The discovery of the Archive of a construction company of the interwar period was the point of departure for the two-year program «Recording, conservation and digitisation of the “Ergoliptiki” Archive», which is implemented in collaboration with the National Library of Greece and through support by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Τhe Memorandum of Cooperation between Mrs Irini Gratsia, Coordinator of the civil non-profit company «MONUMENTA», and Dr. Filippos Tsimpoglou, General Director of the National Library of Greece, was signed last December at the new facilities of the National Library of Greece at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC). The agreement launched the work processes on the Archive which, upon completion, will be passed on to the National Library of Greece.
The archive was discovered by collector Giannis Lamprou and consists of thousands of files, architectural plans, photographies and registers which document the significant work οf «Ergoliptiki Α.Ε./S.A.» in the two decades between 1910-1930. The projects, either private or public, comprise of the construction of, inter alia, residences, hotels, educational buildings, hospitals, roads, sewerages etc. In the 1910’s, civil engineer Spilios Agapitos established the «General Company of Technical Enterprises S. Agapitos & Co». Moshos Diamantopoulos, a civil engineer as well, founded «General Company Beton Arme/reinforced concrete Μ. Α. Diamantopoulos» and merged with Agapitos’ Company. In 1925, Diamantopoulos established «Ergoliptiki» whose work decreased drastically during the Second World War and, postwar, turned into a commercial company.
«Ergoliptiki» collaborated with several commonly known architects and civil engineers, who designed and supervised over 250 projects. Indicatively, Miltiadis and Ioannis Axelos, Georgios Diamantopoulos, Andreas Dracopoulos, Panagiotis Zizilas, Ioannis Zolotas, Kostas Kitsikis, Rennos Koutsouris, Andreas and Emmanouil Kriezis, Emannouil Lazaridis, Sotiris Magiasis, Anastasios Metaxas, Nikolaos Mitsakis, Aristeidis Balanos, Alexandros Nikoloudis, Anastasios Orlandos, Georgios Soulis, Ioannis Ydraios etc. The buildings were constructed in several cities, with the majority of them being in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, such as the Bitzani mansion, the Papaleonardos apartment building, the Georgios Argyriou mansion, the Red Cross hospital, the Cecil hotel, the Ginis building (NTUA), the National Bank of Thessaloniki, the «Evrotas» cylinder mills, the refugee residences in Podarades (Nea Ionia) and many more. The Archive offers a wealth of information about the interwar architecture and the construction technology of the period, the engineers, the craftsmen, the industrial and artisanship sectors supporting the construction activity, as well as labor issues, insurances etc. The latter are a treasure able to enrich our knowledge with unknown, until today, data. The new program comes as the sequence of the two previous MONUMENTA programs concerning the recording and documentation of buildings in Athens and Thessaloniki and offers significant knowledge on both maintained and already demolished buildings. Both programs, «Recording and designation of the Athenian buildings of 19th and 20th century» and «Documentation and designation of the Athenian buildings of 19th and 20th century» came to fruition with an exclusive grant by Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
The Program and the parallel activities
The Program entails the classification, conservation and digitisation of the «Ergoliptiki» evidence according to the international standards as well as the requirements set by the National Library of Greece. The evidence will be registered in an open-access information system which is being specifically designed for the aforementioned Archive. The latter will be interlinked with MONUMENTA’ s complete digital repository of buildings, thus offering a dynamic information system for the research and study of the Athenian architecture. Τhe key objective is to give prominence to the Archive through not only various activities (i.e. educational programs, events, exhibition planning etc) but also through collaborations with educational institutions, cultural bodies and the civil society. The ultimate goal is to highlight the importance of the evidence, to put emphasis on its rescue as well as to pave the way for the emerge
The program is implemented by: Georgia Goumopoulou, Irini Gratsia, Stelios Lekakis, Yiorgos Ninos, Eleftheria Eleftheraki, Magdalini Kardampiki, Evita Kafetzi, Foivos Koukovinos, Foteini Mpelliou, Vayia Nikolakopoulou and Manto Sotiropoulou. Regarding the Archive’s classification, MONUMENTA is collaborating with «Αrxeion Taxis» and its representative, historian Yiorgos Gassias.
Eleni Maistrou (Professor emeritus of the NTUA Architectural School), Marietta Minotou (Professor of the Ionian University Department of Archives, Library Science and Museology), Panagiotis Tournikiotis (Professor of the NTUA Architectural School), Yiorgos Tzirzilakis (Professor of the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly) and Costas Tsiampaos (Honorary Professor of the NTUA Architectural School).
Scientific partners from the National Library of Greece
Michalis Gerolimos (Systems and Electronic Resources Librarian), Paraskevi Kapoli (Historian), Yiorgos Parlavantzas, Yiorgos Stavratis (Archivist-Librarian) and Christina Tsaroucha (Head of Collection Maintenance Service). Information For further information on the progress of the Program and the parallel activities you can visit MONUMENTA’s website (www.monumenta.org) and Facebook page.