The Biography of Lajos (Ludwig, Ľudovít) Őry (Oelschläger)

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Lajos Őry (Oelschläger) was born on March 5, 1896 in Kassa (now Košice), as the youngest son of the ironmonger Lajos Oelschläger (born on January 6, 1856 in Merény – now Nálepkovo, previously Vondrišeľ; died on May 2, 1945 in Miskolc, Hungary; buried in Kassa/ Košice, Slovakia) and his wife, born Etelka Fiedler. The family settled in Kassa. His brothers, István (born in 1889, after graduating from school in Kassa he attended trade school in Elberfeld, Germany, then he expanded his professional expertise in Graz, Paris, Budapest and Cluj) and Ferenc (born in 1891, pursued his studies in Kassa, then, after a study tour of several years in Germany he started his career as an employee of the Hungarian General Credit Bank), together with their father became the co-owners of the well-known Fleischer and Schirger iron wholesale company (founded in 1796). The Oelschläger family played an important role – as Hungarians and Lutherans – in the economic, religious and political life of Kassa after 1918.

After graduating from school in Kassa, Lajos Oelschläger enrolled to the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Budapest. However, he completed his studies only in 1921 because of the war. He began his professional career in Budapest as an architecture office manager, then continued it at Munkács (Mukacheve) and later at Kassa. There he founded his own architectural firm soon, which designed and built a whole series of significant buildings until the end of the Second World War, such as:

  • Orthodox synagogue and school (the so-called Red School; jointly with engineer Boskó), Pushkin street 3. Kassa/ Košice, 1927-1933
  • The Fórum (Capitol) movie theatre, (later renamed Slovan, today the great hall of the historic town hall; reconstruction plan: Eng. Arch. Pavol Merjavý), Main Street 59, 1927
  • Firehouse and warehouse, Požiarnická street, Kassa/ Košice, 1928
  • The Town Hall (now the Town Government Office) of Nagymihály (Michalovce), Osloboditeľov square 30, 1928
  • The Town Hall (now the Town Government Office) of Tornalja/ Tornaľa (formerly Šafárikovo), Main Square, 1928
  • The expansion of the Sanatorium Dr. Guhr in Tátraszéplak (Tatranská Polianka; original design: Gedeon Majunke), 1928-1934
  • Movie theatre, Nagymihály (Michalovce), 1929
  • Bathhouse (the so-called White House), Vyšné Ružbachy, around 1930
  • Cultural Center, Kisszeben/ Sabinov (now rebuilt), around 1930
  • Community Center, Vynohradiv (previously Sevluš) in Ukraine, (previously Zakarpattia Oblast, Czechoslovakia), around 1930
  • Jewish school and religious community house (now the Faculty of Biology Uzhhorod National University), Pidripina blvrd 46, Ungvár (Užhorod) in Ukraine, (previously Zakarpattia Oblast)
  • The Headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (now the branch office of the VÚB Bank), the corner of Main Street 112 and Bačíková street 2, Kassa/ Košice, 1933
  • Lutheran Church, SNP square 8, Tornalja (formerly Šafárikovo), 1933
  • Summer swimming stadium (later ČH Swimming Stadium), Staničnésquare, Kassa/ Košice, 1936
  • Ignác Roth‘s department store (later the AVION office of the ČSA airline company, today the branch office of the SLSP Bank; reconstruction: Karol Gregor, 2000), Pribinova 6, Kassa/ Košice, 1938
  • Ferenc Oelschläger‘s villa (later a kindergarten, then the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, then Czech Centre; reconstruction: Drahovský, Pásztor, Neufeld, 1993), Rázusova 13, Kassa/ Košice, 1938.

Lajos Oelschläger was the member of several Hungarian national parties and societies, therefore he was under police surveillance during the time of the First Czechoslovak Republic.

In 1939 (after the cession of Kassa to Hungary) he was awarded the Order of Vitéz by Regent Miklós Horthy at Székesfehérvár for his merits in World War I. That is why he Magyarized his name from Oelschläger to Őry, although the rest of the family retained the original German family name from the Lower Szepes region.

After the withdrawal of Hungarians in 1945 he fled to Hungary with his family (his wife and daughter Zsuzsa). After some time adrift, he settled in Miskolc. In 1948 he was taken into the employment of the MATI (Building Construction Design Institute, respectively Miskolc Planning Office). From 1958 he was employed by the Északterv Company, between 1960–1962 became the first director of the Borsodterv  Design Company. During this period, he designed the following buildings:

  • Foal farm, Csipkéskút, Bükk Mountains, 1950–1951
  • Social housing apartments, Miskolc, Baross Gábor street, around 1960
  • Elementary school, Miskolc, Miklós street
  • University apartments, Miskolc, Hejőcsabai kapu street, Szabadságharc street, around 1960
  • Pharmacy Center, Miskolc
  • Health Centre, Miskolc – Diósgyőr, 1965.

Although he was a recognized, generally respected personality in Miskolc, too, after retirement he led a withdrawn life together with his daughter, and did not participate in social life. He died in 1984 in Miskolc.

Košice, November 2011                                         Edited by Péter Pásztor