House of the merchant Rauschning

Coordinates: 55.709247 21.135826

Object address: Turgaus Street 22, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Municipality: Klaipėda

The house at Turgaus Street 22 was built in the late 19th c. The three-storey brick building is an example of Neo-Renaissance, except for the Romanesque cornice. In 1856, Rauschning, the former owner of the building, rented it to the regional court. The building changed owners and was used as a bank, an office building and a residential building (top floors). It was reconstructed in the late 19th c, circa 1960 and 1969.
Once the building also hosted a German Pharmacy, which was established on the ground floor of the building soon after the restoration of Lithuanian independence.
The historian Jonas Tatoris has found data, that in 1409 the geometer-locator Lankau, hired to re-plan the city, intended the location, which is approximately the modern-day Turgaus Street 20 and 22, for a town hall.
Johanes Sembrizki claims that this place used to be a swamp, which was eliminated in 1538, building a wooden town hall, which burned during the fire of 1540.
After the great fire of 1854, the reconstruction of the building was taken up by the mason Th. Rauschning, known for his numerous merits to Klaipėda. An expert mason used to be a very high status, giving a right to manage construction works. The court established on the ground floor of the building in 1858. Presumably, the second floor was inhabited by the expert mason himself, while the third floor featured rented rooms.
The attic was important as well. People used to use it for drying their laundry, but later, before the World War II, these premises were reorganised into rented rooms.
In 1915–1935 this building was owned by Otto Kadgiehn. He started his business in Klaipėda by opening a small shop and eventually expanded into a retail chain, employing 50 citizens. What also made O. Kadgiehn famous was that in 1931 he acted as the Chair of Klaipėda Region Directorate, a long-time member of the merchant’s corporation and a generous patron, donating 5 000 marks – a very large sum at that time – for building a shelter alone.
O. Kadgiehn also owned another building – F. Lass & Co., which currently (2017) is referred to as Pajūris shopping centre. Interestingly, Lithuanians living in Klaipėda used to refer to this shop as the juniper grove, referring to the similarity of the owner’s last name – Kadgiehn and the word “Kadagys” (Eng. juniper).
The premises on Turgaus Street 22, owned by O. Kadgiehn, were rented by an insurance company, in 1929 it became the office of LitPetrol Soviet capital oil company, while in 1935 it also hosted the USSR Consulate, which moved out already in 1938.
Currently (2017) this building hosts Klaipėda Family and Child Welfare Centre.

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