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Georgi Fingovs Architectural Gem In Sofia To Be Renovated

The owner of the property on Shipka 38, built by architect Georgi Fingov, "must implement all possible measures for its immediate thorough renovation", the order from the Sofia Municipality, RD20-12 from January 30 2009 declared, as quoted by Stroitelstvo Gradut."The owner must immediately ensure that the building is protected from water seepage, and that the pavement, fences and entrance to Shipka street are secured. The building must then be subjected to complete renovation," continues article 195, part 5 of the RD20-12 order."A complete survey must be conducted to determine the integral condition of the cultural monument and where it needs, if it needs, structural repairs. The project must be completed under directives put forward by the National Institute for Cultural Monuments and it is of paramount importance that it is conserved and preserved."Earlier this year, this particular monument of culture in the centre of Sofia, at 38 Shipka Str, in January 2009, was announced to be designated as a site for "investment and development purposes", by the owner of the property, Bulgarian Construction House. The Sofia borough of Sredets received the document suggesting the impending demolition of the building on November 18 2008, Sredets mayor, the engineer Margarita Gouteva, said, as reported by Stroitelstvo Gradut on January 26 2009.This article was something of a follow-up to a similar story published in the daily Gradski Vestnik in December 2008.According to Gouteva, article 134, section 2, point 6 of the country's Spatial Development Act allows for the property to undergo redevelopment - which ultimately means that the historic house could be demolished and make way for something "contemporary".A plan was envisaged whereby the building could be expanded - a new wing incorporated within the old structure, or the entire house-monument amalgamated within a larger construction design and thus have its cultural heritage irreversibly destroyed.Such examples exist in Western Europe, for instance, where historic buildings have been successfully preserved while being incorporated within the modern look of the environment around them, according to Vili Lilkov, municipal advisor from Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria. The building on 38 Shipka Str is not of pressing national importance; however, it is of local significance with its architectural uniqueness and cultural heritage and it must be preserved, Lilkov said.The historic building was erected in 1906/08 as a single family house by the engineer Georgi Fingov, and often served as a gathering place for Sofia's intellectual and artistic high life, according to Gradski Vestnik. The face adorning the entry column was created by sculptor Andrei Nikolov.Other beautiful renaissance buildings in Sofia of Fingov's pencil are the villa in the Vrana Estate, designed and built in 1903/06, and the building on the corner of Tsar Osvoboditel Boulevard and Georgi Benkovski Street. Alongside architect Kiro Marichkov, he also built the house of Vera Drenkova on 6 San Stefano Str, the Botev family house on 23 Shipka Str, and the house of the German entrepreneur Adolf Fung on the corner of Dondoukov and Vassil Levski boulevards.Elsewhere, while not designed by Fingov, the historic buildings at 13 and 13a Moskovska Str in Sofia are also threatened with being reworked to meet investors' preferences.