In years 1927 – 1928 in 4 Portowa Street in Oksywie, right next to the limits of Gdynia, the first city tenement house of Gdynia’s centre was constructed. Emilia Wojewska, the owner of the “Pod Starym Dębem” restaurant and hotel, was the investor. Roman Wojtkiewicz prepared the architectural design and supervised the construction works. He was a graduate of the State Building School in Poznań.
It was a three-storey tenement house with four business premises on the ground floor and a wide gateway.
Its seven-axis elevation is decorated by the centrally located four pilasters in ionic order, with caps with elliptical volutes and overhangs – ornamental structures composed of leaves and fruit attached at one point only. Six balconies were placed between them (they were arranged symmetrically, three on the second floor and three on the third). The building is decorated by a triangular top with a rounded window referred to as an ox-eye window. Slightly smaller windows of a similar shape were placed on the roof, on both sides of its top. The rich decoration of the elevation is Gdynia’s one of a kind reference to the forms of academic classicism.
On each floor, there are two large over 100 m² four-room apartments. The tenement house’s owner lived on the 2nd floor, at no. 5.
The walls were made from ceramic solid bricks and the ceilings were placed on wooden beams.
The tenement house had central heating and wiring.
The kitchens were equipped with tiled stoves and wooden floors. The bathrooms had claret polished concrete floors. The living room floors were covered with oak parquet.
Many elements of the original fittings have survived: on the elevation (on the Portowa Street side) the windows are divided by two pillars and a transom bar into 6 fields, metal balcony balustrade with a geometrised flower motif, oak front frame and panel door which consisted of three leafs with a fixed transom window divided into 12 lights by muntins. In the tenement house, there is the original grey terazzo floor with a claret border in the gateway and the wooden staircase with wooden stairs, handrail and openwork balustrade with the grating motif. On the walls, there still are the air duct chimney inlets and the original apartment double wooden frame and panel doors, with glazed in transom windows (with three muntins dividing them into 4 lights), with glazing at the 2/3 of their height and a rectangular panel below. The glazing with geometrical divisions – a rhombus, two triangles and four trapeziums – is typical of cubism which was popular in the 20s.
In the staircase, there also are original window frames with locks. The windows were divided into 17 lights. Today’s glazing is not original. Originally, the panes were colourful: cobalt blue, yellow and green.
On 20.12.2004, the building was entered into the Panamanian Voivodeship’s Register of Monuments under the number 1752 (1248).