Category: Plato in 80 entries

Public Tobacco Factory

The Public Tobacco Factory, today the Library of the Hellenic Parliament, occupies an entire city block surrounded by the streets Lenorman, Amfiaraou, Leandrou and Kreontos. It is a characteristic sample of the industrial architecture of the Middle War era. Its initial aim was to house tobacco companies and warehouses but mainly to keep the tobacco taxation under control. The construction of the building started in 1928 and was completed in 1930; it was designed by the civil engineer Nikos Gavalas.

The building of the Public Tobacco Factory integrates elements of the modernistic architectural style. Its two floors were constructed in a square pattern, surrounding a ground-level patio, and covered by a glass roof atop an iron framework. The ground floor was used for factories of tobacco cutting and packing, the management and the customs; the upper floor housed cigarette and cigar factories and two refectories for the employees and the basement was used as a tobacco warehouse. A residence for the building guard was built in the attic, but finally the families of the Tobacco Tax Office managers resided there.

During its operation, the building of the Public Tobacco Factory housed about 25 tobacco factories, the last of which withdrew in the early 1990’s. However, due to the gradual prevalence of the private tobacco factories and the limited demand on the place, the building occasionally housed various services, such as the Athens Military Service between 1938 and 1963. Later the building housed departments of the Presidency of the Government, the Ministry of the Finances and the Statistical Service. The building was preserved in a quite good condition and was partially damaged only during the withdrawal of the German Forces and the bombing by the British army during the “December events” in 1944. In 1989 the building was marked as an important sample of the industrial architecture and was designated as a scheduled monument. In 2000 it became property of the Hellenic Parliament and was wholly restored, in order to house parts of the Library of the Hellenic Parliament.

Author: Vassilis Papadopoulos
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