“Historic Houses of Romania” blog author cited in the latest book of Prof Giurescu

I had the pleasant surprise while reading Prof. Constantin C. Giurescu’s latest book, to find myself cited on page 194. He mentions there details from an interview published last May in the newspaper Puterea, where I spoke about my activity as a period property consultant and the high level of education, skills and experience needed to work efficiently in that specialist field. For me it is a great honour that Prof Giurescu, the best contemporary Romanian historian, has considered necessary to include those points in his eminent book.

The volume is entitled “Arhitectura Bucurestilor- Incotro?” (“Bucharest’s Architecture – which way?”) and has been published at the end of 2010 by Vremea publishing house. Through his methodology, diversity of sources and direct style, the work represents a rarity within the Romanian publishing scene, inflated by books written in a mediocre fashion, going in circles and lacking method. Prof Giurescu thus mentions and analyses the grand and small scale abominations suffered by the historic built landscape of Bucharest in the last two decades, from the lunatic government decision more than a decade ago, to gift the magnificent old parliament building to the Romanian Orthodox Church, one of the institutions most active in defacing and destroying the historic edifices in its care, to the countless demolitions and ‘renovations’ performed by ignorant period property owners, who think themselves as absolute masters of their property, forgetting that they are also custodians of a heritage good belonging to the community.

I highly recommend this book to all those preoccupied by this singular phenomenon within the European Union of wholesale architectural heritage destruction performed ironically not by outsiders, but in most cases by the native citizens of this “European” city, EU’s 6th largest metropolis.

Article in the Romanian press

The article in the Romanian national daily "Puterea" about my activity as a historic property consultant.

The Romanian national daily newspaper “Puterea”, which has recently been launched in Bucharest by the former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, has published an article-interview in its 17 May 2010 issue, where I speak about my activity as a historic property consultant specialised on the Romanian market. The journalist has correctly noted that I am the only expert in this market sector active in the country. The translation of the article’s title is “The new land grab – the demolition of Bucharest’s historic houses” (click the link to access the article- written in Romanian language); it is authored by Dana Fodor Mateescu.

I translated bellow a couple of paragraphs for your information:

“Valentin Mandache is an expert in historic houses, the only such specialist in the country offering consultancy services in the field of period property ( historical appraisal, market analysis, property finding, advice regarding the renovation and restoration of a historic property). He confirms the truth felt by many among Bucharest’s citizens: that a majority of this city’s historic properties are in a real danger of obliteration in the foreseeable future. […] My activity epitomises a less common gathering of qualifications and work experiences for Romania’s professional landscape; it is a combination of skills pertaining to the fields of history of architecture and property market analysis, developed throughout 20 years of activity and specialist training in the United Kingdom, other European countries and the United States.

According to Valentin Mandache, the period property market is a very specialised market segment, mostly ignored or unprofessionally approached by virtually all Romanian property consultants. It requires a lengthy training and experience in the field of history of architecture, marketing and analysis focused on this more unusual market sector. […] “When I encounter a historic house, I become extremely curious to find out details about its history and of the previous generations that had lived there” confesses Valentin Mandache. I just want to unravel in minute detail the intricacies of its venerable architecture and unearth the old mysteries that might be buried in documents, personal stories or the structure of that house. I believe that I am in a position to save a historic house when a client has a tangible benefit from my consultancy services, advising him or her how to buy that property, efficiently restore or renovate it, how to chose the best architectural details, decorative themes and conservation methods. I can also help that individual or organisation to properly market their property as an asset endowed with a distinct historic and architectural value. This is my contribution to the conservation and rescue of the cultural heritage of this country.”

“Puterea”, 17 May 2010

“Old and New in Bucharest Architecture. How to Preserve our Identity?”- Radio Programme

This was a radio broadcast programme by Radio Romania International on 16 March ’10, 20.00h-21.00h, on the subject of Bucharest’s old buildings and their plight in the last two decades of Romania’s painful transition from communism to democracy and market economy. The debate, entitled “Old and new in Bucharest architecture. How to preserve our identity?”, took place among blog authors specialised on the architectural heritage. The participants were the following: the author of this blog- Valentin Madache (Historic Houses of Romania), Cezar Buimaci (Orasul lui Bucur) and Dan Rosca (Bucurestii Vechi), moderator- Mara Popa. The language used is Romanian; apologises for the non-speakers of this language.


If you plan acquiring a historic property in Romania or start a renovation project, I would be delighted to advice you in locating the property, specialist research, planning permissions, restoration project management, etc. To discuss your particular plan please see my contact details in the Contact page of this weblog.

Increased Interest in My Blog from the Romanian Press

There seems to be a certain amount of press interest among various media types in Romania in my historic houses blog, of which I set up a Romanian language version in December 2009 (casedeepoca.wordpress.com/), containing translations of about half of the articles from the main English site. In the last four days I have thus been mentioned or invited to the following:

* A short mention in the newspaper “Observator Cultural”, which has a countrywide distribution and also a comprehensive webpage. See the article mentioning what I do and the blog here: http://www.observatorcultural.ro/bucuresti.ro-(VIDEO-Calea-Rahovei-veche…-azi)*articleID_23395-articles_details.html

*Mentioned as Scientific Consultat for a regional TV programme in north-western Romania, where I advised about the style and history of a quaint  period house in the city of Oradea. See the video here, the mention is at the end of the film: http://totuldesprecasa.ro/2010/03/superba-renovare-partiala-in-oradea/

*& Today, 20.05 hour- Bucharest time, I will be participating at a radio programme hosted by the Radio Romania International station (listened to by many among the 10 million strong Romanian disapora all over the globe). The programe is entitled “Old and New in Bucharest Architecture. How to Preserve our Identity” moderated by Mara Popa. See a link with information about this programme here: http://www.rri.ro/art.shtml?lang=2&sec=256&art=30185

I am quite pleased with this interest and hope that will result in increased public awareness about my services in this specialist field and thus contribute to the better preservation and publicity of the embattled historic houses of Romania.