Jewish Gymnasium in Kaunas (Survived) (0)
Address: Kauno m. sav., Kauno m., Kęstučio g. 85
Architecture type: Professional
Architects: Boruchas Klingas
Styles: Funkcionalizmas/modernizmas
Year: 1931
Ethnical region: Nenurodyta
Region: Kaunas
Epochs: Interwar
Architecture categories: Architecture, Separate building, Education, Gymnasium
Materials: Masonry (brick)
Images: 17
Publications: 0
Consist of 0 object(s)
Tags: Boruchas Klingas, Bronius Kazys Balutis, Education Minister Konstantinas Šakenis, Kaunas, Kaunas mayor Juozas Vokietaitis, Kaunas New Town, Kauno žydų gimnazija, Kęstutis street in Kaunas
: Former Jewish gymnasium in Kaunas, Kestučio str. 85, Kaunas, Kaunas New Town, Kęstutis str. in Kaunas

Jewish exact sciences gymnasium building is associated with the modernist era in Lithuanian architectural history. Although it did not stand out as having very innovative aesthetic solutions (the only things to spice up its symmetric and level facades were horizontal stripes and a quite striking rooftop edge), at that time it was considered a quite modern structure. It was said that the gymnasium building was “amongst the most beautiful and modern not only in Kaunas, but the entire Lithuania. They will have 16 classrooms, halls for painting, gymnastics, kindergartens, showers, bathrooms and more”. The fact that it is designed for educational purposes is made clear by wide windows which were supposed to let in enough daylight for classes.

The new gymnasium in Kaunas was a significant event; therefore, its opening for 1931 academic year was mentioned by quite a big celebration which was attended by “up to 250” guests, including the Minister of Education K. Šakenis, City Mayor J. Vokietaitis, then Lithuanian representative in USA K. Balutis, US consul in Kaunas, etc. The school, which cost 800 thousand litas, was built using a government loan and private contributions, amongst which were a US resident from Alytus philanthropist E. Čeisas who donated 250 thousand litas.

This modest building which reminds the interwar period can be held as an example of an increasingly modern, yet nowhere near avant-garde architecture of Kaunas of that time. The school, built in an urbanistically relevant location in front of the National Theatre, is also impressive because of its size – it is one of the largest educational institutions ever built in the temporary capital.

Vaidas Petrulis