Dan Mizrahy House

1 Turbinei St., sector 2, Bucharest

Born into accountant Moscu Mizrahy’s family, in a type E house on Street A (as it was called as part of the Cornescu/Floreasca lot) built by the Communal Society for Cheap Housing in 1923, Dan Mizrahy offers what is probably the most comprehensive description of both the building and the lot in the 1930s. Direct witness of the changes that the stretch of land underwent for almost a century, the musician talks both about how his family turned the house into a home and about the political relations that impacted the land. In his memoires, he remembers that his father, Moscu, married [my] mother Henrietta in 1920 and, as state employees, after having lived for three years in furnished rooms, they had a house built for them by the Society for Cheap Housing on an instalment payment basis. It was a type E house, where I was born three years later, in 1926.

The 1940 earthquake also left its traces on the house:

Our house was severely damaged by the big earthquake in that sad November of 1940. Erected in 1923, it was a two-storey building. On the upper floor there were two bedrooms, a hall and a small room which separated the hall from the bathroom. When we the children got older (my sister was 12 and I was 9), my parents decided to extend the house, adding another room upstairs and extending the hall downstairs.

In the living room by the entrance there were two comfortable armchairs and 6-chair set, an Aubusson corner, a floor lamp, a magnificent bronze 12-branch chandelier matching the two wall lamps of the same metal flanking the chimney whose marble top had been wrecked by the occupants during World War 1. The rooms on the right, which were converted into one bigger after the 1935 renovation, accommodated, on the street side, Father’s study, with its armchair and a splendid library with crystal doors, and on the yard side the oak living room containing an extendable table for twenty-four on two massive, sculpted legs, a huge cabinet covering the whole wall, a counter on another wall and a wonderful vitrine whose crystal was laid in a drawing inspired from Strauss’ waltz Wein, Weib und Gesang.

This extension was made after architect Ștefan Ciocârlan’ plans. The house was requisitioned by the new political authorities in 1940 and transformed into a police station, and Dan Mizrahy had to leave the country. It would be retroceded in 1948, but he encountered many obstacles before being able to live there once again.

Quoted from Idealul locuirii bucureștene: familia cu casă și grădină. Parcelările Societății Comunale pentru locuințe ieftine – București (1908-1948) [The Ideal of Bucharest Living – House- and Garden-Owning Family. Communal Society for Cheap Housing’s Lots – Bucharest (1908-1948)]. Voinea, Andrei Răzvan. Bucharest: Studio Zona Press, 2018, pp. 147-149.