4 Pages

The new home

WithJoseph Rykwert

This chapter provides the earlier experiences of the author. He describes his new home in an unfamiliar part of the town, a newly built-up part of Warsaw. Grandfather Rykwert lived in the northwestern part of the city, which – while no ghetto – was largely inhabited by Jews. The author's new home was on the first floor of a three-storey block of flats overlooking the large garden of a church orphanage on one long side, and backed on the courtyards of some insalubrious, as yet un-gentrified housing blocks on the other. They were its first inhabitants. The red-brick orphanage, the roof of which they saw over the trees, was connected to the church of St James, which he took for granted as an integral part of his environment when a child. It was the dour, unrendered brick neo-Romanesque masterpiece of one of the best Polish architects of the time, Oskar Sosnowski.