The building and house of Kostis Palamas is expected to function as a place to study and study the latest Greek literature and spread the work of the great Greek poet
Her historical house of Kostis Palamas, in Plakaon 5 Periandrou Street, is being restored by the Ministry of Culture as part of its strategy to highlight buildings it owns, which are of particular architectural and historical interest, with the aim of becoming new cultural centers in the center of Athens.
The Ministry of Culture classified the building as a monument in 1999, while the process of its expropriation began in 2020. After appeals by the former owner to the Council of State, the expropriation was finally carried out in May 2023 and the property became the property of the Ministry of Finance. Thanks to the kind sponsorship of the “Sylvias Ioannou” Foundation, the restoration and reuse study of the building is already being prepared, which is expected to be completed by the end of November, so that the project can be included for funding in the programming period 2021-2027.
As the Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni stated, “The Palamas House is an important historical landmark for Athens, as on February 28, 1943, the poet’s procession was linked to the largest resistance demonstration in Athens during the German occupation, stimulating the national spirit of the Greeks. The building is a strong point of reference for our modern history. Palamas lived in the house, at 5 Periandrou Street, during the last years of his life. The restored building is to function as a place to study and study modern Greek literature and to disseminate the work of the great Greek poet.
The restoration of the building – preserving the elements of the 1930s – is part of our policy for the protection and reopening of buildings in Plaka, the neighborhood that has been associated more than any other with the character of the historical center of Athens. Together with the Koletti House, the building on Polygnotou and Dioskouroun Streets, which will house the Elytis archive, the building on Dioskouroun Street 7, which is intended to house the Karolos Koon Museum, and the “Kokovikou House” on Tripodon, they create a core of building infrastructure for cultural uses, highlighting the different aspects and periods of the city’s history”.
It is a two-storey residential complex, without a basement, with a common entrance and a courtyard that refers to the typology of the popular Athenian house. The load-bearing walls are stone-built, while the internal walls are made of brickwork with solid, mainly, bricks and Baghdadi. The roof is made of wood with a roof made of Baghdad battens and mortar. The original phase of the building appears to date from the early 20th century. Later interventions are evident in the stonework, as well as in the main face, with artificial mortars. The condition of the building is bad, as for years water was entering, mainly from the roof. The half-ruined building until today functioned as a garbage dump and a public urinal.
In the last years of his life, Kostis Palamas, in old age, was forced to move to 5 Periandrou Street, after being evicted from the residence at 3 Asklipiou Street, which has now been demolished. He lived in one of the two apartments on the second floor with his wife Maria and their daughter Nausicaa, along with other tenants. He breathed his last there. 2023 marked the 80th anniversary of the poet’s death.
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