The ongoing saga of the Czarny Kot hotel has taken one more twist after a local court decided the land it stands on must be returned to the city. First built in the 1990, the six-story hotel has consistently been cited as being one of the capital’s worst eyesores, not to mention a classic example of Gargamelizm – a ghastly architectural style unique to post-communist, nouveau riche Poland. Low on taste but high on mysterious turrets and decorative panthers, the hotel – found sat between Powązki Cemetery and the Arkadia mall – was born out of the capitalist chaos that followed the collapse of the state-controlled system.
Yet whilst the first stage of construction was conducted within the correct legal parameters, much of what followed ignored things like permits and permission. Up till now, however, authorities have been led on a merry dance through the relevant courts, and have watched on powerlessly while the Cat’s owners have added more embellishments to their hideous creation. Finally, it appears that after eight years of legal wrangling, the city will be able to send in the bailiffs to seize the hotel.
But while most people are celebrating what appears to be the imminent demise of the Czarny Kot, others are already mourning the disappearance of a landmark that has become symbolic of a unique era in Polish history. Worse, if press reports are to be believed, part of the vacated plot will be handed over for yet another characterless glass tower.