Heritage of Timișoara

Iosefin 5 Nicolae Titulescu str.

Administrative Building of the South Hungary Hat Factory Ltd

Completion date:


  • Architect: Arch. Eduard (Ede) Reiter
  • Construction authorization: October 1899
  • Modification authorization: May 1900
  • Property type: Private property
  • Protection type: Historical Monument
    Administrative Building of the Hat Factory
  • Main arch. style Art Nouveau/Secession
  • Current condition Poor
  • Planimetry Rectangular
  • No. of levels 3
  • Current functions Office Building
    Single property

South Hungary Hat Factory Ltd was created in 1896 with foreign capital and support from the state and the city of Timișoara. In 1899, the Town Hall of Timișoara signed a contract with Phillipp Lustein and Wilhelm Keller offering 2 acres of land for the construction of a hat factory near Scudier Park (today Central Park), on the street leading from Thierry Swimming School to the railway viaduct and Eduard (Ede) Reiter Villa. According to the contract, South Hungary Hat Factory was also exempt from communal taxes for 10 years. During this time, the Town Hall also agreed to subsidize the factory with 3000 crowns per year, i.e. 50 crowns per worker.

The factory buildings were erected between 1899-1900 according to the plans of the architect Eduard (Ede) Reiter whose house was right across the street from the plot, on what is now Anton Seiller Street (correctly “Anton Sailer Steet” - the name “Anton Seiller” is a misspelling that appears, unfortunately, even in Timișoara’s official record of streets), at number 5. The original plans also included the administrative building built in Secession style, which is now a historical monument separate from the rest of the factory..

The hat factory started its activity in the autumn of 1900. The stock company was founded with an initial capital of 1 million crowns under the presidency of Knight Eduard of West. The factory produced felt and woolen hats, felt and rabbit fur hats, felt and velour hats etc. The daily production capacity was of 500 women’s hats, 1500 woolen men hats, 600 rabbit fur hats for women, 200 rabbit fur hats for men. 

Motor force was provided by a steam engine of 200 horsepower. The factory had approximately 500 workers, of which 70% were females. In terms of social equipment, the factory had a bathroom, a dining room and several areas where employees could rest. At the beginning of the 20th century Fritz Schwarz was general director and Ernest Vermes was commercial director. 

From 1919 until the 1990s, the factory was known as Timișoara Hat Factory. During the communist regime the factory was expropriated, the same as all the other factories. Between 1991 and 1995 the factory was privatised under the name PALTIM Ltd, through MEBO. More details can be found here. In 2006 the factory ceased its activity.

In recent years, the buildings belonging to the former hat factory were used for various initiatives of relevance to the cultural life of Timișoara: the clubs DAOS and Road Patrol, and, in later years, Basca Cultural Centre (a space used by Solidart Association from 2017 to 2019) and AMBASADA (a space used by Casa PLAI Association from 2015 to 2019). In the near future the buildings of the former Timișoara Hat Factory will be demolished and replaced by a mixed residential ensemble. The only building to be kept is the one close to the street, the administrative building of the former hat factory.

Vintage photos

Authors of this file:

Research & text: Alexandra Palconi-Sitov, Mihai-Claudiu Moldovan

Field research & mapping: Arh. Vlad Pată (coordonator)

Translation into English: Cristina Chira

Photographer: Flavius Neamciuc

Last modified: 3 years ago

Published on: 02 November 2019

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