Main station’s facade to be renovated

Work on the historical Fanta building was supposed to finish in 2016

The facade and roof of the historical part of Prague’s main strain station Hlavní nádraží will be restored, with work scheduled to start in April and last until June 2021. The landmark Art Nouveau-style historical building, often called the Fanta building after its architect, has long been in a deteriorated condition.

The Railway Infrastructure Administration (SŽDC) is preparing a tender for the renovation work and costs are estimated costs at Kč 171 million. The designer was selected by SŽDC in the summer of 2017.

The work will not include renovations of the heavily decorated Art Nouveau interior. This is scheduled to start in 2021, after the facade is finished.

The work on the historical building was supposed to have been completed by 2016, but Italian company Grandi Stazioni failed to meet the deadline. The SŽDC, which owns the building, refused to extend the contract, saying that would be in violation of the law for public contracts.

Grandi Stazioni in 2002 won a contract to renovate the entire station and get a 30-year lease. The renovated entrance hall of the newer part of the station, with new shops, was officially opened April 14, 2011.

As a result of the failure to complete the renovations of the Fanta building, that lease has been canceled.

The SŽDC has had to start from scratch, and get new permits to do the renovation work.
The historical Fanta building ceased to be the main entrance to the station when the new building was built between 1972 and '79. It includes a metro station and a main road on the roof of the terminal. The new building was institutional in its design and does not match the historical part.

The Art Nouveau station building, designed by Czech architect Josef Fanta, was built between 1901 and '09, replacing an original neo-Renaissance building. The interior of the historical part has a large dome decorated with Art Nouveau designs. Some of the decorations of the Fanta building are by artist Ladislav Šaloun, who made the Jan Hus memorial on Old Town Square.

Hlavní nádraží originally opened in 1871 and was named Franz Josef Station after Franz Joseph I of Austria. It was called Wilson Station (Wilsonovo nádraží) in 1918–38 and 1945–53 after the US president Woodrow Wilson.

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