Famous for having hosted the United States Embassy for over 70 years, the Palace located on Tudor Arghezi street regained its lost history for over a century. Known as Maurice Blank Palace, the residence of one of the most important bankers of modern Romania, was built in 1891, under the guidance of its first owner, by the hand and project of the famous Swiss architect Louis Pierre Blanc (1860-1903). He created some important Romanian public buildings, such as, the Palace of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Palace of the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Iaşi Headquarters and the Victor Babes Institute. Louis Blanc left behind an important series of private residences as well, having a great influence over the image of Bucharest from 1900 to this day. Working only 20 years in Romania, and especially in Bucharest, Louis Blanc arrived in the capital city in 1884, brought by his friendship with Ion Mincu, but also by a favourable environment for the development of an exceptional career. His style reminds us of the French Neoclassicism, especially in monumental buildings, and when it comes to private residences we notice an architect with a passion for the French taste, from Neo-Renaissance to beaux-arts. Louis Blanc succeeded within 5 to 10 years to become one of the most important architects and 〞decorators〞 of Bucharest at the end of the nineteenth century. The relations created through the two marriages, with Elena Şuţu and later Irina Berindei offered him contracts and contacts with the high Romanian society.
Thus, in the spring of 1891, Louis Blanc, together with his associate Luigi Scolari, began the work at the Palace of Maurice Blank, co-founder of the well-known Marmorosch Blank & Co bank (1864) along Iacob Marmorosch being one of the most important bankers of the late nineteenth century (i.e. the bank lent the Romanian state in the campaign for the War of Independence). Even though today Maurice Blank is remembered mainly for having built the famous headquarters of the bank on Doamnei Street and the Băneasa Forest mausoleum, the palace on Tudor Arghezi Street is undoubtedly an architectural jewel that will remain permanently in the Romanian history and culture.
Having a L-shaped design, 2.500 built square meters in the 50 rooms, and a generous garden decorated with pine trees and a fountain, the Maurice Blank palace became an architectural landmark for the residences located in the proximity of the University square. In 1934 the palace was purchased by the lawyer and politician Eduard Mirto, who was the last rightful owner until the installation of the Communist regime. Eduard Mirto will initiate the links between the Blank Palace and the United States Embassy, renting the building in 1939 after some authorized renovation, consolidation and modernization works. He installed a system of centralized heating and plumbing extending the construction in the area of its secondary façade right on the verge of the outbreak of the Second World War. The US Embassy will remain there until 2011 when the building re-entered the private circuit as one of Bucharest’s architectural masterpieces.
Sources: Oana Marinache and Cristian Gache, „Louis Pierre Blanc. o plansetă elvetiană în serviciul României”, Istoria Artei publishing house, 2014