The Bazar building was erected in the years 1838-42 on the initiative of Karol Marcinkowski who contributed to the establishment of the Bazar Poznański joint stock company. The Neoclassical edifice faced Nowa Street (now I. Paderewskiego Street) which was marked out at the same time and the project was supervised by a local builder Antoni Krzyżanowski (following a design by Ernest Steudener). A new west wing was added in 1899 and its monumental neo-Baroque façade designed by Roger Sławski faced Marcinkowskiego Avenue. The building was destroyed in 1945 and rebuilt in a simplified form in 1949. Until 1988 it housed the Orbis-Bazar hotel. Having been returned to its rightful owners in 1990, the building is being extensively restored to its original appearance; several stores have already been opened on the ground floor. In accordance with the wishes of its founders, the Bazar was not only the centre of political, economic and cultural life in the times when Poznań was under Prussian rule but also a venue for social events and entertainment. It featured a hotel, cafés, meeting rooms, the huge White Room and Polish establishments including Hipolit Cegielski's hardware and agriculture tool store. Wielkopolskan landowners used to stay at the hotel and it was also visited by many eminent politicians, scientists and artists. Patriotic rallies, lectures and balls were held at the Bazar. Franz Liszt, Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński, Henryk Wieniawski, and Apolinary Kątski performed here and in the 1930s Jan Kiepura sang to entertain the crowds from a balcony that has not survived to the present day. The building was also the venue for many important historical events. During the Spring of Nations (1848), the National Committee set up its headquarters in the hotel. On 27 December 1918 the hotel was fired on while Ignacy Paderewski was staying in it, which spurred the outbreak of the Wielkopolska Uprising of 1918-1919. Paderewski is commemorated by a plaque mounted on the corner of Marcinkowskiego Avenue and Paderewskiego Street in 1928. The original plaque designed by Stanisław Jagmin was destroyed but it was successfully reconstructed in 1978. Yet another plaque mounted in Paderewskiego Street commemorates the establishment of Hipolit Cegielski's store in 1846. Ignacy Moś, a renowned local bibliophile and collector, founded two plaques: one pertaining to the visit Henryk Sienkiewicz paid to the Bazar in 1880 to read his short story Za chlebem and one commemorating the stopover Juliusz Słowacki had in Poznań during the Spring of Nations in 1848. Both plaques disappeared during the refurbishment of the façades.
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