He bought Colony no. 12, set apart from the land of Józef Noskowski’s marketplaces in 1860. The settlement established by Konopacki had 11 streets, of which the most important was Środkowa, along which the first brick buildings appeared in the 1860s.
These are visible on the engraving published in the ‘Illustrated Weekly.’ Two of these houses- at Strzelecka Street 11/13 and Środkowa Street 20- belonged to Konopacki, while the third, at Strzelecka Street 20, (Środkowa 22) belonged to Maria Fryderyka of the Jakobs Galeotti Family. In 2017, the historic building at Środkowa 20 disappeared from Praga, despite the front elevation of the ground floor house being placed on the list of historical buildings.
The most impressive building on Środkowa Street is the house of Ksawery Konopacki, called a little palace by its contemporaries due to its shape and architectural details. Contemporaries of the owner were also captivated by the building, giving us a glimpse at this reaction in the 19th-Century papers. The new-Renaissance house built in 1865-1866 was designed by Aleksander Jan Woyde.
Flats to let could be found there: three-bedroom, 5-bedroom and 10-bedroom: while the tenants could enjoy facilities such as a stable, coach house, laundry room, a mangle and a toilet. After the death of Konopacki in 1879, the building changed its owner and function. It was used for educational purposes from the 1920s, and there were also communal flats. In 2021, renovation work at the little palace was completed, and it became the site of a branch of the Cultural Centre TuPraga. Both social activists, especially focused around the Praga Centre of Social Revitalisation ‘Precel,’ and residents expressed their opinions on the social consultations.
The second-oldest building that remains standing on Środkowa Street is the tenement houseblock of Maria Geleotti. It was built at the same time as Konopacki’s house as a one-floor tenement houseblock. It is interesting to note that Galeotti could never speak fluent Polish, but knew German and all documents were written in this language for her. She wanted to open a shop with wines and roots in the tenement house she built, but it soon changed owners since she could not pay off the loans she had taken.
Borrowing money for building or extending properties was a common phenomenon at the time. Many owners struggled with problems with an inability to pay off their loans. Between 1908 and 1911, the tenement house had two additional floors built, and its corner acquired its characteristic ‘helmet.’ The building used for communal housing had renovation work done.
The aforementioned buildings are some of the oldest buildings in Praga North and valuable historical landmarks, the witnesses of development in this part of the district.