There's a house in the centre of Rijeka that's been undergoing renovation work for months now. Enveloped in scaffolding, the place has been getting curious looks from people passing by – is it still a residential building? Will it turn into a catering establishment? We don't often see decaying structures in the Old town subjected to any kind of refurbishment, so it's been a pleasure to hear the announcement that a so-called Coastal House is opening at the site.
Rijeka Tourist Board initiated a project of turning the old edifice into an attraction. The house is a rare example of traditional building in Rijeka, surviving the bombing in WWII and outliving numerous planned demolition projects in the area during the second half of the 20th century. After the last residents moved out a couple of years ago, the building became City property and was granted to the Tourist Board with the idea to renovate the house into a place beaming with local spirit, thus enriching the tourist offer in the city.
The building was renovated to return to its original state and will house a tavern serving dishes created in collaboration with Damjan Miletić, author of multiple cookbooks on local cuisine. A souvenir shop located on the first floor will be offering products manufactured in the Primorsko-goranska county. Renovating the building required a total sum of 900.000 kuna; a worthy investment when you think about the value of a charming location promoting our traditional crafts and products.
The end result has nevertheless got some of the locals complaining about the house losing its old traditional charm, remarking that the new facade covers the previously visible stone. Seeing that the place was falling apart prior to the renovation, it's hard to say if it would've been better to leave it as it were. We'll leave that discussion for another time; in the meantime, take a look at these old photos of the building in question to compare them with its new facade:
Source: Novi list
Image source: Nova riječka enciklopedija - Fluminensia, contributed by Lena Ternovec