The Maritime Station

In 1909, after King Carol I inaugurated the first silo of the Constanta Modern Port, he discussed with Saligny and Antonescu about their plan to create a majestic Maritime Station that will be located on the docks 11 and 12 of the port.

At that time, the buildings were made out of wood, which were more similar with larger warehouses than good looking buildings.Among them were the Customs and the Railway Station – where passengers were traveling from the Orient-Express train and made the travel to Constantinople via ships possible.

After 1910, the architect Petre Antonescu designs a building in neo-Romanian style, with multiple functions: Railway Station, Maritime Station, Customs, Port Police, restaurant, waiting rooms, etc. This grand project, which had on the central axis a very high tower with clocks at the top, was not realized anymore because of the coming of war on our lands. During the inter-war period the discussions for the construction of this building were resumed.

In this place,in 1864, back when this was an English port, the ruler Alexandru Ion Cuza came from Cernavoda by train of the DBSR company and took a cruising ship towards Constantinople.The works of the Maritime Station will begin later on (in 1930), the design having a modernist style with Art Deco elements. The creator of the design was Arch. Chrysanthemum Stamatescu.

The building, after 1931, was modified several times by the architect Gheorghe Bratescu and was put into use in 1935. The modifications were made also because the basement had a quota below the sea level and during the infrastructure works there was water infiltrating.Although in the initial project the use of hydraulic concrete with the addition of volcanic tuff imported from the island of Santorini was used,there were still integrity issues. To counteract these effects, additional works were arranged by pouring a concrete slab on the broken stone layer and executing a water-repellent screed,a stone drainage under the floor, and vertical waterproof plastering on both sides at the inner and outer walls.

The Maritime Station was designed to meet complex functional requirements : the public access area for travelers with related spaces (waiting and receiving hall, restaurant rooms on classrooms, ticket houses, annexes), transit control area (customs control documents) and luggage, port police, offices), the area for administrative functions and the area with private functions (service houses, protocol room with annexes), including technical spaces for maintenance services. Apart from the modernist aspect of the building, the elements of Art Deco can be noticed on windows and doors and at the top,where the pediments are decorated with two dolphins around a shield (an old heraldic element of Dobrogea) that has a clock in the middle.

During the socialist times, due to the diminution of the traffic of passengers, the building was used as the headquarters of the Port Administration, a function that has been preserved until today. The building went through two major repairs, in 1965 and 199.In 2013 the facades were also rehabilitated. Unfortunately, some of the original windows have been replaced by modern windows and air conditioners have been installed that blur the beauty and elegance of the building.

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