A new season of the heritage management program is starting: special attention is being paid to the icons of Kaunas architecture

The old building facades left in Kaunas will acquire fresh colors with the help of the city. The unique heritage management program, which has been in place for 5 years, has made a significant contribution to the refurbishment of over a hundred buildings and continues this mission. Kaunas City Municipality plans to partially finance a record amount of façade renovation works – almost half a hundred. It is planned to allocate the largest amount so far – 855 thousand euros – for the arrangement of architectural objects in the Old Town, the central part and in more remote places.

To make the city more beautiful

From the beginning in 2015, Kaunas residents are invited to beautify the face of the city every year by managing and nurturing the cultural heritage belonging to them. The city contributes to such works by co-financing them.

Owners of 114 buildings have already used this offer of Kaunas City Municipality and restored the objects belonging to them with the help of the city. Gray and gloomy facades have been fundamentally renovated. The tidy exteriors have regained their esthetic appearance and bright colors, the collapsing balconies have been repaired, the authentic architectural elements have been restored, while many buildings have been lit and adapted for people with disabilities. After these works they changed almost unrecognizably.

“Kaunas is growing and modernizing, but the history of the city and its cultural heritage are no less important to us, which is especially evident in the architecture of Kaunas. This is a significant part of the city’s identity. Kaunas City Municipality continues to pursue a clear goal – to contribute to the revival of these heritage objects, to nurture them to further decorate the city, to tells its history to Kaunas residents and guests”, said Mayor of Kaunas City Visvaldas Matijošaitis.

Record activity

In the five years of the heritage management program, the city has already invested almost one and a half million euros. The funds allocated to this initiative have been constantly growing – from 22 thousand euros to the maximum amount foreseen for this year – 855 thousand euros.

The map of heritage management has also significantly expanded: from now on, the representative streets in the city center, which were initially considered a priority, were supplemented by more remote areas, but Kaunas residents and guests are also constantly visible.

This year, the Division of Cultural Heritage of Kaunas City Municipality, which administers the program, also recorded a record activity of building owners. A total of 60 applications were registered. After evaluating them according to the established criteria, 45 application were selected. This decision was approved by Kaunas City Council on Tuesday.

The city is ready to invest in the renovation of the facades of these cultural heritage objects and buildings. The co-financing per building varies from 3 to 95 thousand euros, depending on the overall estimate, architectural value of the object and the complexity of the works.

Between approved projects in 2020, there can be seen well known and attractive buildings: Thunder House, Milk Center, Building of the Progress and one of the so-called Kaunas Gate buildings on Vytautas Avenue, in front of the railway station.

Here you can see this year’s objects and heritage management program: http://milijonasfasadams.kaunas.lt

Received widespread recognition

“City’s efforts and financial contribution would be meaningless without the initiative of the building managers themselves. We see their growing responsibility for their property. We are grateful to the residents, private business and institutions for excellent cooperation that the architectural heritage in Kaunas can regain its true face. This motivates to continue such promotion measures”, said Kaunas Deputy Mayor Simonas Kairys.

Renovated urban buildings become a role model nationally. In 2019 October, the State Commission for Cultural Heritage symbolically appreciated the financial contribution of Kaunas City Municipality to local cultural heritage and the effective implementation of the Heritage Management Program.

Buildings that change the exterior and the multicultural cityscape of Kaunas have also received international attention: Kaunas has been awarded the title of a UNESCO city of design, which in Europe currently has only Berlin, Turin, Helsinki, St. Etienne and Kolding.

Also, the modernist face of Kaunas interwar architecture, which deservedly claims to be included in the UNESCO heritage lists, is increasingly appreciated and recognized on a global scale.