Hide/Show Apps

Alexander Vallaury’s Late Works On İzmir, Thessaloniki And Eminönü Customs Houses And Notes On The Agenda Of Ottoman Architecture At The Turn Of The Century

Alexander Vallaury (1) , the renowned architect of the late Ottoman era served as the architect of Customs Administration ( or Administration of Indirect Contributions ) from 1889 on (İ..DH 1154-90240), until he left Turkey around 1910 (2). This responsibility, concerning the planning and construction of warehouses and customs facilities, has so far been an overlooked aspect of his long and fruitful career. However, given the giant urban transformation that the Ottoman cities’ seafronts experienced then, and considering the importance of the port reorganization in these undertakings, Vallaury’s position as the architect of the Customs Administration is significant, in terms of his contribution to that era’s major engineering and architectural issue: the reordering and modernization of port-cities. This paper, based on archival material, explores and comments on the construction phases of customs houses in three major Ottoman ports, during which their architect Vallaury had to address some major architectural concerns that were to play a determining role in the evolution of Ottoman architecture at the turn of the century. It also discusses the subsequent changes in Ottoman architecture, as well as the degree to which Vallaury, a foremost representative of Beaux Arts School and eclecticism in Ottoman architecture, could respond, contribute and cope with them.