The Deutsch Family
The family of the merchant Deutsch K. Ignác (Karl Ignaz Deutsch) came from the Czech Republic (Moravia), it was the third generation settled in the city. The records from 1851-1853 recorded the name Deutsch Simon, a tailor in the New City – we can only suppose the records were about his grandfather.
From 1909, Deutsch, the merchant, father of four, started to invest in real estate. He built a family villa on Republicii street no. 54 and a presentation and sales store for glass and porcelain objects on Vasile Alecsandri street no. 4.
The villa was built by architect Sztarill Ferenc, one of the most famous architects of the city at that time.
The opinions of the specialists are divided when it comes to the name of the constructor: some argue that it is not known, or that it might have been built by Sztarill Ferenc in 1906, while others argue that it was Rimanóczy Kálmán Jr.’s, who was, supposedly, both the constructor and the architect of the building, in 1903.
The glass empire
In 1877, Deutsch K. Ignác took over the Glassware Store, owned by Sonnenfeld János, located on Vasile Alecsandri Street no. 4. Sonnenfeld used to sell glass
articles as well, that were made at Pădurea Neagră (Black Forest, Schwartz Wald in German, named after the first owners).
From 1900, Deutsch’s company started a business with the glass and porcelain factory from Pădurea Neagră, becoming the main distributor in the markets of Transylvania, the Balkans and Austria. In 1909, Deutsch K.I. becomes a joint stock company and from 1913 it took over the production line from the glass factory.
The Deutsch company became the second important company in the field of glassware distribution in the Empire. Their commercial power was reflected even in the facade of the store, designed with large showcases in which engraved stained glass articles and porcelain painted with floral motifs were displayed.
The sons of Deutsch K.I. have contributed to the expansion of the “Deutsch glass empire “. As it was the custom at the time, after graduating in Oradea, the two brothers changed their name from Deutsch to Dénes: Edmund and Sándor. In 1911 the glass business is transferred to their names.
Dénes Edmund (Ödön) was the head of the family business, as manager of the Glass Factory from Pădurea Neagră, he used to coordinate distribution as well.
His brother, Dr Dénes Sándor, a successful lawyer, a member of the board was also a shareholder at the Lefterder and Kálman Refined Spirit Factory, and in the 1930 he became the full manager of the enterprise.
Dénes Sándor belonged to the city’s elite, was a wellknown journalist, writer, playwright and a close friend of Ady Endre. The avant-garde literary movement “Holnap” (1908) was created in his apartment on Republicii Street (Fő utca). He was the first leader of the nonconformist group in the city. At the same time, he was among the financers of the first anthology launched in Oradea by this group, in 1908.
Until the World War I the members of the Deutsch family were among the most wealthy people from Oradea. Dénes Sándor was recruited and enrolled in the army, fought on the eastern front, where he fell prisoner. After a period of captivity, he returned to Oradea in a state of depression. While being away he wrote the play “Nativity of the Lord”, that was staged in Budapest.
In 1917 the glass factory was sold, then in 1920 the store and the distribution company were sold to a consortium led by Markovits Herman. From 1940, the store sold exclusively porcelain items produced in Hungary. In the 1960 the shop was transformed and became the children’s store, “Gulliver”.
In 1970, the façade was restored, and the interior was rebuilt several times. The last restoration of the façade took place in 2018. The main colours of the façade are dark blue and grey.
The façade of Deutsch K.I store kept its charm over the century and remained one of the most attractive secession style buildings on Vasile Alecsandri Street.