The Okányi-Schwartz Villa – which is currently the Bihor Chamber of Commerce and Industry – was built in 1912 on Mihai Eminescu Street no. 25. It is the work of architects Marcell Komor and Dezső Jakab, and was built by Ferenc Szatrill. The commissioner of the building, Jakab Schwarz, was a wealthy man with vast estates across Bihor County. His family obtained a title of nobility, which is where the name Okányi-Schwartz derives from.
In 1918, the villa was sold, and in 1924, it was bought by Bihoreana – The Credit and Savings Institute SA.
The Bihor Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Bihor Chamber of Commerce and Industry was founded in 1891, being created by the Hall of Commerce (which is today the headquarters of the Faculty of Medicine). Milling and lumber trading were within their sphere of activity.
In 1925, the Oradea Chamber of Commerce and Industry bought the Okányi-Schwartz Villa in order to use it as an office, and the second location of the Chamber. The first office was in the building on Duiliu Zamfirescu Street, which is now the headquarters of the Water Company.
In 1922, there were 8,624 business licenses belonging to enterprises from the sector of industry, commerce, storage, etc. on the territory of Oradea. The prosperity of the Chamber led to the possibility of acquiring the current office.
The 1929-1933 crisis and the outbreak of the war led to the decline of the Chamber. After the end of the war, during the communist years and afterwards, the building first housed an Orphanage, and then a television channel.
In February 25, 1949, by DL (Decree-Law) 74/1949, the activity of the Chambers was ceased permanently, and their attributions were assigned to the County Commercial Directorates.
Starting from 2008, the Chamber resumed its activity and regained its current headquarters, and, starting from 2014 – following an ample process for the rehabilitation of the building – also moved in.
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