The building in Petőfi Sándor Street, which was home to the Leitersdorfer family’s tailoring shop, was due for demolition in 1911, so the family decided to have a combined shop-cum-apartment block built. In April 1911 they paid 725000 crowns to purchase the two-floor building at 5, Szervita Square. The price as well as the more than 1.2 million crown construction costs was covered by mortgage. The first planning drawings bear the date 6 June 1911 and construction work was finished in late October 1912. In the meantime (in May, 1912), the commissioners submitted new plans for approval, which in fact showed the building, which was under construction and which failed to meet the pertaining regulations. (The ornaments on the street front in their final form feature in the catalogues of the Zsolnay ceramics manufacture of Pécs with the date March 1912.) The most critical point of change – besides the rows of oriel windows on the courtyard fronts – was the roof structure: whereas the first version shows a mansard roof with a studio window, here we see a recessed uppermost floor withdrawn behind the plane of the façade by two metres. The building regulations department tried to protest against extending the height of the building by adding a complete sixth floor, but to no avail. In the subsequent months the elevation and the third floor were further modified, but the final plans for these have not survived.

The interior arrangement of the bifunctional building didn’t undergo any major changes during the planning process. On a 818 squareyard lot, built in on all four sides the lower two or sometimes three business levels were taken up by undivided shop interiors accessible from the street or from the main staircase. All the three apartment levels were divided into two 180 sq metre flats with two rooms overlooking the street and three rooms overlooking the courtyard (the later were accessible from an internal corridor running along the firewall). On the first versions of the plans the structural solutions reflected the functional diversity of the building: the lower levels were meant to have a reinforced concrete skeleton construction and firewall while the upper floors would be brick structures, but the final building doesn’t reflect this clear structural and functional division.

The strictly axial composition of the street elevation made up by parts with widely diverse character is not really coherent on the first planning drawing: the stone clad front of the apartment levels – vertically divided by a decoratively stylized giant order of pilasters – hovers unhappily above the glazed bands of the business levels. In the final version, however, the hardly visible axiality and the unified horizontal divisions brought about a masterly elevation. The transparent, but dark-glazed swathes of the shop fronts and the walls of the apartment levels clad with light-coloured glazed bricks strike a delicate balance. The latter are divided into swathes by a series of multicoloured ornamental string courses, complemented by the more protruding main cornice that supports the balustrade of the terrace in front of the building’s uppermost storey.





Csáki Tamás: Lajta Henrik és Rezső üzletbérháza. In: Gerle János - Csáki Tamás (szerk.): Lajta Béla. Budapest, Holnap, 2013. 183-189. p. 

Date of planning
1911.06 - 1912.05
Date of construction
1911 - 1912.11
Original address
IV. Szervita tér 5.
V. Szervita tér 5.
Rezső Lajta and Henrik Lajta
Bloch and Holitscher
Building type
Shop and apartment building
Building status
Extant, interiors altered

Detail plans

Afterlife of the building

Documentation of the present state of the building