It’s a massive building with a texture made out of bricks. It has 5 towers out of which the centered one is the highest of all. On its façade there are multiple embossed windows.
The House of the Free Press, known during the communist era as Casa Scînteii (Scînteia being the name of the Romanian Comunist Party’s official newspaper), was inspired by the architecture of buildings from Moscow, such as Leningrad Hotel. The construction began in 1952 and it was initially named Complexul Casa Scînteii [Bibliography 1]. It was intended to house all of Bucharest’s printing presses, newsrooms and their facilities. The person in charge with the project was Panaite Mazilu [Bibliography 2]. Because the costs of building were so high, a part of the amount needed for it was collected by public subscription. „Voluntary work” and ”Soviet help” were also used [Bibliography 3].
Acording to Vlad Mitric-Ciupe, ”the huge financial difficulties” made the communist authorities give up ”the closing of the lateral parts of the building, as well as some of the architectural elements of the finishing (sculptures, bas-relief etc.) The author concluded that because of this reason”the building was not finished as it was designed” [Bibliography 4].
As it was the case with the Palace of the Parliament (People’s House) the building of the House of the Free Press required the demolition of adjacent buildings, a common practice during the communist era. In this instance, the authorities decided to demolish a part of the Hippodrome – work of architect Ioan Berindei [Bibliography 5].
After 1957 several newsrooms of some of the most important publications of the communist regim had their headquarters in the building. Some of them were: România Liberă, Scînteia Tineretului, Flacăra, and Agerpres.
In 1960 a statue of Lenin was erected in front of the building and stood there until 1989 after which it was demolished. In its place there now lies a monument dedicated to the victims of the communist regime named ”Wings” [Bibliography 6].
- Alexandru Anca, Destin ardelenesc, Ed. Clusium, 2011, p. 358.
- Casa Scînteii: ”Tovarășe Mazilu, pune și dumneata mai mult acolo!”, available online at: https://evz.ro/casa-scanteii-tovarase-mazilu-pune-si-dumneata-mai-mult-acolo-889831.html
3-4. Vlad Mitric-Ciupe, Stalinizare și destalinizare în arhitectura română and De-. Odiseea unui arhitect întemnițat politic, Cosmin Budeancă, Florentin Olteanu (editors), Stalinizare și destalinizare. Evoluții instituționale și impact social, Iași, Polirom, 2014.
- Istoricul Casei Presei, available at:
6.Petre Tache, Infama poveste a Casei Presei Libere, fosta Casa Scînteii, available online at: https://evz.ro/infama-poveste-a-casei-presei-libere-fosta-casa-scanteii.html?v=347635&page=1