alfréd Wellisch, while the side on Zoltán Street was designed by Artúr Sebestyén. The roof was damaged during World War II, and some subsequent renovations had damaging impacts, but these were successfully reversed in connection with Kossuth Square’s renewal, so the buildings were restored to their original proportions. Therefore, the roof construction, the corner towers, the gables, and the turrets were all revamped, so the key elements of the roof contour all remain in their original state. The era’s copper cladding is the only element that was changed to a modern titanium zinc version. The decorations of the building are the works of the most famous artists of the era: Miksa Róth crafted the stained-glass windows and mosaics, Simon Ney and Ödön Moiret (Edmund Moiret) made the sculptures, and Gyula Jungfer wrought the iron structures.